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Agile Tour Montreal 2010/Agile Games: Playing to Learn

An introduction to games that help teams learn about Agile principles and practices
by

Ellen Grove

on 8 March 2013

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Transcript of Agile Tour Montreal 2010/Agile Games: Playing to Learn

Agile Games:
Playing to Learn The Chair Game The Marshmallow Challenge What's the point of playing games? How does playing games support adult learning, creativity and relationship-building?

What are some games I can use with my team to share Agile concepts and practices? Collaborative Origami Self-discovery occurs when your audience reaches the conclusion for themselves, that agile is a better way of working. This is the most efficient and effective way to change beliefs and behaviors. Games create the experience for the group and set the context for reflection, dialogue, and self-discovery.

Michael McCullough and Don McGreal Play in an organization creates a unique space within other limits than a normal work day. It is a safe room for individuals and groups to experiment and reflect. It mediates moments of trust, honesty and empathy. ... It produces energy and opens for creative and dynamic processes freed from rational bonds and functional pressure. People communicate from a more profound level in play. Hence, it becomes easier to collaborate and be open.

Ann Thorsted [ellen@profluence.ca] [Agile Tour Montreal Oct 2010] It is the nature of games to provide
alternate frameworks for engagement
and expression and growth, whisking us
away from the grimmer context in which
we hold the every day. Playing games works for your brain:
grounds learning in experience
provides concrete examples for new abstract concepts
allows learning in a fearless context
can link abstract concepts to images & other stimuli in a meaningful way
creates analogies

from work by Mark Levison in Learning: Best Approaches for your Brain Pair up.
Group 1: sit side-by-side, both folder and instructor can see instructions
Group 2: sit face-to-face, folder can't see instructions but instructor can provide feedback on what she sees
Group 3: sit back-to-back, folder and instructor can talk but can't see each other Form two groups.
Get instructions.
You must remain silent during the game. What did you notice?
What did you learn? Build the Tallest Freestanding Structure: The winning team is the one that has the tallest structure measured from the table top surface to the top of the marshmallow. That means the structure cannot be suspended from a higher structure, like a chair, ceiling or chandelier.
The Entire Marshmallow Must be on Top: The entire marshmallow needs to be on the top of the structure. Cutting or eating part of the marshmallow disqualifies the team.
Use as Much or as Little of the Kit: The team can use as many or as few of the 20 spaghetti sticks, as much or as little of the string or tape. The team cannot use the paper bag as part of their structure.
Break up the Spaghetti, String or Tape: Teams are free to break the spaghetti, cut up the tape and string to create new structures.
The Challenge Lasts 18 minutes: Teams cannot hold on to the structure when the time runs out. Those touching or supporting the structure at the end of the exercise will be disqualified. Stewart Brown: "nothing lights up the brain like play"
creativity & exploration are key for problem solving
social play is essential for belonging
playfulness helps us adapt People Polling:
How many pages in "Play"?
don't peek
write your guess and your name The Art of Possibility by Benjamin Zander and Rosamund Stone Zander:http://www.benjaminzander.com/book/
Fun Driven Development by Michael McCullough and Don McGreal: http://www.agilejournal.com/articles/columns/column-articles/2509-fun-driven-development-building-momentum-for-agile-through-games
Learning Best Approaches for Your Brain by Mark Levison: http://agilepainrelief.com/notesfromatooluser/2009/11/learning-best-approaches-for-your-brain-slide-deck.html
Stewart Brown, Play is More than Fun: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/stuart_brown_says_play_is_more_than_fun_it_s_vital.html
Tim Brown on Creativity and Play: http://www.ted.com/talks/tim_brown_on_creativity_and_play.html
Games for Agile Learning: http://blog.tastycupcakes.com/category/games/
Innovation Games for getting work done: http://innovationgames.com/resources/the-games/
The Marshmallow Challenge by Tom Wujec: http://marshmallowchallenge.com/Instructions_files/TED2010_Tom_Wujec_Marshmallow_Challenge_Web_Version.pdf Sources: 18 minutes to build
a marshmallow tower
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