Save the World, Save Your Team - Shifting Mindsets through Cooperative Board Gaming

"Can you save humanity? You and your team are the only things standing in the way of deadly diseases that threaten the world. The fate of humanity is in your hands." - description of "Pandemic" from Z-Man Games

Game on! But can a game really teach me something about being Agile? How can a board game save my team?

In this interactive workshop, we'll explore how cooperative board gaming relates to the work of Agile teams. We'll dive head-first into the Agile nature of "Pandemic" through gameplay in small groups and then retrospect to identify similarities and differences between cooperative board gaming and Agile team behaviors. We'll discover how the patterns observed during gameplay can be used to help identify possible dysfunction within your team. You will leave this session with the ability to use cooperative board gaming with your own teams to inspire new ways of thinking, shift mindsets, and increase team engagement.


Outline/Structure of the Workshop

  • Introduction and opening remarks (5 min)
  • Rules Overview and Breaking into Teams (5 min)
  • Gameplay (55 min) - It's likely that most tables will complete a full game, but some might not. Each table will have seen enough of the game to participate fully in the Retro and Discussion.
  • Retrospective and Discussion (20 min)
  • Closing (5 min)

Participants will receive a worksheet at the start of the session and a takeaway document recapping the discussion at the end.

Learning Outcome

As a workshop participant, I want to:

  • Understand how cooperative board gaming can be used as a retrospective technique so that I can improve my teams.
  • Learn how to relate cooperative board gaming to the cooperative nature of my team's work so that I can help them can self-reflect on their own actions.
  • Be comfortable putting on a cooperative board gaming workshop of my own so that I can help shift the mindset of my team, company, or client.

Target Audience

Scrum Masters, Coaches and Leaders looking to shift mindsets of their organizations and teams.

Prerequisites for Attendees

We'll be exploring the game itself and teaching it as if the participants have never played. Past familiarity with the game is a plus, but not at all required.

Retrospective andDiscussion will ask the participants to compare and contrast their "team" in the room with their real-life work team, so experience working on a Scrum / Agile team will aide in this discussion, but is not necessary.

schedule Submitted 11 months ago

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