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Jessie Shternshus - Individuals And Interactions


As Agile Practitioners, we strive to make ourselves, our team and our delivery better. We can do this by being open to learning new ideas from other disciplines. Jessie's keynote, “Individuals, Interactions and Improvisation” will be fun and interactive. In it, Jessie will share stories and exercises from the world of Improvisation.

There are many parallels between agile team principles and the principles of Improvisation. Effective improvisers give their teammates unconditional support. They practice active listening and accept and build on each other's ideas. Jessie will explore these ideas and more. She will help and guide you in making your agile interactions more effective.

Jessie founded The Improv Effect in 2007. Her goal was to help businesses reach their full potential through interpersonal-communication skills training. They use an array of experiential techniques to transform teams and organizations. These cover teamwork, creative problem solving, on-boarding, presentation skills, and product development ideation sessions. Jessie also recently published a book called “CTRLShift: 50 Games For 50 ****ing Days Like today”.


  • Content rating (0-no new ideas, 5 - a new ideas/approach, 9-new ideas): 7
  • Style rating (0-average presentstion, 5 - my level, 9-I learned something about presenting): 7

Action / Learning

  • get slides - interesting format. Idea for me


Presentation at


The Improv Effect

Help teams collaborate and communicate

Ostriches head in sand - management

Development - asthma - when hear improv

Line up agile and improv

We are improvisers every day

Book - cntrl-shift

Yes, and … Validation is yes No only do I agree but also will push idea forward Make your team mate look good and you look great

Exercise a fake memory - good times “You remember when we” Yes, and

If open to not forcing an agenda on others Be open to yes, and Am I that person that is shutting down ideas Don't just use yes, and Helps with people that are quiet

Respond to change

Game Superhero / sidekick Write name of reject superhero Pass to another person and get one back Side kick for the superhero - yes, and Draw superhero and side kick Pass again Read out

How do you respond to change Embrace or,reject If embrace can be delightful


What do you need to build a team

Improv how people work Values Habits Skills Learning styles Interests Hobbies

Don't want same type people on team

Improv Rehearse - we rehearse how people work together once a week Work together Shared vision

The best teams have a vision and improvise how they get there

Listening Game - Last letter conversation Let's talk about the conference Did you like the conference (last letter of this response is first letter of your response)

Constraint got in the way? Partners fault? Play again - active listening Next time you run it set you partner for success

Instead of ignoring the elephant in the room (mistake) embrace it Fail fast Mistakes as opportunities

Game Failure high five Say what you failure

Change perspective Boat vs land (shipwreck, castaway)

Companies with stagnant approach.

Game telephone pictionary Volunteers, board with 6 big post its numbered 1 to 6 (per game) Write a title, quote, line of song - this is requirement Pick someone Person draw picture of the word - this is the implementation 3 looks at 2, write the words 4 looks at 3 … Report on result of 1-6

If you don't have feedback you get all sorts of wrong


Channel your inner 4 year old

Scrum retrospective

What do when shift hits the fan Do games how to deal with them

Must practice what you preach

No matter what the problem is, it's always a people problem - Gerry Weinberg

Ctrl shift book

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