Activity to Promote 'Transparency' - Villager Mafia


Plan, Produce, Inspect, Adapt & transparency is the Mantra of SCRUM & Agility

Are you struggling to bring Transparency in your Organization?

Here is an Activity to Promote Such behaviour. Also Depicts Importance of All SCRUM Ceremonies & Roles.

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Outline/structure of the Session

Plan, Produce, Inspect, Adapt & transparency is the Mantra of SCRUM but often I have seen that

most teams do not provide enough Importance on having Transparency across the Process.

This is in a form of a Activity Named ‘VILLAGER MAFIA’ which helps Showcase the

Importance of Transparency, Team Dynamics while doing SCRUM.

  1. Introduction to the Activity.
  2. We need minimum of 12 - 16 people group. If audiences more we can have multiple Groups.
  3. Logistic Requirement is a Pack of Playing Cards.
  4. Plan: Brief the Audience on Roles & Rules.
  5. All the Participants will be seated in round format. Identify a SCRUM Master for each Group.
  6. Take cards equal to the size of the group.(30% of the cards are Picture cards and rest 70% are

Normal cards + 1 Joker card)

  1. Each Participant will be given one card each.
  2. The card should not be disclosed to anyone.
  3. Person who receives Picture Cards are considered Mafia’s(Tester’s).
  4. Person who receives Normal Cards are considered Villagers(Developers).
  5. Person who receives JOKER Cards is considered Guardian Angel (SCRUM Master).
  6. One Person will co-ordinate the whole Activity known as Product Owner
  7. Produce:How the Activity will Progress
  8. Now the co-ordinator will Ask everyone to close their eyes and then just Ask all the Mafia’s

to open their eyes without making any noise. This will make all the Mafia’s know each

other. And the co-ordinator will also know who all are Mafia’s.

  1. Now again the co-ordinator will ask all the group members to close their eyes and only ask the

Guardian Angel to open their eyes. And without making any noise through eye gesture the

Guardian Angel can point to two people and ask the co-ordinator if any of them is a Mafia. This

Way Guardian Angel will know about two folks if they are Mafia or Villager.

  1. Now the co-ordinator will ask everyone to close their eyes and then just ask all the Mafia’s

to open their eyes without making any noise and point out a villager whom they want to kill


  1. Now Co-ordinator will ask everyone to open their eyes and announce the group that unfortunately

an innocent villager is killed by all the Mafia’s.

  1. Inspect:How the Activity will Progress
  2. Now the co-ordinator will ask all the group members to speak one by one that whom they

think could be a potential Mafia based on if they heard any whispering or purely based on

speculation etc.

  1. Now the Game takes an interesting angle since randomly people will be allegation each other

of being a Mafia. Since all the Mafia’s already know each other they will deliberately point an

innocent Villager as a Mafia However the Guardian Angel know at least 2 people who they are

so he/she will like to divert the group’s opinion.

  1. However after a free flow discussion of 3-5 minutes now the Co-ordinator will go in round robin

fashion and ask for a Final top two votes for folks whom they think could be MAFIA.

  1. At the End the top two people who are Voted as Mafia will get 30 Secs to Speak and Justify

the group why they are not a MAFIA.

  1. FINAL round of voting is done among these two and decide by the group who is to be

considered MAFIA and should be killed by the group.

  1. Now the Person killed by the Group should show the Card so that  the group understands if

they have killed a MAFIA or an Innocent Villager.

  1. Adapt:How the individuals adapt
  2. If a villager is killed in this Process they would understand that they to limited

Information and speculation they killed a Villager instead of a Mafia. If they kill

12 Guardian Angel then it was misfortune for the village. If they kill a Mafia then

They understand it was pure luck which is not going to last long.

13 Now the activity C1 till E11 will be repeated a couple of times with Slight Modifications and more and more transparency will be brought in the Activity.

Learning Outcome

  1. Promotes the importance of Transparency.
  2. Demonstrates How the team Dynamics works when lack of transparency in the process.
  3. Also covers Key Ceremonies Plan, Produce, Inspect, Adapt


Target Audience


schedule Submitted 3 years ago

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  • Evan Leybourn
    By Evan Leybourn  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Thanks for submitting the proposal. 

    Can you please update your proposal with the following...

    • Slides - Preferably an outline of this talk, but any similar presentation will do.
    • Videos Links - To some of your past presentations on this topic or any other. The video could be from other conferences, user group meetups or internal to your company. In case you don't have any; I suggest you shoot a short video presenting to the audience.

    The above will help you complete the proposals and also help the review panel. We can take it forward from there.


    • Gaurav Rastogi
      By Gaurav Rastogi  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Evan,

      1. This Activity is selected for Presentation in Global SCrum Gathering @Shanghai which i will deiver on 14th Sep.

      2. I am in a process to prepare the Slides and update it but it will be same as the rules i have mentioned as purely this is an Activity which just requires instructions and a moderator.

      3. I updatd with a link of my Previous talk done in Delhi on another topic.





      • Venkatraman L
        By Venkatraman L  ~  3 years ago
        reply Reply

        Good luck with the presentation Gaurav. Looking fwd to the video after the event, if possible so that we can get to see this live in action. If you can ask somebody to shoot a phone video (multiple of them in action) too, that would be nice. 

      • Evan Leybourn
        By Evan Leybourn  ~  3 years ago
        reply Reply

        Thank you