Using Improv In Your Daily Stand-ups

We have all been in meetings that no-longer give any value to its participates. Sunny Dhillon share a quick tip on enhancing active listening during meetings by using improv.

Improv is a form of spontaneous theatre in which the dialogue and characters are made up in the moment. It can be used a great ice-breaking activity as well as a tool for Stand-up meetings, that are often used in Agile teams and a crucial ceremony in Scrum.

The purpose of a daily Stand-up is for teams to synchronize and coordinate their progress in achieving their goals. Because of the importance of these meetings, attendees need to be listening and engaged.

A quick and easy activity to use is called the Last Letter of the Last Word. In this game, a person starts a story with a quick sentence, then hands off to a team member. The team member that has been called, then has to build upon the previous sentence by using the last letter of the word from the previous person. After their sentence, they pass to another team member who does the same, and the cycle continues.

When applied to Stand-ups, the first person can describe their progress, pass off to a teammate at random, and that person will start with the last letter of the last word of the teammate who passed to them. This simple activity can increase active listening, retention and creates deeper conversation around the work that is being achieved. It’s also a great way to have some laughs. Try it out at you next Stand-Up!

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