Agile games and techniques, time to share some.
During my quest to bring Scrum/XP into our huge enterprise I’m always searching for educational materials that could help. I have noticed that game/role playing is the better approach to convince people that one should be open for change and that things might even work better in a different way.
Since this helped me a lot already and people (incl. myself) are looking out there for more games to play I tried to combine some of the more interesting together and ask you to extend the list as you please by posting comments.
· Tangled Mess : Show how things go faster in a self-organizing team, personally I like it better than the 60 paces.
· 60 Paces : Same goals as the ‘tangled mess’, self-organizing is better.
· Doggy Planning : Learn how to estimate with story points (variants could be zoo planning with zoo points…; comparing both animal categories could become interesting)
· Ball point game: After the game people will realize things about self-organizing but especially about pulling work is better than work being pushed into the group. Did this one during my scrum master training with Boris Gloger.
· Scrum from Hell: Let people understand how to have a good scrum/daily stand-up meeting by introducing the bad.
· You are in Control (Not) : Shows that it is not good having specialist silo’s in the organization.
· Offing the Off-site customer: Show that customer collaboration and involvement within the process/implementation is important.
· Collaborative Origami : Show how different types of collaboration leads to faster results and better quality
· Theory of constraints dice game : Lean principles; value streams are becoming more clear and how to identify waste.
· Specification Game: Shows people that written communication is not enough to build specifications and will never work; only iterations & verbal communication can help here and extend the game (if you have time) with a session having very limited written specification & lots of talking, adjusting.
· XP Game: Will use it a bit adjusted for Scrum by non-developers, but I expect success (will be very shortly, I’ll adjust text here later). I am pretty sure this is probably the best way to let people feel what iterative development is about.
· BV Game: Business value game is probably the best game to let people experience how difficult the life of a product owner can be. There are so many aspects to being responsible for ROI and according to my opinion almost all are in the game. (played this during one of the Agile in Belgium sessions)
Others that might be useful but not used/evaluated before:
· Tasty Cupcakes: Wiki resembling agile games and categorize as ‘learn by doing’, ‘learn by recalling emotion’, ‘learn by memorization’.
· XP123 Games: list of programmer games.
· Leadership Game: Find out which leader you are and which you like more, if I get the opportunity I might go to this one even though I think I know who I am and what I like.
Of course games are one thing, having different techniques at hand for your agile events is also nice so here are some that are interesting, also here I invite you to extend the list by posting comments.
Techniques used/worked with/experienced:
· Pair programming game : Fun way to get some of the ‘legacy code’ within the test coverage reports; challenging software engineers for a short time frame; make sure you have a price for the winner.
· Process Doodle : One way to get to know the organizations process and a good start to continue with the ‘Lean’ principles to identify value/waste and related efficiency percentage.
· The Story of our Sprints : Let people tell a story about the passed sprint and continue with the upcoming sprint to identify the good, the bad & the ugly.
· FishBowl: a very nice environment setup to conduct a brainstorm session about a certain topic with a big group of people.
· Open Space Meeting: The best way to be successful within a multi day brainstorm, meeting session. Topic must be announced of which all is related (example: Agile) and then go from there; pretty sure you get the best results.
· Lego Bug tracking: a very visible way to have your team keep track of defects; it really helps people to pay attention and is probably the best way to identify defect relations (identify defects caused by probably the same issue).
· Planning Poker: Used for story estimations with distributed teams.
· MoRun Sticker: Used to simulate post-its books (= note on personal pc, actually sticker lite which is free of charge locally) and white boards (= server getting all notes; shared over team) within distributed teams.
· Innovation Games by Luke Hohmann: Collaborative games for story gathering, prioritization… Used the ‘Speed Boat’ game to get priorities, stories from customers; used the ‘Remember the future’ to get to know the situation and how people want to progress. Will definitely use some more out of the book, so far all seem to work pretty fine and provide good results.
Others that might be useful but not evaluated before:
· Retrospectives: Wiki page giving an overview of retrospectives (of course we have retrospectives after each iteration but I didn’t use anything from this wiki till now and thus the reason to have it in the ‘others’ section).
Hope this helped you and may I be so open to already thank you for your contribution by comments
Greetings to all, Jürgen
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