Designed to be a simple team builder, it also proved great as a simulation activity representing a good metaphoric representation of the project management cycle.
It runs for a full working session and grants a fun and involving working environment.
To build a good team spirit and/or to reflect on good management of resources in the planning and management phases of a project.
The Fotoromanzo is based on a mix of simulation, drama, peer learning and outdoor education methodologies, allowing participants to express their creativity, to learn through group dynamics and to have fun at the same time. By giving participants the chance to "roam" outside the working spaces, it also represent a good chance to discover the area around the training site.
Please, refer also to the attached handout. Give a very short introduction to the concept of fotoromanzo handing out a page from a real magazine (or just print the fotoromanzo.jpg) to all the participants (they can assemble the pages later if they are curious about it…) Read out the rules and timing (rules and timing can change depending on the choice between basic team building version or complex project making simulation) Hand out the stories [only for version with ready to use case studies] Split participants into groups of 4-6 partici Send them out to work … When groups are back have them “play” each fotoromanzo while projecting them on a wall Open the floor to short debriefing on why a fotoromanzo can be a metaphor of a project The activity needs to be played in one large plenary room where participants will be given the rules and handouts, then the groups can work anywhere they prefer, and meet back in the plenary for the showing of the results.
Each group must have a digital camera and a laptop in order to assemble the fotoromanzo. As far as software all is needed is a power point like application and very simple digital skills. For the plenary showcasing of the outcomes a video projector is essential.
Expected outcomes will be in the form of a .ppt file, unless the participants use more advanced software that saves output in .pdf files. Basically the outcome will be a short story edited in the format of the classical fotoromanzo.
Potentialities and advantages are given by it's simplicity and zero cost to be run. It works fine for the aims and goals expected. The main limit is that groups usually get so involved that they tend to run out of time, so it's better to calculate some extra time.
It is usually done in small groups so you could easily "blend" into a group also participants needing some adaptations. For instance it is possible to replace the text balloons with a single speaking participant that could have, instead than to read the lines, every sentence previously recorded with the pc microphone (suggested software to use: audacity) and then enact them on behalf of the group (guided by listening on a headset). As for participants with social difficulties rather than physical, the activity is very easy to adjust to one's needs. In a group a pathologically shy person could be the photographer. As for learning or educational difficulties, enacting a concept is a powerful way to understand it, but sometimes a "live" performance can be just too much for a young person and the fotoromanzo offers the chance to play in an asynchronous way relieving anxious people from the stress of jumping on stage. In a high-pressure situation (scarce time available, limited number of pictures available, mandatory participation of all members and inner team communication issues) it can really bring out very complex and diverse dynamics. Also, in choosing the topic some attention should be paid to the capability of the participants to turn it into a story, otherwise there can be risks of some group not producing anything meaningful. Yet this is not necessarily a goal when you use this tool with "lower" aims such as pure and simple group building or photo diary. Best results can be obtained if time to play is above 2 hours. Last but not the least, when planning your agenda do not forget that if the groups are many there should be enough time planned to show the fotoromanzi produced. Five groups can take up to 30 minutes just to show them, without counting any debriefing time, if needed.
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