Scrum Team

Switch context game

How many times have you seen a team spread their focus on multiple stories?

How many times have your tried explaining the benefits of FOCUS (Scrum value) and Work in Progress (Kanban metric)?

But sometimes more than explanations, a simple game can explain the need for focus and importance of limiting work in progress.

Here is the online version. For the live version just replace Excel with a Whiteboard or piece of paper.

  1. Create an Excel sheet with the above template
  2. Ask the team member to fill the first part row first (Note that is difficult for the team member to switch context from Alphabets to Numbers and to Roman numerals) from A to J, 1 to 10 and I to X and use a stopwatch to measure the time taken in seconds
  3. Ask the same team member to fill the second part column first (Note that the team member finds it easy to fill with no context switches)

We tried the exercise with three members and all of them had an efficiency gain of around 50%.

If you are still not convinced after the game, then watch the videos below

Useful video links:

  • Focus
  • Work in progess