Agile Games Scrum Team

Stuck with What -> Fly with How

Another Agile Game to make paper airplanes!

Every one of us has made paper airplanes.

We have made them for ourselves.

We have made them for kids.

We continue making them for the kid in ourselves.

What if the goal was to make the airplane that flew the farthest?

We decided to do two Sprints to see how innovative the teams get in creating and flying airplanes.

The airplanes were being made in a garden and to be flown in the field.

A few observations from the first Sprint:

  • Most teams practiced in the garden and not in the field.
    • If the plane was to fly in the field then the practice should be happening in the field. Same thing applies for the teams delivering software. It is not enough if the software runs locally. It needs to run in the production environment
  • Most teams had a classically folded airplane
    • This is completely fine. Sometimes it is not the WHAT but the HOW you fly the plane. More later 😉

A few observations from the Retrospective:

  • Most teams identified wind as the culprit
    • However, wind was a constant for all teams. All teams had to battle with wind. The trick was to be able be patient and catch the wind when it blew in the right direction.
  • One team asked to be able to research the internet for new airplane designs
    • I found that an interesting request. We decided to keep it simple and not have any team research on the internet. However in real life, researching to find better designs and learn from history would definitely have improved the chances of designing a better airplane

A few observations from the second Sprint:

  • Most teams did not invest time on how to throw the airplane
    • Building an airplane is one thing. Knowing how to fly it is another. Understanding the angle of release, arm movement and follow through would tremendously increase the chances of the airplane flying further
  • One team did get help from a member outside the team
    • Sometimes a outside perspective helps in coming up with a new design or a new throw of the airplane. This applies to projects too. Just explaining the issue to another team member in a coffee break and getting some ideas can help your idea fly further

Are you stuck with the WHAT in your Sprints or are you flying with the HOW?

Reference: Agile Games to Boost Team Building and Creativity | MiroBlog

Agile Games Scrum Team

Leaning tower of Rimbach

Here are two marshmallow towers built by two different teams.

Team 1 managed to create an engineering marvel. I loved the base which looked like a tent with 5 base sticks. It also extended from there with an inverted triangle followed by a regular triangle. The entire structure was held in place using a red string you see on the side. The marshmallow rests proudly on the top.

Team 2 went straight for the goal “tallest freestanding structure”. The base does not look stable but it does the job. The multiple spaghetti together seem to provide strength to the structure. The second level bends likes the leaning tower of pisa. But it was the “tallest freestanding structure”

Both teams had a short Retrospective which was spent in grabbing more beers and talking about other things than ideating to create the next tallest freestanding structure. This is very similar to Retrospectives wherein we discuss things which are not related to the Sprint Goals. Focus on Sprint Goals during Retrospectives is very important.

Team 1 kept their initial concept and switched from tape to string which did not help because in the second iteration the structure collapsed.

The structure collapses, because very often we forget the fact that the icing on the cake can break the cake. The trick is to be able to test it beforehand. Our QA environments should provide this opportunity in a safe manner to test the Marshmallow on the tip of the tower.

Team 2 used the same concept in two iterations and managed to have the tallest freestanding structure.

Sometimes a winning method may just be repeated.

  • How often do we have a Sprint Goal that is simple but we tend to complicate it with our existing knowledge and need to overengineer.
  • Laser focus on the Sprint Goal would help a team understand that delivery on that is what matters

Have you played the Marshmallow Tower game yet?

Look how the Marshmallow got grilled later 🙂

Reference: Agile Games to Boost Team Building and Creativity | MiroBlog