(this exercise was co-created as part of a collaboration day between myself and Geoff Watts)
Unspecified, but allow up to 20-30 mins for balloon making and debrief
Download and print the attached for one or more of the balloon animal shaping instructions.
Large bag of coloured modelling balloons, with hand pump
People works in pairs.
One of the pair plays the customer, one plays the worker. The worker must follow the customers instructions.
Variation 1: The customer can only use the written instructions. The worker can not look at the instructions.
Now give the customer a different animal sheet.
Variation 2: The customer can only use the picture instructions. The worker can look at the instructions and work collaboratively with the customer.
(You can switch the customer and worker around if you wish, and there are numerous interpretations you can tinker with too: distributed customers (back to back chairs), distracted customers (give separate problems to customers))
Proving that lengthy written requirements are less useful than simple mock-ups. Real time collaboration (pairing customers with developers) is better than blind feedback (without seeing the product). Time efforts using the stopwatch and compare results.