Chris led three sessions at PCamp the day before we left for the Scrum Gatheirng: Agile 101, the ever-popular Agile Learning Games, and a new session with Ainsley Nies called "PM Principles, Values and Practices," a World Cafe session that delved into ways for PMs to apply the Agile Manifesto to their roles and areas of expertise.( I stayed home with a sore throat, bleh.)
This was Chris' first time running a World Cafe session, and it sounds like we'll be using that format more in future. The World Cafe website looks like it was designed by someone wearing a Che t-shirt and crunching loudly on GORP–so to spare you the kumbayaa lingo, I'll summarize the process:
First, the facilitator breaks the room into groups of three or more, then sets them to exploring a set of related topics, one per table. Each table/topic has a "host" whose job it is to stay with the table and provide continuity, which the others rotate between tables every 20-30 minutes. Each round lasts 20-30 mintues at a time (three rounds is about right for a 90 minute session). The idea is that those who travel between tables will cross-polinate ideas between the topics and bring fresh perspectives. In the last round, people have the option of returning to a previous table or continuing on, so that there is opportunity for closure and continuity.
I can see this working well when all groups consider the same topic, too, as it's interesting to see the variation in people's answers on a single question.
As promised to the participants, the slide deck from Agile 101 session are posted on the PCamp Wiki. Enjoy!
And if you want to learn how to build Agile learning games, Chris and Elisabeth Hendrickson will be teaching a class in Portland May 1st.