Inevitably Agile

somethings are just inevitable …

Agile Games Session

What a fun and awesome evening at SUGSA last week 🙂 No-one felt the cold wintery night – instead we were begging for aircon by the second game. Everyone was laughing and wine & beer flowed from the start. Karen Greaves and I took turns facilitating games, but mostly just laughed and drank wine! (Thanks to Pieter for keeping time and keeping us on track.)

 

Most of the games below were introduced to us by Alan Cyment, should you ever have a chance to attend a games session with him – go for it! I spent an entire day playing various games with Alan at the South African Scrum Gathering in 2010, it was great fun and I learned more than I thought possible in a day.

 

 

 

 

 

Here are the games and some discussion points for after each game:

Vampire

Intro: You are all in the gloomy town of Straussberg, you walk slowly with your heads down. There is a vampire who can walk normally and he is hunting you. He will tap you on the arm and make a “slurping” sound when he bites you. You then make a “slurping” sound as loud as you can and become a vampire. (about 5 minutes)

Feedback: Everyone stands in a circle, shoulder to shoulder.

Discussion points: to experience feeling oppressed, and being the oppressor

 

Crazy Chat

Intro: In groups of two, select someone to go first. That person will for 1 minute talk about something they are most passionate about in life – their dogs, kids, work, a sport, etc. The other person has to stay seated and remain quiet but must act as disinterested as possible. After a minute switch roles.

Feedback: Everyone stands in a circle, shoulder to shoulder.

Discussion points: to be more aware of when you are not paying attention and the effects it might have

A movie from Amsterdam  Scrum Gathering in November 2010: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdLAD2_KaLY

 

Singing, clapping, numbers

Prep: come up with a quick clap routine, a song everyone knows (we use Humpty Dumpty)

Intro: form two lines with your partner opposite you. Practise the clapping game twice. Find a new partner, to sing the song you each take a turn saying 1 word – do this twice. Find a 3rd partner. You will say 1 then your partner claps once, the partner says 2 and then you clap twice – do this up to and including 5, do this game twice.

First round: Note the start time. Find clapping partner and play game twice – when done put hands in air. Once all hands in air note time. Quickly find song partner and play game twice – when done put hands in air. Note time. Quickly find numbers partner and play game twice – when done hands in air. Note time. Note total time.

Second round: This time the facilitator will be randomly shouting “clap” or “song” or “numbers”. Note start time. You need to find you partner and continue where you left off. Again – once done with each game twice, just put your hands in the air. Note the time once for a game everyones hands are in the air. Note the total time.

Feedback: Everyone stands in a circle, shoulder to shoulder.

Discussion points: To illustrate the effects of multi tasking and stress. Sustainable pace. What looked like more work was being done?

 

Columbian Hypnotist

Intro: Find a partner – pick who will go first. Stand opposite each other as if the other is your mirror image. The first person will move and the other will imitate their movements – 30 seconds. Swop roles – 30 seconds. Now both move and keep with each other – 30 seconds.

Feedback: Everyone stands in a circle, shoulder to shoulder.

Discussion points: Commanding someone as opposed to being controlled by someone (micromanaging) as opposed to working together.

 

Movers & Shakers

Intro: Pretend you are a victim. Silently seek out 2 other people – one to be your attacker and one to be your shield. Keep moving so that your shield is between you and your attacker. (around 2-3 minutes) Pretend you are a shield. Silently seek out 2 other people – one to be your attacker and another to be your victim. Keep moving so that you are between them.(Around 2-3 minutes) Silently find 2 other people. Form an equilateral triangle with them, keep moving until its perfect. Stop game when almost all people are still, maybe 1 or 2 shuffling. (Around 2 minutes)

Feedback: Everyone stands in a circle, shoulder to shoulder.

Discussion points: Complex problems can be solved easier by a large group. When you protect people move closer, when you attack people move further. Some complex problems get to 98% solved – is the last 2% worth solving?

 

Go

Intro: point at someone, they have to say go – then you walk towards them. They must point at someone else and wait for them to say go before moving and so on … (around 3 minutes)

Feedback: Everyone stands in a circle, shoulder to shoulder.

Discussion points: Even with simple instructions, things can be hard. Seems counter intuitive – relearning natural impulses. Scrum is like this – easy instructions, difficult to follow.

 

Jumping Circle Close

Everyone stands in a circle, shoulder to shoulder and depending on how much fun they had jump up and down fast or not at all 🙂

A big thank you to all those who participated – there are videos, so once they are up I will link to them. Karen and I have a lot more games that we want to play – so hopefully there will be another session soon.

 

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3 responses to “Agile Games Session

  1. Caryn June 9, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Such an awesome session, can’t wait till the next one 🙂

  2. Lisa Crispin September 16, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Thanks for posting the descriptions, these were mostly new to me. I’m going to Agile Games Day next Friday in Columbus OH and am curious if we will learn similar ones. I’ll blog about what we do then.

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