Role-Playing – Seeing is believing

When teams are On-boarded on Agile Projects , members are trained on the Scrum framework  including Agile Manifesto, Principles, Ceremonies, Scrum Values, Roles and Responsibilities.

In addition to the Scrum framework , Mindsets and behaviors also play major role in the success of scrum teams and programs.

While awareness is created on Scrum Values and Growth mindsets, each individual has a unique way of interpreting a scenario and responding to the situation. In several situations members in the Scrum Teams/Product Owners/Scrum Masters/Other Stakeholders expect a near perfect( Text book) behavior from the other, while there could be several challenges for each individual especially in the different phases of transformation.

 “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand”  is a famous saying by Confucius.

 “A role-playing game is a game in which the participants assume the roles of characters and collaboratively create stories. Participants determine the actions of their characters based on their characterisation, and the actions succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines. Within the rules, they may improvise freely; their choices shape the direction and outcome of the games.”


Role-playing is a powerful tool that we have been able to successfully use as a self-introspection coaching tool in our Agile Transformations to bring out the behaviors in different scenarios, and let the participants experience the challenges.

In this experience report, we will discuss on the scenario’s noticed on the ground from the Scrum teams for the Role Plays and how the team members and various stake-holders have benefited from the same.

A few of these scenarios are as mentioned below :

  • PO’s influencing the estimation of teams due to their past experience with the product.
  • Scrum Masters continuing to command and control the team.
  • External stakeholders expecting Scrum Masters to be a Project Manager.
  • Individual glory over one team approach.
  • Senior members/Architects unwilling to collaborate in the team due to their past way of working.
  • Collaborative Inter-team dependency resolution.
  • Challenges of distributed teams not being considered.

 The benefits that role play provided us :

  • Acts as a introspection tool for the teams/individuals part of the Role Play and also for observers.
  • Builds confidence for individuals to take up the roles.
  • Creates an environment for problem solving.
  • Empathy towards individuals.


During the presentation session, a short Role Play is planned.

Let us play the game – bring out the actor in us, have fun and share !!

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Outline/structure of the Session

  • 4 minutes - Introduction to Role Playing, Scenario and on the spot auditions.
  • 6 minutes – Role Play of one scenario by the talented participants selected through auditions.
  • 4 minutes  - Debrief and sharing by the participants.
  • 6 minutes – Sharing of our experience report and the benefits achieved.

Learning Outcome

Role Plays as a tool to emphasize on desired behaviour in Scrum teams, in addition to better understanding of the Scrum framework.

Target Audience

Anyone embarking on their Agile Journey

schedule Submitted 3 years ago

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  • Anish Cheriyan
    By Anish Cheriyan  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Sindhu / Musarrath,


    Thanks for the topic submission.

    It is not very clear from your description how you would be presenting the experience report. Can you please provide more details of the scenario which you have mentioned in the outline.


    As requested by Srinath, please request to provide the presentation and video of earlier sessions.




  • Srinath Chandrasekharan
    By Srinath Chandrasekharan  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Sindhu / Musarrath,


    Can you share the content of what you will presenting as well as a video of any of your earlier sessions to help us to evaluate the proposal better.




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