• Bella Trenkova

Remote Agile Games:: Flip the Stickies

Updated: Jul 7, 2020

This is a variation on the classic game "Flip the Pennies," which we played in my Intro to Agile class many years ago. It is a very simple, yet a very effective illustration of the efficiencies achieved by reducing the batch size. We modified the game so that it could be played by remote teams using electronic boards and electronic "sticky notes."


Have fun!


Taught Agile Concepts:

  • Reducing batch size,

  • Sprint 0,

  • Work visualization and transparency,

  • Retrospective.

Participants:

  • 2 or more teams of 5,

  • 1 Facilitator.

Props:



  • (Optional) Score Board (Google Sheets*):



  • Stopwatch (“Alarms and Clocks” Windows app, or analogous).

Prep / Sprint 0:

  • Ask for volunteers to participate and form the teams. (Facilitator)

  • Instantiate the Jamboards and invite the participants. (Facilitator)

  • Team members get Editor access to their respective boards.

  • Everyone gets View access to all boards.

  • Explain the game rules and objectives to the teams. (Facilitator)

  • Update the Participant (P#<x>) sticky with the actual participant name. (Facilitator)

  • Share the screen ensuring the board of Team 1 and the Stopwatch are visible.(Facilitator)




Game Activities:

  • Sprint 1:

  • Each participant from Team#1 takes turns flipping all 10 stickies to his designated color.

  • Participants should follow the order as designated from the colored stickies on top.


(Peter is flipping all stickies to pink after Jane had completed flipping all stickies to blue.)

  • The Facilitator measures and records in the Score Board the total time it took all 5 participants to flip their stickies.

  • Repeat the same with the other teams.

  • Sprint 2:

  • Each participant flips 1 sticky and moves to the next one.

  • The next participant can start flipping 1 sticky at a time, as soon as the player before them is done with their sticky (and had moved on to the next one).


(Sam is in the process of flipping stickie#3 right after Peter had moved on to stickie#4.)

  • The Facilitator measures and records in the Score Board the total time it took all 5 participants to flip their stickies.

  • Repeat the same with the other teams.

  • Retrospective:

  • Engage the participants in a discussion about what they noticed in the 2 sprints

  • Summarize the importance of reducing the batch size

  • Ask the participants if they can think of concrete examples of how they can implement this principle in their daily work.


Game Objective:

- Compare the timing from Sprint 1 and Sprint 2.

- The team with the highest performance gain wins.





*We used the Google Jamboard and Sheets apps because a) the team we piloted the game with are big fans of the G-suite, and b) the tools are simple, accessible, and free for anyone else to use. You can modify the game to fit the toolset your team is most familiar with.

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