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Tuesday, August 8 • 9:00am - 10:15am
Art for Agilists - A Visual Thinking Warmup (Alexandra West)

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Abstract:
Do strong personalities dominate your development team? Are code reviews painful? Are you blindly following orders from a backlog, or are you learning from observation? This talk will introduce you to Visual Thinking Strategies (or VTS) - an activity that can help get the most from every member of your Agile team.
Visual Thinking Strategies is a cross-disciplinary technique applicable to anyone working in a collaborative setting where observation is key. VTS develops critical thinking skills by viewing and discussing works of art in a group. It is backed by over 30 years of field research showing its effectiveness and accessibility. By allowing individuals to talk about art - without needing a background in the field - VTS advances skills you can use to create more relevant products and stronger teams: Observing, Brainstorming, Speculating, Reasoning with Evidence, Cultivating a Point of View, and Revision & Elaboration.
During this interactive exercise, we’ll discuss selected works of art as a group. There are no right answers or group consensus being sought. We’re creating a safe environment and process for looking, thinking, reasoning and revision - skills that are mission-critical to anyone working in a software design or development role. After our group discussion, participants will learn the basics of image selection and facilitating VTS sessions within their own organizations. In addition to the above, we'll cover how VTS can help you and your team with the following: Comfort with Ambiguity, Openness to the Unfamiliar, Civil Debate, and Willingness to Participate in Group Thinking. VTS's inclusiveness makes it ideal for use within diverse groups, encouraging maximum participation from all members. It is a method that truly values “individuals and interactions over processes and tools.”

Learning Outcomes:
  • Understanding the history & benefits of Visual Thinking Strategies
  • First-hand experience with the VTS method
  • Basic understanding of how to facilitate VTS sessions


Speakers
avatar for Alexandra West

Alexandra West

Creative Director/Founder, Nerd/Noir, LLC
Alexandra West is an art director, production designer and international speaker. Her current interest is in bringing a visual thinking mindset into the world of collaborative work. | Alex has a long history as a creative. After earning her degree in Art History from Emory Univ... Read More →


Tuesday August 8, 2017 9:00am - 10:15am
H4