Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My Session at Scrum Gathering India 2013 - Part 2

This is the second part of my post about my session titled, ‘How Do We Learn? -  A Key Question for Practicing Scrum Teams’ delivered at Scrum Gathering India 2013.  In the first part I started with the 70-20-10 formula and ended with learning styles.  We are individuals and our learning styles vary.  We are team players too.

We are team players
It is most likely that Scrum team members are team players. This is one of the key factors that make teams successful. When we work in teams, we learn a lot.  We learn by pairing, helping, discussing, playing, following, and so on.   Team retrospectives help us in learning.

Active learning happens significantly in group setting or in teams.  Our retention rate increases when we participate in demonstrations, group discussions, hands-on practice or learning by doing, and teaching as shown here.

When I was putting this in front of a group elsewhere, someone asked me, “Do you mean to say that we can live without class room sessions?”

The answer is  'No'.  When you have an instructor or facilitator or a teacher who is effective, your class room sessions are going to motivate you and keep the flame burning throughout your life!  This is the significance of class room sessions.  Also, class room sessions are appropriate for some topics. To reiterate, we are not undermining the power of passive learning. We are here to understand the effect of active learning as well.  How many of us contribute to active learning in our teams?

According to Bloom's taxonomy, when we limit ourselves to remembering, understanding, and applying, we operate with lower order thinking skills.  When we move up by analyzing, evaluating and creating, we acquire higher order thinking skills.

Now the questions I have are, ‘Should we keep practicing and delivering or go beyond that?  Should we limit ourselves to lower order thinking skills? And don't we have to acquire higher order thinking skills?’

Where do we start?
We start by believing what we do.  We have to regularize what we do and make it a habit.  We have to meditate enough to rest ourselves.   We have to become curious.  Moreover, we must align ourselves to maximize the outcome of learning.

What do we do when we do not have curious team members?  This is a question that came across in my session.   The ultimate answer is, “Make them curious.”  How?  This is where team interaction helps.   You have a key role to play here! You become curious. Identify one or two team members who are ready to spread this 'curiosity' virus.  Check if you are involving your team members.  Identify and involve a coach.   Eventually, your team members will start showing curiosity.  And you will start nurturing a learning team.

Here is my list of takeaways. I am sure you have some more. Please feel free to let me know through your comments.
  1. Class room sessions are necessary (in some cases) but not sufficient. 
  2. Reading is essential.   Thinking, validating and experimenting are going to help you improve.
  3. Practice a lot. Hands-on experience maximizes learning.
  4. Is that it?  No!  Involve your team members.
  5. Share.  Teach. Become a mentor. Help your team members.  These will benefit you as well as your team.
  6. Start moving up from lower order thinking skills towards higher order thinking skills.

Watch these again
Here are the two video clips we watched together at the end of my session.  These are worth watching again.
  1. Bring On the Revolution by Sir Ken Robinson
  2. Three Rules to Spark Learning by Ramsey Musallam

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I missed this gathering, but this blog is very informative. I have few points to take away and mentor.