Trusting the Process


Have you ever had a problem with micromanaging? Personally I have and learning when to let go and trust is not an easy thing. I have found an activity that not only helped me but has also helped my team to understanding the benefits of trusting your team and not micro managing. This is an Agile Activity to help show the benefits of using sprints within a scrum structure.

What you need:
Time: 15 to 30 minutes to include debriefing
Team: 12 to 20 people
Setup: A room with obstacles (i.e. chairs, desks, trashcan, etc.) and guidelines for boundaries. You want to allow enough space for everyone to fit but not so much that they are comfortable within the space.
Also include: Blind folds (or the team to close their eyes)

Round One Instructions:

  • Divide the team up into teams of two making one member a Manager and the other a Worker.
  • Tell the team they have one minute to get to the other side of the room.
  • The Managers are the only people that are allow to talk and can only provide one of three commands at a time and cannot repeat a command.
            - Go forward
            - Turn right
            - Turn left
  • The work cannot run into any obstacles while making it to the other side.
  • Set a timer for one minute and begin exercise.

Debrief Round One: Ask the team for feedback.

  • Did anyone make it to the other side? There were probably none or very few teams that made it to the other side without hitting an obstacle.
  • Were the workers able to hear the manager? The room was probably loud and made it hard to hear the managers describing where to go.
  • Ask the managers how they felt? They probably felt stressed and unproductive.
  • Ask the workers how they felt? Most were simply following orders rather than thinking for themselves.

Round Two Instructions:

  • Switch roles, Managers are now Workers and Workers are now Managers.
  • The goal is the same, make it across the room.
  • The Managers cannot talk, the Workers have to tell the Manager what command they are performing.
  • Set a timer for one minute and begin exercise.

Debrief Round Two: Ask the team for feedback.

  • This time more of the teams have completed the task at hand. Allowing the Workers the ability to decide what was best made them successful.  
  • The room was probably much quieter and ask the team why.
  • Ask the team if they noticed anything else.

Finally, pointing out to the team that checking in on processes or projects on a regular basis such as daily scrum meetings or sprints, allows for transparency. Transparency allows the ability to address impediments or the approach of the team to perform as its highest capacity.  

I hope this activity is helpful and makes you begin to utilize your team to his highest potential.

Inspired by other similar activities:

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