Connecting the Dots - Empowering People Through Play

A presentation at TestBash Manchester 2018 in in Manchester, UK by nicola sedgwick

As testers we care just as much about our projects and products as our Product Owners and Developers. With a history of being the people at the end of the chain (no longer the case as we know), we tend to see the communication issues and impending risk and somehow always feel inclined or voluntarily willing to help solve those problems and yes, it always means our lives become easier! Win win!

The Challenge

So how can we help teach and build up a solid channel of communication with our peers (whom all have different behaviours and characters), to help them stop, zoom out and avoid the rabbit hole? One of the best ways to build an individuals or a team skills and understanding, can often be through the method of games, metaphors and stories. Abstracting the problem and playing through potential solutions can make it easier to identify how to deal with different situations. Lessons are easier taken on board if the learning is also fun.

The Game Plan

Our workshop session will comprise of games and techniques, to cover a various range of scenarios for both individuals and teams to take away and use daily within their own teams. The games we’ll teach and play have direct practical uses to bring teams together to work more productively and reduce communication difficulties. These are games that can prove a point in as little as 5 mins, or work through relatively complicated risk mitigation solutions in under an hour. We want you to leave with at least one technique that you can try the very next day at work and to equip yourself by learning about different methods that lead to tangible results around dealing with team dynamics as well as understanding how to share these games with your teams in a fun and collaborative way.

Nicola Sedgwick

Nicola loves agile, creative, collaborative teams and believes that testers are in a great position to help teams achieve greatness. With 15 years in industry Nicola has experience on both sides of the supplier/customer relationship, with bespoke, off-the-shelf and cloud software, working waterfall or agile and testing across web, native mobile and internal network restricted apps. Throughout all this experience Nicola has found that common elements of transparency, effective communication and a common goal are vital for success.

@nicolasedgwick |

Christina Ohanian

Christina is passionate about building and supporting self organising teams and individuals from the ground up. Having started her career in software testing, embedding and building communities of practice she very soon discovered that as much as she loved being a tester her purpose was destined towards a different direction. She is now an Agile Coach and an active member of the Agile community of practice. She loves coaching and learning about people, their passions and what motivates them. She speaks and run workshops and also runs her very own games event #play14 London. Christina is also a Graphics Illustrator and enjoys bringing this into the workspace to run meetings and help teams collaborate.

@ctohanian |