Apr 12, 2019
This week, Dan Neumann is joined by co-collaborator, Sam Falco! Sam is an agile coach and Certified Scrum Professional with an extensive background in leading agile development teams.
Today, they’re going to be talking all about games and why they are an important part of agile. Sam illustrates why games are not just time-wasters, but are actually powerful learning tools that help teams come together and solve problems.
Sam and Dan discuss what constitutes a game, why they’re important to agile, the difference between games and simulations, and the importance of doing a debrief with simulations to ensure the learning objective is achieved. Sam also gives some examples of different games, how to use them in training, and some sources of resistance to games that may show up in the workplace and how to solve them.
Why are games important to Agile?
They help build relationships
They have goals, rules, a feedback system, and voluntary participation (very similar to Scrum — which is why it can be so powerful to leverage)
Cooperative games build team rapport
They allow time for a break on difficult work-related problems while still building problem-solving skills
Games that Sam recommends:
Hanabi, the card game
The Penny Game
The Ball Point Game
The Rope Game
Escape: The Curse of the Temple, the board game
Rory Story Cubes, the dice game
Apples to Apples, the card game
How games can be used in training:
Hold retrospectives to discuss how to get better within these games
Tie these games back to how to work better together as a team over time
Use them as a learning tool to learn about individual team players and how they function within a team
Bring games into the retrospectives to shake things up
Debrief after the game to reflect on key lessons
Sources of resistance to games that may show up in an organization and how to solve them:
Someone senior in the organization may not understand and consider it a waste of money (Solution: explain the value that both the company and the teams will be gaining)
An internal barrier within the group where someone may perceive an activity or game as weird or uncomfortable (Solution: you can adjust the game or allow people to opt out)
Mentioned in this Episode:
Sam Falco’s Book Pick
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