As an Agile Coach, I can't stress enough the importance of teams engaging in fun, not-necessarily-product-development-related activities - something to detach them from the linear, logical, left-hand-side of the brain and re-connect them with their spatial, sociable, and creative right-hand side of the brain.
I.e. playing games!
...teams that play together, build better products together!
Engaging in gaming activities (I wanted to say "playing games" here, but that could've come across the wrong way!) brings out the inner competitive child in all of us - our most authentic self that no one can fake. That authenticity is at the core of creating trust, building social capital, and creating lasting camaraderie. It is all that soft, mushy, and intangible "stuff" that sets apart high-performing teams, from a group of high individual performers. It is the difference that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts. (Click here to find out more about Project Aristotle and What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team, that is if you need the data-backed proof for something that you already intuitively felt before.)
The recent outbreak of COVID-19 created disruptions on so many levels that will be redefining our cultural fabric for years to come. One of the many consequences will how Agile teams redefine the meaning of "co-location" and how they find new ways to build that camaraderie and maintain the playful spirit amidst so much change and uncertainty.
When one of my teams brought up the "we need to do more fun stuff" sentiment, I naturally looked for ideas online. Nothing really caught my eye besides the Zoom-Happy-Hour thing, that we were already doing but felt a little too awkward.
JeopardyApp provided a nice framework to stage a belly-busting-hilarious Jeopardy game. It took some effort to put together, but it was totally worth it and I would strongly recommend it. But then... what's next?
After some brooding and poking deeply in between the crevices of my Agile brain, I came up with a few ideas for Agile games for remote teams. A couple of that games are re-designed versions of old Intro-to-Agile games that used to be played in co-located fashion, a couple is my original ideas. All are inspired by our newly-adopted, not-as-good-as-a-real-white-board-but-we-must-do-with-what-we've-got Jamboard and its rendition of "sticky notes." The games are designed to be fun and competitive, yet educational and introducing core Agile concepts.
Follow the links below for a full description of each game:
Draw me a ... (coming soon)
Banksy Masterpiece (coming soon)
I can't wait to hear if you had the chance to use them and how they turned out. Please share alternative ideas for more remote agile games - we'll burn down through those in a month! And then... what's next?!?