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Screenshot from Agile WoW The Game on Tabletopia

Not many people like being lectured. Not all people like being coached either. But everybody (yes, everybody!) likes games in one form or another. That’s why we’ve created an experienced-based free online game that teaches the basics of an agile way of working.

You can play it yourself or with up to four people, taking the part of a team member in an agile team working on a number of stories in a sprint.

The game introduces:

  • The look and purpose of a scrum board
  • How T-shaping improves your chances of succeeding
  • Why continuous improvements is a good thing in the long run
  • The general structure of a scrum sprint

How to play – the Quick Version

Go to https://tabletopia.com/games/agile-wow-the-game and start playing!

How to play – Extended Version

1. Create an account at tabletopia.com

It’s free and we’ve made an instruction video on how you set it up (because it’s frankly a bit trickier than it should be)

2. Get someone to play with

After creating a “room” you can send an invite code to other players who can join in (they need to create an account as well). Want a video on how to do that? Here you go!

3. Know the rules

Want to know the rules? Then, we’ve got you covered! The rules are available in the game but we made this how-to video just in case:

4. Start playing!

Go to https://tabletopia.com/games/agile-wow-the-game and start playing!

Are you a Team Coach or an Agile Coach?

You can also take the role of a facilitator and play the game to train new agile teams about the basics or let it be the start of a discussion in a more mature team.

After finishing playing, run a retrospective. Follow up the usual “What could have we have done better?” and “What did we do well?” with “How does this compare with real life?” and “Do you work together like this in your teams?” and let the discussions flow.

Playing with people on the same team gets you comparisons to real life (and quite often “why don’t we work more together?”). People from different teams quickly get into comparing ways of working and exchanging ideas. All great stuff, and if you don’t have time to finish the game know that you’ve already won!

In order to create an experienced-based game, we have taken the liberty to simplify some things and we might not follow all the rules of Scrum. But if you are looking for the Scrum Guide you find the 2020 version here.

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In the same way as Aesop’s Fables from Ancient Greece talked about serious matters but transferred them into the world of animals, this game lets all participants play in a friendly environment where nobody is in their ordinary job role. Instead the whole team is challenged to draw randomly selected wild animals well enough so the “customer” can guess what animal is is. The challenge can only be overcome through learning about- and improving how the team is organized and how it works. Two to three hours of laughter, serious learning and quite silly-looking animals can be expected.

The game has been used in one of the largest companies in Sweden to give hundreds of employees a “hands-on” feel for the difference between resource optimization and flow optimization. Especially counter-intuitive ideas need to be experienced to really win acceptance and nothing beats having done it yourself. It also clearly illustrates the value of small rapid improvements in a complex situation (like when working with flow) where you can’t analyze your way to the perfect solution. Sometimes groups of more senior participants try to discuss for a long time before playing another 5-min round. This results in fewer rounds being played, less reality feedback being generated, a slower learning cycle and a lower final score. The team that has the global high-score in the game is a group of junior engineers who could decide rapidly what to try next, play more rounds and thus learn quicker what ACTUALLY worked best. A healthy atmosphere of wanting to change many things compared to the original (and really bad) delivery process was certainly to their advantage too. (more…)

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Cross functional teams are complete in expertise but not necessarily collaborative. Sometimes team members hold on to their expertise too much and the team does not perform to its potential. This Lego game illuminates the difference when members allow themselves to take on tasks outside their expertise, being so called T-shaped. Play the game to kick-start your change and create collaboration.

This post was first published on the Crisp blog when Mia Kolmodin was a Crisp consultant.

Collected downloads from this post – updated June 2017
X-team Facilitators Instructions as PDF >
The X team silos game poster in PDF >

Playing the game.

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I dag har jag varit på UX Open tillsammans med ca 300 andra UXare. Vi har diskuterat och delat med oss av erfarenheter. Det har varit givande och roligt.

Kul häng på UX open :)
Kul häng på UX open 🙂

Den här posten handlar om den workshop som jag och Anette Lovas från Expressen höll med 30 nyfikna personer. Vi gjorde två olika övningar som bygger på metodiken upplevelsebaserat lärande, och syftet var att skapa en förståelse för varför vi behöver arbeta Agilt och med Lean UX. Vi gör övningar för att simulera en situation och möjliggöra en upplevelse som vi sedan diskuterar ikring. Dessa två övningar var Sommarängen, och en övning som vi kallar “Simple, Complicated and Complex”. Här beskriver jag hur dessa övningar fungerar och varför du ska göra dom. Gör det gärna med kunder, utvecklingsteam, ledningsgrupper och chefer, på utbildningar, möten eller workshops. Jag har lånat övningarna av mina Crispkollegor som har kommit på dom.
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