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Agile teaching games - The dysfunctional daily stand-up...... Game!

This is a brilliant little game I love playing with both new and experienced agile teams... Unfortunately I can't claim any credit as I never came up with it!

Preferably it's best to play with a team who are already doing some level of agile practices and are already doing the daily stand-up.

Ask for one volunteer in the group to play Scrum master and give the rest of them a card with one of the following 'secret' objectives on, It's important that team members don't discuss their hidden role before hand :-

  • Arrive late.
  • Hidden impediment: Mention an impediment/blocker but don’t be obvious about it
  • Noisy chicken: start by saying, "I’m only an observer" and then report on things the group doesn’t care about.
  • Silent chicken: as an observer, just say "pass" or "I’m just observing" when it’s your turn
  • Ask a clarifying question on somebody else’s turn.
  • Ramble on until you’re asked to move on.
  • Try to sidetrack the meeting.
  • Try to solve somebody’s problem.
  • Start a side discussion.

If possible it's often helpful to have a few members of the team just watching/observing.

Once everybody has their card get the Scrum master to call the daily stand-up (For more on how a daily-standup should be ran... check out my previous blog

After the stand-up hold a group discussion and see how many of the 'dysfunctional' practices were spotted and discuss how many of them they see day to day in their stand-ups.

I find it a brilliant little game to just re-focus people's minds and to highlight to scrum teams what the stand-up is all about and perhaps more importantly not about!