Meeting the Team

Imagine. Today was the first day with your new team. It wasn’t until after the Profile Card Exercise that we discovered: 1) most of the people know each other by sight; 2) none of them really knew each other at all. Judging from the smiles around the room, the ice breaker was a great first step in bringing us closer together. We always begin Day 1 with an icebreaker like the Profile Card Exercise.

The Profile Card Excercise (Duration: 10 minutes)

  1. Ask everyone to form pairs. Suggest they pair up with someone they don’t already know.
  2. Give them 5 minutes to produce a profile card for one another with the following information 1) their name; 2) a pet love; 3) a pet hate and 4) their contact details (email address and may be a phone number). Ask them to also include a photo-quality portrait of each other. And the acceptance criteria for the portrait? They should be able to recognise one another from the drawing.
  3. Ask each pair to introduce their pair partner to the group.

We post the profile cards in the team space to serve as a pleasant souvenir from the team’s first day together. The cards help to brighten up the team space as well as attract the attention of those curious about what being part of an Agile team means.

Portia says: The Profile Card icebreaker is an old favourite of mine. The combination of creativity and group interaction gives people a great excuse to get to know one another, transforming the usually dull and dreary round-the-table self-introductions into a fun and exciting experience.
Pascal says: It helps me put names to faces! And it helps me get better at drawing.

Why the Profile Card ice breaker is useful

  • To bootstrap conversations among a group of introverts
  • To create an opportunity to talk about common interests
  • To share personal information with others
  • To attract visitors to the Agile team space
  • To create the first shared experience fundamental to the development of a healthy team

Next, we take a giant step forward by creating our Team Manifesto.

2 Responses to “Meeting the Team”

  1. Friday 14th of May, 2010: First meet up! at Software Craftsmanship writes:

    […] 18:00 – Introductions […]

  2. Days of Old | Selfish Programming writes:

    […] there’s “The Profile Card Exercise” (which always contains surprises like “I love the Queen and I hate mushrooms”). […]

Leave a Reply