1. Prep work: On two separate flipcharts, draw a few variably complex abstract pictures (I do three or four pictures each), and assign them some value points that roughly align with their complexity.  Normally I make these points add up to a total of 100 on each sheet, just for simplicity.
  2. Round One:
    1. Split the class into Customer teams and Delivery teams (I typically do this by table).
    2. Place one flipchart so that only the Customer teams can see it.
    3. Give the Customers 8 minutes to describe the pictures using written words alone, which they must place on Sticky notes and then give to the instructor to run over to their Delivery teams.
    4. Debrief: How did that feel?
  3. Round Two:
    1. Every student that was on a Delivery team is now a Customer, and vice versa.
    2. Have the Customers bring their phones and take pictures of the other flipchart.
    3. Have Customers pair up with Developers once they have the pictures in hand, and stand over their shoulders.
    4. Give the Customers 8 minutes to describe the pictures verbally, while their Developers draw.

Debrief is largely around the following points:

  • Tight, direct feedback loops are critical to joint understanding
  • Wordsmithing stories is much less important than communicating the right way with the right people while building and describing them
  • Documentation should generally follow clarifying discussions, not precede and lead them, because the latter case
  • Methods like this should inform how you set up things like grooming sessions

See these slides for guidance.  Enjoy!