How to have fun and influence people

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Nicola Sedgwick's profile
Nicola Sedgwick

How to have fun and influence people image
Talk Description
Games are frequently used at test conferences and within test teams to develop critical thinking skills. However, games can be used to help teams understand a problem or feature that they are working on, and the creative & curious outlook of testers are ideal for introducing games to their teams. For example, activities like "Lego serious play" introduce creative ways to facilitate team communication and investigate complex systems. 

However, tools like this can feel slightly disjointed from the day job - a bit of fun and a good way to get communication following, but you're talking around the subject rather than playing with it.

To work through a particular feature, I created a game which helped a project team to: 
  • Practice thinking as the user
  • Understand the challenges the user is facing
  • Discuss solutions that would assist the user
  • Realise that a single perfect solution for all users didn't exist but that solutions to certain problems would positively impact all users

Learning and exploration through play allowed for solution identification far quicker than the team had ever previously managed via the sharing of requirements, acceptance criteria, designs or brainstorming. All by creating a project relevant framework within which team members could each pretend to be the user in competition with one another to achieve a set objective. 

I'll share the details of how I created the game along with tips that will help you create similar games relevant to your own projects.
What you’ll learn

By the end of this masterclass, you'll be able to:

  • Recognise games are suitable for the workplace
  • Use games to solve problems and collaborate with your team
  • Identify gaming methods you can use in your work
Nicola Sedgwick's profile'

Nicola Sedgwick

Nicola is one of those testers that 'fell into the role' after working as a Support Engineer and Trainer for a small software house dealing predominantly with the construction sector whose focus is continually on design and quality (no-one wants to construct anything that collapses and causes injury). However, 'fell' implies the role focus was not chosen deliberately, which is incorrect. Having worked in the IT industry for 15 years Nicola feels she can (and should) share some of her experiences to help others, and to help them help their colleagues & teammates.
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Tags

  • leadership
  • influence
  • user-experience