Friday, July 09, 2010

Prototypes during software projects

Recently a colleague of mine told me about a short video by Tom Wujec on team building. Tom has conducted this exercise over 70 times with groups from kindergartners to CEO’s and has some pretty interesting results.


20 pieces of spaghetti
1 yard of tape
1 yard of string
1 marshmallow

Teams of 4 have to build the tallest tower they can within 18 minutes and at the end you measure from the bottom of the structure to the top of the marshmallow.

This forces people very quickly to collaborate. One of the interesting findings he has seen during these tests is that kindergartener’s tend to make prototypes and on average had taller structures than CEO’s. Where as adults would discuss, jockey for power, build and then at the very end put the marshmallow on top and hope it would stay standing.

Lesson learned:

Learn from the kindergartners and prototype your software development projects. This is especially important during long complicated builds.

Link to the Video:

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