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It’s Broken Workshop

I have been giving this workshop “It’s Broken” in an effort to draw out the differences in what our team members believe in.

WORKSHOP TIME NEEDED:  45 minutes – 1 hour max

People see things differently, believe in different things and understand needs vs wants on different levels.  We don’t all buy the same things for the exact same need do we?  How can we instantly expect all our team members to see things the exact same way?  Impossible right?  However, we do it everyday, sometimes on purpose!

Do you know what your team members actually believe in?

When I show this video to agile teams in transition, it is interesting to see the, psychology, and what triggers people to identify broken product and broken process. When you bring QA, Dev, Prj, Prd and Execs to a ‘team’, it is really interesting to see how they all have similar problems and don’t voice it until they have the right trigger.

This workshop is based on Seth Godin‘s “This Is Broken” video found here.

How to Administer the Workshop:

  1. Give Seth Godin credit!!!!!
  2. Hand out post-it notes and markers
  3. Ground everyone by stating the groups present and that they all think differently. The goal is to find similar problems but to voice those problems. The video is to help be the catalyst in triggering your mind to think about a scenario from a different angle.
  4. Put the 7 broken lists on the board/wall
  5. Watch video
  6. Give a few examples of what may trigger the thinking in a quadrant.
  7. BE PATIENT, let them think about it, give the team a tiny bit of prodding in that nothing is ‘wrong’ to state. If it is broken from a point of view, it is that, broken.
  8. The stickies start SLOWLY but once they start, they flow quickly.  When the first one goes up, say something encouraging. This is the lone warrior leading the pack.  Sometimes teams are timid about management at first.
  9. The goal isn’t to get the quadrant right, the goal is to get the idea on the board as well as to understand what triggers your new teammates.
  10. After all the stickies are up, have the Product Owner/Scrum Master group the stickies together based on the problem, an area of the product or process.
  11. Send out the main issue to management and the team who did the exercise.
  12. Create an action plan for the top priorities or move them to the ‘Broken On Purpose’ with an explanation.


Notice the difference in thinking triggers. More importantly, notice how certain outcomes of this workshop indicate how people feel about themselves, the team, the product, the process and most importantly the customers. Sometimes the team will see how they are ‘breaking the customer.’

The problems when grouped together are clearly obvious to management.







3 Comments to “It’s Broken Workshop”

  1. Not sure process and improvement are the right things for inside the loops.They feel like they should be activity type statements perhaps Develop Product and Develop Potential.The things at the end of the loops are outcome things Product Increment and Capability Improvement.The inputs should be Vision and Team/People.Love the simplicity of this.

  2. Best wishes!Your blog is very good!

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