Corporate trainers are increasingly applying methods from acting, improvisation, and other art forms to agile development training so that software developers can be better prepared for changing requirements and other unanticipated events across the agile development cycle. The result is better teamwork among developers.
Corporate trainer Matt Smith says that actors often must overcome their anxieties, a situation that parallels that of software developers. "If we're going to do Scrum and agile, we have to come to terms with that feeling and stop perceiving it as something to run from," he says.
Certified Scrum trainer Stacia Broderick says the key to successful collaboration is a lack of inhibition, combined with frankness and a willingness to propose any concept. Trainers run agile workshops in which participants are asked to leave their comfort zone so they can learn how to deal with the unexpected when developing software. Smith notes that many developers, whose work is usually solitary, are unaccustomed to the social interaction agile development entails. Through improvisational training, developers can learn the value of giving up control by letting go of their agendas, judgment, control, and anticipation in order to advance projects through transparency and receptivity. Smith's exercises place people in non-work situations and encourage them to perform tasks that are more effective when carried out by individuals rather than teams.