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  • Writer's pictureBella Trenkova

Remote Agile Games:: "Oops, I was on mute!" (Agile Pictionary)

Taught Concepts:

Unlike the other games on the list, this game is designed more for fun, than for demonstrating Agile concepts. The Facilitator can decide whether they want to include any (or none-at-all) Agile (or other technical) terms for the Pictionary “card stack." Ours included a mix - see the sample below.


- One (1) Facilitator,

- (optional) One (1) timekeeper,

- Two (2) or more teams, three (3)+ members each,

- Audience.


  • A list of Pictionary words (to replace the Pictionary word card deck).

    • Optionally, the words can be divided into categories to hint the participants (sample provided below).

  • Electronic “scratchpad” - it could be a shared whiteboard or a tool such as Paint/Word. We used Google Jamboard.

  • Gameboard - for tracking the team members and score.

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

  • Virtual Dice Roller such as .

Prep / Sprint 0:

  • Assumption: all participants are logged in a video conferencing session with screen-sharing and group chat capabilities.

  • Invite volunteers to participate and form the teams. (Facilitator) - they must be willing to turn on their cameras and be Picturists.

  • Help the participants choose teams (2 or more, equally distributed teams) and update the Gameboard with the names.

  • Explain the rules - below (Facilitator)

  • Share the links to the Dice and the gameboards (Facilitator)

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

  • Share the screen ensuring the Gameboard and the Stopwatch are visible. (Facilitator)

Fig.1: Game Board

Game Rules:

  • The list of words is visible only to the Facilitator. He draws the words in order and shares the drawn word via chat with the Picturist whose turn is to play next.

  • Only one Picturist plays at a time.

  • They have 10 sec to think about their word and 1 min to explain it.

  • The Picturist puts their mic on mute and shares their screen.

  • They can use hand/body gestures, facial expressions, lip singing, a drawing board, or any app or tool the team uses as part of their daily process.

  • They cannot:

    • write words, letters, or numbers

    • point at or highlight words, letters, or numbers

    • use Google (or any other search engine)

  • (Optional - for a large audience) It is more fun when the audience participates and helps with the guesses.

  • The "virtual" dice can be rolled and points claimed only if the word is guessed in <1min.

  • Word guesses from the same word stem are acceptable, as well as short phrases that have the same semantic meaning and use the same root stem (e.g. “Azure” vs “Azure Cloud,” “Story” vs “User Story,” or “Test” vs “Tester”).

Fig. 2: You see the "Beach," right?

Game Activities:

  • The Facilitator draws the first word and drops it in a personal chat to Picturist#1 from Team#1.

  • The Picturist has 10 sec to think about the word, mute themselves, and share their screen.

  • The Picturist has 1 min to explain the drawn word following the rules above.

  • If the word is guessed in <1 min, the Picturist rolls the virtual dice and the Facilitator logs the dice number in the score sheet.

  • If 1 min passes without a good guess, the Facilitator logs a 0 in the score sheet.

  • The facilitator draws and sends the next word from the list to Picturist#1 from Team#2.

  • #wash #rinse #repeat until all Picturists had played.

Fig. 3: Would you have guessed "Hacker"?

Game Objective:

- The team with the highest overall score wins.

Sample Word List:

All our word choices were inspired by our team members - what they do for a living and their hobbies, Make the word list your own! :)

Fig. 4: Sample Word List

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