[Agile Guide] – PechaKuchas – How a Team Can Self-Educate Continually

[First: See my Agile 2011 Presentation on Pecha-Kucha HERE]

Never heard of PechaKuchas? Well neither did we until we had a client with some developers who were doing it. So what is it, exactly?

A PechaKucha is:

  • 20 slides (pictures), 20 seconds each.
  • Started in Japan in 2003 when designers wanted to show their stuff to the public.
  • It means “Chit Chat” in Japanese.
  • It creates discussion and collaboration.

Meaning, that a presenter goes (very quickly) through a powerpoint slide deck of 20 total slides talking about each slide for 20 seconds. This is a total of 5 whole minutes! Then discuss.

Ok. So where’s the value?

We’re glad you asked because we absolutely love PechaKuchas. The value is simple.

Give your team an opportunity to share what they know.

  • Did a recent member of your team go to a conference? Let him educate the team.
  • Did a developer learn a new .Net or Ruby code-shortcut? Let her educate the team.
  • Did a Business Analyst figure out how to use Team Foundation Server and build a tight workflow? Let him educate the team.
  • Did a QA Analyst build a new automated testing script? Let her educate the team.
  • Did a ScrumMaster learn a better way to do Retrospectives? Let him educate the team.

Yes. You see where we are going with this. Open up this to your team. Let them educate each other and teach each other. You may even find that you have smarter and wiser team members than you ever thought or believed! We’ve found that these PechaKuchas only last about a half hour. Hey! A half hour to educate an entire team in something that will make them (possibly) more productive? Heck yah, gimme some of that!

How to Start Your Team on PechaKuchas:

  1. Lead a PechaKucha first. Topic: PechaKuchas
  2. Get your team talking about it. Get them excited about the possibility of sharing their knowledge.
  3. Set a time in the next week for a willing participant to hold another PechaKucha.
  4. Try to have at least one PechaKucha a month.
  5. Open up the PechaKucha to not only your team, but the whole department or office!

Go forth. Japanese-style.

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