One of these drafts is entitled "The Shadow Project." It begins with six(!) paragraphs of lead-in material discussing the difficulty of software projects and team building (IOW, nothing new) eventually focusing on one aspect of that effort: Bringing together people of like-mind to form teams. It goes on to explain that like-mindedness isn't simply "we always agree" but rather concerns the broader concept of "having compatible world-views" -- i.e. "we can work together."
The draft enumerates two ways to obtain people of like-mind: 1) Find them 2) Train them; turning its attention to the question of training. All of this is a lead-up to this idea of a Shadow Project -- finally emerging as a training aid. The draft concludes with the following:
The Shadow Project blends several of these techniques into a lightweight training tool that can be applied where and when it's needed most i.e. when the team-members are working to find answers to the week-to-week problems on their projects. The key to understanding this technique is to remember that there are lots of possible solutions to the problems we face on projects, but if we don't approach them in a compatible way, we waste energy in conflict with each other. In short, by aiding in team building -- while the team is gelling -- running a Shadow Project gives team-compatible tools to team members to solve their problems.
In many ways the shadow project is like an extreme hour or other workshop training tools. The idea is that you
I have absolutely no idea what was supposed to come next! That's just annoying. It feels like Fermat's Last Theorem, only I am still around to wonder with everyone else what this "groundbreaking" training technique was.
Perhaps (like many suspect of Fermat's proof) there was a flaw in the idea, and I just didn't write it out.
Guess we'll never know.
UPDATE: It occurred to me that its possible that "The Shadow Project" was someone else's idea, and I was simply going to relate it. If so, and you know (or have written) about this, I would love to hear about it and/or get a link to it!