Retrospective Facilitator Gathering

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here are sessions Ellen recorded (other recorded by Ainsely)

Facilitator’s Gathering 2003 4/24/03 Session by Diana Larson

Great Facilitation Tools

What do you use? - presentation - meeting management - process How do you use it? Other uses, applications, ideas?

PRESENTATION - Put a border on flip charts or related groups of flips - Multiple flip charts o For Brainstorming / discuss —– flips over o For content – stays visible o Save / Throw out - Use symbolic bullets - Use symbolic colors - Visual facilitation graphics - Online – Webex, Placeware, NetMeeting - Poster paper rolls - Drafting dots - Role Playing with co-facilitation - Post-it Flips, static flips - Rip-Stop Nylon with 3-M adhesive spray - Bluetack - Jumbo crayons - Glue sticks / reposition – 3M, Scotch - Mind Mapping / Mind Manager – software, $200 - Screen Beans – website – assembly beans available for graphics

MEETING MANAGEMENT - Chimes, Group Sneeze, mini Xylophone - Time Keeper / Temperature of the room monitor - Observer - Scribe - Stand up / Sit Down / move around the room - Silence - Sit in a new location - Plastic Animals / toys – to assigning breakout groups - Talking stick - Rat Hole / red index cards / rubber chicken – team use to id tangents/unproductive discussions - Call a break – to manage out of control discussion (5 min. every hour if intense/heavy topic)

PROCESS - Cardstock cut in half - VIS-IT stickies in shapes (glue in 2 places) - Neuland “Mod People” and cards in shapes (include clouds, use case) - Dots o Red = Stop; Green = Go; Yellow = Caution o Headings Vote, Followed by specifics Vote o Rank Voting – 5 = #1 Choice, 3 = #2 Choice, 1 = #3 Choice

Storytelling Convener: Miriam Background of Miriam’s storytelling experience: eclectic background, ASTD training and informal experience in storytelling, workshops on how to take storytelling into the workplace. Not an expert, simplying sharing ideas and experiences.

Overview: - Snap-shot of storytelling – just 1 piece – an Appetizer”

  1. Storytelling 101
  2. Storytelling helps to bound people together

Type of Stories: 1) Fairy / Folk – traditional 2) Personal / Group * main focus for this session 3) Case Studies 4) Improv 5) Jokes 6) Ballads 7) Visual Arts – Totem Poles, traditional art 8) Drawings – comics 9) Email thread – web logs “wogs” 10) Song, dance

Stories are universal. Come in many different shapes and methods.

Group defined the following: Expectations / Assumptions / Questions about Personal / Group Storytelling - Say more about ‘group’ – define better - Personal safety – within group or can be shared outside group? - How / what kinds of stories feed retrospectives? - Are there inappropriate times / non-receptive audiences to storytelling - Group created story – improve games, could be used by retrospective group to recreate events, timeline, etc.

Open Space Technology - Mid to late 1990s conference on open space format by Harrison Owens. Open space works when everything else has been tried and failed. - Will Hornyak “stories subvert the dominant paradigm” - Stories were mainstream thousands of years ago….currently not the norm…but now creeping into the workplace. - Have to create a safe environment – key to personal storytelling - Will H uses light / fun / fantasy stories to allow people to step out of the constricts of the workplace, team, culture, etc. - Facilitator should lead the way…demonstrate the storytelling first

Storytelling and retrospectives: - Personal interviews of past / present team members gives an opportunity to hear the story of the project from their perspective - Ham story – ‘the way it’s always been done’. - AI - Appreciative Inquiry – for format / flow to a story: beginning, middle (conflict, drama), end (reference back to beginning) - Culture is the stories we tell about ourselves - Stories help us to remember points – ie. the fire chief story about how long should a retrospective be? ‘as long as it takes’. - A story is a WRAPPER to making points - Powerful tool for facilitators to use – facilitator is willing to expose themselves FIRST, helps group to feel safe and more open to sharing their own stories - Post retrospective – summarize findings of the retrospective into a story to tell over again, and to executive management - Facilitator’s role to draw out the stories from the group - Stories help people to reveal the humanity - emotions, sharing, engaging in the retro., - Symbolic items to spark stories - Wall murals / timelines - Effective storytelling results from INTENTION - Sharing an experience with an emotional connection / creates an emotional connection between teller and listener

Reference items: Robert Shak – researcher in Artificial Intelligence – goal to have computer think like humans, now leading a evolution in education – current K-12 structure based on 1892 divinity school for Havard – is now outdated. He promotes that we learn from mistakes – it’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them. Ie., retrospectives fall into this.

David Drake – Catalyst Consulting – wrote Ph.D. theist on storytelling effectiveness


My Grandfather’s Blessing –

Kitchen Table Wisdom –

Managing by Storying Around – David Armstrong

When Shit Happens – Convened by Norm Kerth 4/22/03

What comes to mind on this subject in the context of the workplace - Open rebellion - Not being prepared – anything planned – is changed - No time to prepare – improve - Facilitating for a dysfunctional group – out of realm of experience - Having an important subtext unrevealed – underlying vain – being blindsided - Being late for the session - Whatever I seem to do seems wrong - Community seems worst AFTER the retrospective - Client managers is in competition with the facilitator - Unannounced senior management attends and throws out the safety - Co-facilitator changes the process mid-stream

Break out - major issues discussion with Norm directly - others develop a vignette of retrospectives

Role Playing - 2 facilitators to re-live their worst nightmares: o Linda – co-facilitator problems – ‘how to understand Neil better”, co-facilitator takes over, talks down to people, sarcastic comments, etc. o Esther – blindsided by unrevealed major issues, distrust, blame between groups

- Group to develop the vignette of the retrospective situation o Develop a piece of the timeline with landmines o Develop some of the context  2 work teams in conflict – core teams  Managers of each do not get along  Core team members get along  1 Team pushing for quality, other team for schedule  1 team in India, 1 team in Portland  current situation: just finished release 1 late, planning for release 2  blindside:  landmines: compressed schedule, missed initial delivery date

- Communication made of 3 parts: Involves yourself, other people, about the context - Blamers – have dropped 1 of the parts – o Only about their selves and about the context o They are frightened and scared o How to handle Blamers:  let them know they are being heard – focus on them and their issue(s)

- How to handle the situation: o We can get the information needed – ask for the ‘story’ using the timeline as the artifact OR o Call for a break and address the blamers individually – find the common ground o Stop the retrospective completely o Reconfirm the primary goal of the retrospective, review history up to this point, what the current new information, opening up to the group for consensus on how to deal with this o Facilitator to possibly characterize the options for the group to vote on o Ask the 2 managers for their reasons of being there

FYI – if legal issues arise, consider stopping the retrospective and get advice.

- Addressing true dysfunctional situation: o Suggestions:  As facilitator describe what you see, ask what they see  Call for a break, speak privately with interpreter  Can ask them to switch over to observer mode, take lots of notes  Retouch with them in future break  If you cannot do a break - To keep the people working – go to an exercise with pairs  Allows facilitator to work individually on the problem person

2003_results.txt · Last modified: 2023/04/22 21:52 by ellengott