August 26, 2006

...Learn TDD with Codemanship

Agile Governance - August 24th Feedback

The Summer e-Cademy ended on Thursday with the most experimental sessions of the series. Agile Governance was the topic, and dice were the weapons of choice for this exploration of how to plan projects and maximise your investment in the face of inescapable uncertainty.

As with all the workshops, I was relying on the intelligence and enthusiasm of the people taking part. Yet again, I was heartened to see a bunch of smart and professional people easily get their heads around the concepts and the format in both the AM and PM sessions. It made my job a whole lot easier!

I shan't bang on about the contents of the workshop, as details will emerge on this site over the coming days and weeks. As always, there's feedback and scores to be totted up. This time they go as follows:

1. How would you rate the event on the whole?

GOOD - 94%
POOR - 0%

2. How would you rate the material covered?

GOOD - 88%
POOR - 0%

3. How would you rate the coach?
GOOD - 100%
POOR - 0%

4. How would you rate the venue and location?

GOOD - 38%
POOR - 6%

5. Would you come to another event in the future?

YES - 100%
NO - 0%

6. Would you recommend this event to a friend or colleague?

YES - 100%
NO - 0%

And according to my little scoring system, where a GOOD is +1, an AVERAGE is 0, a POOR is -1, a YES is +1 and a NO is -1. The final score looks like this:

82 out of a possible 96 - or 85%

Here are some of the comments:

About the event as a whole:

"Novel technique to deliver messages"

"Lots to think about, but more explanation required"

"Good illustration. Made me think."

"Proves some key points. Useful for winning arguments about planning!"

"Need to allocate more time"

About the material:

"Some unexpected insights"

"Game had direct relevance to real scenarios"

"Good material - a bit more explanation might help to get games going more quickly"

About the coach:

"Enjoyed the metaphor. Shame time ran out. Liked the concreteness of the maths to demonstrate the principles"

"Thought provoking"

"Knows his stuff!"

"Informal and relaxed"

About the venues:


"A little too warm"

"Nice biscuits"


"Smelly. Felt like being in a school again."

"Did the job"

"Could be closer to a major station"

Proof Of the Pudding

Zero attrition again! Everybody who was there at the start stayed to the bitter end. Also, more than half who attended had been to at least one e-Cademy event already. A couple of chaps had been to almost all of them!

Before I forget, thanks to Henry Seymer for helping me to clear up afterwards :-)


What Next?

Two things loom large in the feedback:

1. Better explanations of each game to help speed things up. I suspect demonstrations would be of most help here.
2. More time is needed. I could have happily spent a whole day on this. There's a surprising amount of good material you can squeeze out of two dice, some pencils and some paper!

I will continue to hone and evolve the games, as I have been doing for the last year or so. They're a great way to clear the trees so that we can see the wood of a whole range of problems. I'm actively pondering devoting a whole day to this later in the year. This time I'd invite people to invent their own games and simulations and bring them along. I think I know just the right kind of format for this, too. I'll keep you posted, but if you fancy getting involved drop me a line.

The day was somewhat complicated for me by doing the morning and afternoon sessions in different venues, and by the amount of "stuff" - paper, pencils, rulers, calculators, dice, etc etc - I had to clear away at the end of each session. One decision I'd made which I was glad of was to leave my laptop and projector at home and do without the obligatory PowerPoint presentation. That might have been one complication too far for what is quite a fiddly workshop to organise. Another key goal for the next time will be to simplify and streamline the format and the materials.

Also, because the feedback is anonymous, and I didn't keep the feedback for each session seperate (which I probably should have done), I can't distinguish between venues. I suspect, though, that the PM venue came off worst, based on previous form.

The Winter e-Cademy will be held at a more central location.
Posted 14 years, 4 months ago on August 26, 2006