Gamified Simulation: Learning mechanism to be an impactful Scrum Master

We represent the Agile Center of Excellence at our organization and are chartered to drive the change management initiative to imbibe Agile adoption across the enterprise.

We realized that while the external Scrum Master Certification trainings or our internal certification training would help ingrain the knowledge of a Scrum Master; However we found it extremely crucial that there needs to be some mechanism to ensure the candidates should understand the on ground situations/challenges and various behavioral scenarios that they would face wherein they need to take certain decision accordingly.

We used the gamification concept to capture our past experiences in various engagements wherein we had encountered multiple situations/challenges faced by the Scrum Masters.  This would help the newly onboarded trained Scrum Master to improve upon their decision making thought process. The concept would also have a scoring mechanism which would give them chance to improve upon their existing competency.

The gamification would focus on:

  1. Problem solving in the given situation
  2. Facilitation skills
  3. Process Concepts
  4. Stakeholder relationship
  5. Building high performance teams
  6. Building Early warning system

Outline/Structure of the Demonstration

  1. Background on the need for Gamified Simulation for various roles i.e. Scrum Master [5 mins]
  2. The process behind capturing scenarios and creating simulations using gamification based on past experience [10 mins]
  3. Live demonstration of the Simulated Learning Platform for the Scrum Master role (SLP-SM) using the gamification concept [25mins]
    1. Problem solving in the given situation
    2. Facilitation skills
    3. Process Concepts
    4. Identifying Early Warning / Uncovering Risks
    5. Based on above simulation exercise rate the Scrum Master through levels of expertise and provide pointer for scope of improvement.
  4. Q&A [5 mins]

Learning Outcome

We plan to share our experience on HOW we went about enabling various roles in our organizational structure to help execute Agile programs. Gamification and simulation was one such technique to enable roles like Scrum Master, Product Owner and cross functional teams.

This session will help the audience to understand the application of gamification and simulation in building competency of various Agile roles( i.e. Scrum Master in this case). It will also outline the basics of building such a learning platform by leveraging the real world scenarios in various flavours of Agile transformations.

Target Audience

Anyone on its Enterprise Agile Transformation journey; Agile Coaches; Scrum Masters

schedule Submitted 4 years ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker
  • Tathagat Varma
    By Tathagat Varma  ~  4 years ago
    reply Reply

    Zaheer - the topic sounds interesting. I would be interested to understand what was the efficacy of these initiatives in some tangible terms. Also, can you share details about one of the topics from your proposed talks so we could understand what / how exactly you want about with gamification and simulation.


    • Zaheerabbas Contractor
      By Zaheerabbas Contractor  ~  4 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Tathagat,

      Thanks for your feedback.

      We are driving this huge change initiative spanning across the organization. As part of this initiative the people readiness has been very critical wherein one of the key aspects we are looking at is the competency building. 

      From the competency building perspective one the key challenges was in terms of effective transition to the new roles i.e. Scrum Master that would be critical across the engagements throughout the organization. Creating a proactive pool of such capability that could be easily blended into this role irrespective of their past delivery experience and varied roles played was a challenge.

      Our intent was to create a learning framework for various roles (Scrum Master in this case) using the simulation and gamification platforms. The gamified system will help measure the effectiveness of the role the player plays(i.e. Scrum Master) simulated with on the ground practical situations/challenges, this will help us come up with a readiness assessment of the candidate before actual deployment in the teams. Since the competency and effectiveness of the player would be part this platform and is open to all players, it automatically creates a competitive environment for them to compete and enhance their capability over the period of time. Newer scenarios are modelled in the system as and when feedback are received through our Agile practitioners. 

      We plan to showcase some of these methods through our learning platform.

      I hope this answers your query.



      • Doc Norton
        By Doc Norton  ~  4 years ago
        reply Reply

        This is intersting. I am trying to get a sense of whether or not this is theory, being tried out, or objectively proven. Do you have quantifiable objective data that proves the efficacy of these efforts?


        • Madhu Madhanan
          By Madhu Madhanan  ~  4 years ago
          reply Reply

          Hi , 

          Thank you for your feedback .

          We would be showcasing the actual system that we have developed and used for our candidates who perform the role of a Scrum Master. We have taken the established theories of Gamification and Business Simulations and created a Platform for Experiential learning with specific game mechanics.

          We will be sharing the objective data around the efficacy of this system(SLP-SM) as well as our models of assesments for such systems during the workshop.




  • Jerry Rajamoney
    By Jerry Rajamoney  ~  4 years ago
    reply Reply


    This is a nice topic. Thanks for sharing this. Since the focus of your topic is very specific to Scrum and we would love to look it from a bigger picture, do you have more points to add?

    • Zaheerabbas Contractor
      By Zaheerabbas Contractor  ~  4 years ago
      reply Reply


      Thanks for your feedback. I have perhaps partially answered your query in response to Tathagat’s question. In this topic while our intent is to demonstrate the Scrum Master roles through our simulation and gamification platform, the platform is agnostic to any roles, methodologies or practices. We are using this platform as part of our Agile Change initiative and it has been a great platform to capture our experiences and use it in an effective manner to enable people through the simulating environment.

      Hope this answers your query.



  • Ravi Kumar
    By Ravi Kumar  ~  4 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Zaheerabbas,

    Thanks for submitting the proposal. I think this proposal is more appropriate for the scaling-agile-adoption theme. Suggest moving it there.

    Personally I suggest revisting the proposal for the following resons and see how best you could change if it makes sense.

    • Synoposis: Details way too much on your org and challenges without getting to the point.
    • Outline: How do you intend to demonstrate the simulation of the Scrum Master? Is it a video, workshop, role play ??
    • Learning Outcome: Will the learning outcome include key aspects that help the audience implement some of the Gamification techniques when they go back to work. 






    • Zaheerabbas Contractor
      By Zaheerabbas Contractor  ~  4 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Ravi,

      Thanks for the feedback. As recommended I have moved the proposal to “scaling-agile-adoption” theme.

      I have simplified the Synopsis and tried to emphasis the focus of proposal.

      We plan to have a live demonstration of the Simulated Learning Platform for Scrum Master role using the gamification and simulation concept.

      With respect to the learning outcome, this session will help the audience to understand the application of gamification and simulation in building competency of various Agile roles( i.e. Scrum Master in this case). It will also outline the basics of building such a learning platform by leveraging the real world scenarios in various flavors of Agile transformations.

      I have updated the proposal with above details.

      Hope this helps.




  • Liked Zaheerabbas Contractor

    Zaheerabbas Contractor / Rituparna Ghosh - Enterprise Agile Adoption: An Organizational Change Management Journey.

    45 Mins
    Experience Report

    We represent the Agile Center of Excellence at our Organization and are chartered to drive the change management initiative to imbibe Agile adoption across the enterprise.

    We plan to share our experience on the Organization Change Management initiative that we took up to drive Agility across the organization.  Our journey towards the derived vision and strategy to increase Agility in the system to thereby achieve:

    • Nimble simplified processes.
    • Ability to respond faster to change.
    • And most critical: delivering increased customer value.

    This is a continuous improvement journey and we initiated:

    • Structured multilevel communications of CHANGE to the teams.
    • Learning + Unlearning:  Structured Training and Development plans (Behavioral and Technical).
    • Bringing in Gamification as a tool to get millennial team members to learn quicker.
    • Approach to move from “Pyramid” to “Hour Glass” structure to align with the flat team structure.
    • Pilot: Career Development Framework Aligned to Agile structure and roles.
      • Bringing in change of G&O to align with Agile delivery
      • Enabling Talent Fulfilment to align to the Agile roles and structure
    • Pilot: Performance change management- Holistic approach to drive appropriate behavior
    • Brining in systemic changes to ease Agile adoption
  • Naresh Jain
    Naresh Jain
    schedule 4 years ago
    Sold Out!
    90 Mins

    In order to achieve my goals, as a buyer of your product, I want awesome feature.

    AT: make sure your users stories don't get in the way.

    Users Stories, the tool teams use to break big ideas into small demonstrable deliverable, are easy to describe and challenging to write effectively. In this hands-on workshop you'll learn how to write great user stories that adhere to the INVEST principle. We'll learn various techniques to slice your stories using the vertical-slicing approach. We will discuss what elements should be included in the stories, what criteria you should keep in mind while slicing stories; why the size of your user story is important and how to make them smaller and efficient.

  • Liked Zaheerabbas Contractor

    Zaheerabbas Contractor / Musarrath Jabeen - The Challenges of an Offshore Agile Coach in a Large Scale Agile Transformation across Distributed teams.

    60 Mins
    Experience Report

    We represent the Agile Center of Excellence at our organization and are chartered to drive the change management initiative to imbibe Agile adoption across the enterprise.

    As part of this initiative we have partnered with various customers on the large Agile transformation journey. As part of this journey scaling across distributed team becomes one of the most critical factors for the success of this transformation.

    We plan to share our experience on how critical it is for such transformation to get the perspective of outsourced teams and imbibing their need as part of the overall roadmap.

    This brings into picture the critical role that is played by the set of offshore Agile Transformation Office which will drive the change charter at offshore in alignment with the overall transformation roadmap:

    • Aligning Agile Maturity :

    Align with the client organization on definition and implementation plan for Agile Maturity Framework, Transformation roadmap, Governance and Change Management of the offshore teams across various partners

    • Competency Enablement:

    Ensuring common competency enablement for distributed teams and senior leadership across various partners to drive common Agility charter.

    • Agile Transformation Change Agent:

    Realignment of internal People, Processes and technology to support the transformation

    • Continuous Improvement and Sustainability of Agile Maturity:

    Ingrain the sustainability model across teams for the achieved Agile Maturity and continuously improve upon that.

    Based on above charter we would like to share following challenges faced by the Offshore Coaches and the approaches taken by them to identify the enablers to resolve the same:

    • Team Landscape: Multiple types of geographically separated teams (Onshore Centric, Offshore Centric, Near shore and Equally Distributed) and the associated challenges.
    • Release based coaching approach to improve the maturity of 130+ scrum teams across 5 LOBs and 20+ Release Trains, continuously improve and sustain the same.
    • Alignment to industry renowned scaling framework and the initial hurdles to implement it across location to derive the end business goal. Challenges around collaboration and infrastructure enablement across platform centric teams to enable them into Value Stream based approach.
    • Common Coaching Methodology across the geographical distributed teams to ensure the uniformity of Agile execution and associated challenges i.e.  Pair Coaching 
    • Behavioral Coaching i.e. One team coaching for the entire set of team across locations
    • Coaching focused on the DevOps




  • 60 Mins

    There is a world of difference between the management principles in the era of the Industrial revolution to the current world of information revolution. We need to acknowledge the increasing gap between the way employees are being managed at work, and the way they want to be managed. Many surveys have been done in this area, ending in headlines like “6 out of 10 employees are miserable” and “74 percent of staff not engaged at work.” Dig into these surveys and you’ll see the quality of leadership on top of the list of complaints. The poor state of leadership and management skills in organizations is being driven by a broad range of factors, including but not limited to

    The changed nature of work - More of skill and innovation

    The increasing education of employees - Continuous improvement and learning needs

    The needs of later generations - The more sofisticated needs of the system

    The pace of change - The quick pace of changes

    In the current “rat race”, the management focusses on higher productivity and higher ROI, but they lack the capacity to “motivate” their employees that can take them to the next level of thinking. The "leaders" do not understand the subtle difference between teaching, mentoring and coaching. They use these words interchangeably without realizing that coaching teams can help them to increase the productivity, morale and create great employees resulting in more successful products.

    A new coaching model is required to enable continous improvement with quick feedback cycles that fosters adaptability and innovation.

    Two relevant quotes which I can relate to this issue are

    "It is people who build organizations and not organizations who make people" - unknown

    "Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship" - Benjamin Franklin


  • Liked Ramaswamy Lakshminarasimhaiah

    Ramaswamy Lakshminarasimhaiah - Agile implementation in projects involving SAP

    45 Mins

    Implementation of SAP projects are possible in Agile way. But it is not that straight though. It requires adopting a little different approach, to be successful in Agile. This session attempts to build on the experience gained in the implementation of SAP projects following Agile. The session deals about the challenges faced and the solutions provided during different phases of Agile implementation. The presenter wants to share his experience on the implementation of SAP projects, following Agile.