On thursday and friday 24th and 25th, I gave a SCRUM training course for the European School of Project Management in Turin.
One of the most important thing, in my opinion, when in a training course you talk about a project team and its ability to collaborate, self-organize, learn from the experience, and communicate effectively (that’s SCRUM actually) is that you should find a way to let the attendees, work as a team, in order to test the knowledge just learnt, simulating one or more iteration sprints.
I know some collaborative games, such as SCRUM lego city game, that can be used to simulate SCRUM and iterations, but I prefer the resort brochure game or product box collaborative games because they are easier.
On friday, during the last hour of the course, we played the resort brochure game.
Let’s see what it is and what are the rules of the game.
Create teams of 5/9 people.
The goal is to create a brochure for a brand new resort. The brochure should contain the right layout, messages, images in order to promote the activities and the strengths of the resort.
First of all, the team shall create the user stories in terms of how and what the resort should be (e.g. As a manager, I want meeting rooms, completely accessoried, where I can arrange business meetings, so that I can arrange projects’ kick-off or As a husband, or I would a resort with a spa inside, so that I can celebrate my wedding anniversary).
During this phase, the team should also choose a product owner which is in charge of prioritize the user stories, write them down in index cards and put them into the task board in the TODO or Backlog Items column.
This period should last no more than five minutes.
Then, the team is ready to start.
Arrange 2/3 iterations of 3 days (5 minutes each day, a total of 15 minutes for each iteration).
The team starts the first iteration conducting the sprint planning meeting, during which the members decide about what stories they commit to finish and asking for some more details to the product owner.
Every day starts with the Daily Meeting, the team members say about what they did the day before moving the index cards through the taskboard, what they are going to do during the current day and finally if they have any road-block; immediately after, they begin to use scissors, rulers, glues, markers, paper to create the product: the resort brochure.
When an iteration finishes, the team shows the results to the stakeholders in order to demonstrate how is going and to elicit any feedback in order to adjust the product.
Actually, what the attendees of my course did yesterday, was amazing. They unfortunately hadn’t have three iterations because of time, but only one and what they produced was incredible.
I saw a great collaboration between them, one member of the team was actually a graphic and she facilitated the birth of the concept and the layout definition; the team decided what kind of images to choose and how to arrange them.
Another attendee was in charge to propose some claims and inspiring message to introduce into the brochure. The other ones helped the graphic cutting images from magazines, drawing, writing, glueing, composing the brochure.
I think that this games worked so well because most of the attendees were women. Actually the men helped but actually, they were not so confident with magazines, scissors and rulers.
With courses where the most part of the attendees are men, I use to play the Product Vision Box (Managing Agile Projects, Sanjiv Augustine). The scope of this game is similar to the previous one in terms of materials to use, but the team must create the box of a product. The team shall decide about which product they want to sell and after they decide about the box layout.