YOU ARE HERE: - Free Training Materials

Free Training Resources, Games, Roleplays, Activities & Downloads

Current Articles

Get Updates to Exercise Database by Email  

Learn Scrum with an Exercise on Agile Project Management

Learn Scrum with an Exercise on Agile Project Management
Leadership, Exercises, Team Building, Communication Skills, Decision Making, Planning

Article Rating:::: 3 Ratings :::: Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Agile project management was popularised by the tech industry and has its roots in Japanese companies such as Toyota, Honda and Fuji. There are many who think agile development can lead to efficient project management and as a result it remains a hot topic. The Scrum framework was then developed based on that in the 90s and has since gained momentum in a variety of technology and engineering companies.

The exercise shown here is a great tool to quickly and elegantly show what Scrum project management is about. Scrum has many amusing and somewhat unusual jargon, such as sprint, backlog, daily scrum, scrum master and so on. This engaging exercise can help you familiarise delegates with these jargons and make it easier to remember them.

Before going through the details of the exercise, here is a quick intro to Scrum. It is highly recommended that you familiarise yourself with the methodology using numerous guides that are available online. The overall aim of scrum is to indicate clearly what needs to be done, by whom it should be done and how this information should be updated periodically to make sure the whole team stays up-to-date, or ‘agile’ so to speak. These are the main components of scrum:

  • Product Owner. This is a person in charge who has the authority to say what goes into the final product. This is formulated based on the end user’s interest.
  • Backlog. This is a prioritised list of tasks and requirements for the final product. The product owner oversees this list.
  • Sprint. A team must complete tasks from the backlog with a certain timeframe which is known as sprint. Typically, this is about two weeks, but it depends on the team’s needs.
  • Daily Scrum. This is a daily meeting of teams to give progress updates. It is typically held in the same location, at the same time, time-boxed to 15 minutes and carried out while standing (it is also called Daily Stand-Ups).
  • Retrospective. Each sprint is finalised with a review session to see what needs to be improved for the next sprint.

In this exercise, teams compete to retrieve a highly dangerous nuclear waste. There are three distinct roles based on the scrum framework. Teams score points for their performance and the winning team is acknowledged.

Continue to Read...

Contrasting Ethical Dilemmas Exercise

Contrasting Ethical Dilemmas Exercise
Leadership, Exercises, Decision Making

Article Rating:::: 8 Ratings :::: Tuesday, June 4, 2019

This exercise facilitates discussion of ethical dilemmas. In most job, some decisions are not straight forward to make because one clear choice comes with certain ethical issues. The question then becomes more of what is right or wrong to do, what is conscientious, and sometimes even what is legal.

In today’s fast changing world, there is a lot of pressure on being politically correct. The ease at which bad news can be magnified through social media and interpreted the wrong way also exasperates the problem. It pays to study and practice the art of ethical decision making.

This exercise presents a series of ethical dilemmas through which you can address a variety of subjects. The discussions are key in this exercise which should be controlled based on what you want to teach. For example, if you are using this exercise in a course on management skills, you should relate this to the kind of decisions a manager needs to make and the resources available to him or her.

Review the scenarios provided and consider adding your own scenarios based on your training requirements to tailor the exercise to your training needs.

Continue to Read...

Team Self-Reflection Exercise

Team Self-Reflection Exercise
Exercises, Team Building, Communication Skills, Motivation, Appraisal

Article Rating:::: 5 Ratings :::: Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Certain behaviours in a team can affect the trust between the team members and if not addressed properly will have dire consequences. It is essential for a team to self-reflect and to evaluate its own performance systematically and without friction. Examples of trust reducing behaviours are:

  • Withholding or hiding information for competitive advantage
  • Rushing ahead and jumping to conclusions without listening to others
  • Not taking responsibility for actions
  • Finger pointing and blaming
  • Being more self-centred than team-centred
  • Bringing down an idea proposed by another team member just because it’s not yours
  • Stealing a clever idea presented by a team member and pretending that you came up with it on your own, sometimes even in front of the other team member
  • Not accepting that you didn’t know something and pretending that you know it all
  • Sabotaging somebody else’s performance so that they don’t look good, by not being present, withholding support and by being negative
  • Constantly moaning about things not being good or right, but not doing anything about it

The following exercise helps the team to see what it thinks of itself in a safe environment. The beauty of this exercise is that team members can voice their concerns anonymously.

This exercise is ideal for a group of people who know and have worked with each other.

Continue to Read...

Icebreaker: Unusual Experiences

Icebreaker: Unusual Experiences
Games, Exercises, Icebreakers, Team Building

Article Rating:::: 12 Ratings :::: Tuesday, May 21, 2019

This light-hearted exercise is guaranteed to break the ice quickly and bring people together. In this exercise you set people a mission to find out about other delegates and to share what they have found with the group. It is designed to be entertaining and educational. As such it is ideal for a new team or at the beginning of a new course, workshop or seminar when you want to get people to become familiar with each other quickly.

Continue to Read...

Convergent vs Divergent Thinking Exercise

Convergent vs Divergent Thinking Exercise
Leadership, Exercises, Team Building, Creativity, Decision Making, Design

Article Rating:::: 2 Ratings :::: Tuesday, May 14, 2019

A useful distinction in thinking process was suggested by Joy Paul Guilford in 1967. Guilford coined convergent thinking in contrast with divergent thinking. With convergent thinking, you are trying to find a single best solution to a given problem. Examples are multiple choice tests, math quizzes, spelling tests and many other standardised tests in education systems. Convergent thinking is systematic and logical (Williams 2003).

In contrast, you can use divergent thinking to create several unique solutions for a given problem. Divergent thinking is creative, spontaneous, non-linear and free-flowing. Several solutions are generated over a short period of time and they can lead to unexpected connections, encouraging discovery of yet more unusual solutions.

After carrying out divergent thinking, you end up with a bunch of solutions. You can then use convergent thinking to organise these solutions, analyse pros and cons of each and find the most optimal answer.

The point of the distinction is that you need both processes for good thinking. Being good at convergent, analytical and logical thinking is not enough as you could miss on some creative solutions. In contrast, just coming up with spontaneous creative ideas is not good enough; you need to examine solutions systematically before embarking on an implementation.

Researchers such as Guilford have found that personality traits tend to promote divergent or convergent thinking. As such, in a given team you will have people who are natural at either divergent or convergent thinking and therefore resistant to the other style of thinking

The following exercise helps to bring this distinction to focus and help delegates see the power of thinking differently to what comes naturally to them.

This exercise is ideal for team building or training delegates on management and creativity.

Continue to Read...

Eliminate Wrong Beliefs: Turn Should to Could

Eliminate Wrong Beliefs: Turn Should to Could
Exercises, Coaching, Motivation, Emotional Intelligence, Appraisal

Article Rating:::: 9 Ratings :::: Tuesday, May 7, 2019

This exercise is designed to make the coachee think about potential liming views and beliefs. Through a systematic step by step process, you first help the coachee see what these beliefs are and then gradually lead them to see how they can be limiting. Often, such limiting beliefs are the root cause of many unwanted behaviours. They manifest themselves in thoughts and in actions. This exercise helps to go back to the root cause of issues and aim to address them.

It is best to run this exercise on an individual basis such as in a coaching or mentoring session. Before embarking on this exercise, create a safe and trusting environment where the coachee feels comfortable sharing their weaknesses with you.

Continue to Read...

Team Building Exercise: Clock Types

Team Building Exercise: Clock Types
Leadership, Exercises, Team Building, Communication Skills

Article Rating:::: 3 Ratings :::: Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The purpose of this exercise is to show that each person in a team has certain characteristics that can contribute to the team. It is not necessarily about casting each person into an ideal team member role; instead, it is about taking advantage of each person’s unique strengths.

The exercise uses a visual technique—a clock that represents four types of personalities; hence, Clock Types exercise.

This exercise is ideal for team building, management, enhancing communication skills and coaching.

Continue to Read...

Dissolving Resentment Exercise

Dissolving Resentment Exercise
Exercises, Coaching, Anger Management, Emotional Intelligence, Self-esteem

Article Rating:::: 3 Ratings :::: Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Resentment can consume people. Constantly thinking negatively about others can make an individual sad, angry and ultimately depressed. This strong emotion should be addressed before it becomes chronic or habitual.

The technique presented here borrows from NLP with a strong emphasis on visualisation. It is also useful to address self-resentment and self-loathing.

The power of this technique is in repetition. You can conduct this in a class, though it is best if it is carried out on an individual basis. The instructions should be provided once, and individuals should then go through the exercise without interruption or disturbance. They can then repeat this over a period of time to get its full effect.

Continue to Read...

Chocolate Packaging Design Competition Exercise

Chocolate Packaging Design Competition Exercise
Exercises, Team Building, Exercises for Kids, Marketing, Art, Design

Article Rating:::: 2 Ratings :::: Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Imagine walking into a supermarket and going to the isle dedicated to sweets and chocolates. Here, you are likely to find a section with a variety of block chocolate bars. These are often presented as a package in the form of a rectangle which are usually the same standard size. Most often people go after brands they already recognise. Or perhaps they go for certain flavours or zoom in on 85% dark chocolates and above. This narrows down the search and they quickly decide which chocolate to pick.

However, suppose you go to an upmarket supermarket or specialist chocolate shop where you are presented with many chocolate bars that you don’t recognise. A good example is going to Whole Foods supermarket (which is now owned by Amazon). If you have a local branch, pop in one day and see the chocolate section for yourself. You will see a large selection of chocolate bars that you have never seen before, all claiming to be high-quality, tasty, organic and made from beans in some tropical country. The only differentiator is the price and the design of the chocolate wrap.

This is the dilemma every chocolate manufacturer has: how to design the chocolate packaging to sell. If you were a chocolate manufacturer, you want to get this design and pricing right. In the absence of brand recognition, they are the only things you have that makes the difference between a purchase and a pass.

The aim of this exercise is to help delegates practice various aspects of design that goes into making chocolate bar packaging. We will ignore the pricing part and instead focus on design. If all prices were the same, which chocolate bar will a customer choose?

This exercise is ideal for teambuilding scenarios where delegates are involved in design or marketing. You can then cover a large set of topics under a single exercise, such as product design, teamwork, leadership, resource management, marketing and artistic design. It is also great for kids and young delegates.

You can use this exercise in art courses and focus mainly on design aspects and product packaging. In short, there are many applications and you can use the instructions provided here as a template and tailor it to your own needs.

Continue to Read...

Positive Affirmations: Turn Negative into Positive

Positive Affirmations: Turn Negative into Positive
Exercises, Motivation, Personal Impact, Emotional Intelligence, Appraisal

Article Rating:::: 7 Ratings :::: Tuesday, April 9, 2019

We are what we repeatedly do. We are also what we repeatedly think. If you think about something 200 times a day, you come to believe it to be true. If you think you are poor, unhealthy, socially unskilled or out of shape and repeatedly tell yourself this, then you come to strongly believe in them, irrespective of whether they are true or not.

The power of positivity is well known, so much so that it has become a large field as Positive Psychology. Nevertheless, most people don’t think enough of what they are good at or have and instead are focused much more on lack of stuff, problems, negativity, shortfalls and inadequacies.

This negativity seems to have been exaggerated by the culture of comparison which has been fuelled by social media. Awareness of an idealistic and exaggerated lifestyle of others consumed through social media can make us feel average at best or a lost cause.

We need to fight back. For this, we can use a powerful technique known as positive affirmations. The aim is to turn something negative into positive and consciously reinforce it in your mind until it becomes a thought habit. Gradually you get to eliminate the negative language altogether.

This exercise is ideal for courses covering emotional intelligence and motivation.

Continue to Read...
Previous Page | Next Page


For faster access, browse the Full Index of Training Exercises 

500+ exercises are divided into 7 main groups for easy navigation. 

START HERE

Full Index of Training Exercises 

Browse the collection of 500+ exercises divided into 7 main groups. 

Download Free Exclusive Training Resources and Join Our Mailing List:

Train the Trainer Book

Train the Trainer - Book Front Cover

Available on Kindle and as Paperback

Train the Trainer Self Study Course

Body Language Guide

Free Giveaway Training Resources

Download a free comprehensive training package including training guidelines, soft skills training activities, assessment forms and useful training resources that you can use to enhance your courses.

Download Free Training Marterials