Software is getting more and more complex and a lot of projects fail. The students experienced this problem simple exercise: The marshmallow challenge. The students had to build a tower out of spaghettis, cover-tape, a string and with a marshmallow on top in a fixed timebox of 18 minutes.
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Well, the exercise worked out as expected. Three of four teams had no tower at the end. Pretty comparable to real software projects :-)
I gave them a complex environment with fixed circumstances and rules. Instead of trying and failing fast and often, they discussed nearly until the timebox was over or they added the marshmallow in the last second and the tower broke under the weight.
After also some other interactive sessions like the well known ball point game the students got the message and learned:
- Assumptions lead to wrong results - proof them fast and often
- Build your ...