Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters are change agents in their organizations. To be successful, they need a strong understanding of the principles and practices of “agile,” and a robust toolbox to help teams onboard and move through their agile journey. You can gain those by attending certification courses, conferences, reading books, and maybe working with experienced Agile Coaches. However, there was always a more fun option, the XP game. A game that has been around since 1999; It is rooted in XP and it's goal is to teach agile values by living it. This game not only teaches you those values, but it help you experience it for your own, in an environment that is closest to you. Playing this game, will change your approach toward teaching Agile, and even understanding of it. It's a guarantee that it'll become your #1 tool.

Join Shahin and Carlos and take part in a modern twist on the classical “XP Game” – a learning simulation for agile teams first outlined in Extreme Programming Explained (1999). Using the foundational principles of the original XP Game, Modern XP opens the simulation so participants, including non-technical leaders and team members, can gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be part of a high-performing agile team in a variety of frameworks and orientations, and what to expect (and measure) along the agile learning curve. Through hands-on learning, participants will acquire agile capabilities as well as learn tangible tips to overcome barriers and challenges along the agile adoption journey.

After many iterations to many different groups, Shahin and Carlos have refined the exercise, ensuring its accessibility and use for experienced agilists, those new to the field, and anyone in between. The activity not only provides a necessary educational frame, but participants are encouraged to draw from their experience, and implement the simulation (or elements of it) within their own training program, team lift-off or retrospective activity.

 
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Outline/Structure of the Workshop

After many iterations to many different groups, Shahin and Carlos have refined the exercise, ensuring its accessibility and use for experienced agilists, those new to the field, and anyone in between. The activity not only provides a necessary educational frame, but participants are encouraged to draw from their experience, and implement the simulation (or elements of it) within their own training program, team lift-off or retrospective activity.

Introduction and logistics - 5 minutes
We are going to ask people at the tables to come up with a team name. Also, to get to know each other. We then will tell them about the flow of the workshop and how it works. We are going to run it in several iterations and after each we are going to do a debrief with a different goal in mind. We encourage people to ask questions at any time, and be as innovative as possible.

Iteration 1 - 10 minutes
For the first time, the team gets together and work as a team. There are some challenges that are usually happens when a team work together for the first time.

This is where team members learn the following but not limited to:

  • Forming phase of a team
  • Team members with no titles!
  • Emerging collaboration patterns
  • Emerging estimation techniques

Debrief of the Iteration 1 - 5 minutes
We are going to focus the discussion on hearing from the audience examples of the forming, and norming stages. And we are going to talk about them. We also are going to talk about several ways that they were working on tasks, we like to see those emerge and have a conversation of what type of accomplishing a work is needed for what kind of task. For example, pairing might not be the most effective for a task that needs many people to work on. Crowd sourcing might be the better option.

Iteration 2 - 10 minutes
We invite them to work on the remaining tasks based on the left-out cards. Before doing that, we also encourage them to inspect and adapt.

This is where team members learn the following but not limited to:

  • Norming phase of a team
  • Emerging leadership within the team and different styles of it
  • Adapting based on their learning in the previous iteration (inspect and adapt)

Debrief of the iteration 2 - 5 minutes
There is usually leadership emerging at this point. We are going to talk about different styles of leadership. Also, to make sure all understand that not a single style of leadership is needed at all times or is "Best".

Closing & Q/A - 10 minutes
We are going to highlight the main points of the session. We are going to share with them how they can customize this activity based on their training needs. We can use this as a buffer if our iterations/debriefs needed more time.

[If given more time, we can run the following third iteration]

Iteration 3 - 10 minutes
We invite the teams to explore different types of work that they might need to do. Are all the work ahead of them delivery or are there any discovery work too? How can they use their time best to resolve those. We are going to help them go through an inspect and adapt session focused on delivery v.s. discovery.

This is where team members learn the following but not limited to:

  • Forming phase of a team
  • Levels of discovery work (learning) versus delivery work
  • Just In time responding to change
  • Backlog Prioritization Techniques

Debrief of the iteration 3 - 5 minutes


This is the last debrief, we are going to go thoroughly talk about the J-curve and how it plays out in different situations. We will like to make them realize it was a journey they have been on. It wasn't planned from the beginning, we knew something about it. They worked together and made it happen. We are going to talk about the similarities of what they did with events in Scrum. We will also talk about the different techniques they could have engaged their customer with. There are tasks embedded in the backlog that are not achievable. We would talk about those and the value of interacting with your customer from early stages.

Learning Outcome

  • Our modern XP game helps coaches and scrum masters who want to provide a playful way for teams to learn and adopt agile inside their organization by reducing the time to learn and increasing the fun. Unlike the classical XP game, the modern version really revolves around people and their interactions along their learning and performance journey.
  • Coaches and Scrum Masters will leave having a stronger body of knowledge and grounding theory, while also having an engaging baseline activity to leverage as a tool (i.e. for liftoffs). The Modern XP game receives very positive feedback after every facilitation across coaches/Scrum Masters, teams, and leaders alike due to its engaging content and clear learning outcomes.
  • Coming out of the workshop, participants will learn how to:
    • Build a modern learning environment that focuses on people and practice over theory
    • Help teams self-organize and prioritize their toughest challenges around outcomes and the customer
    • Incorporate learning velocity (understanding dual-track agile) to balance the metrics and conversation from output to outcomes
    • Guide teams through powerful collaboration techniques such as mobbing, pairing, and crowdsourcing to improve problem-solving
    • Observe how a team is working together and developing over time to improve performance (forming, storming, norming and performing)

Target Audience

Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters, Facilitators, Agile Enthusiasts

Prerequisites for Attendees

N/A

schedule Submitted 7 months ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker
  • George Dinwiddie
    By George Dinwiddie  ~  7 months ago
    reply Reply

    Given that this is an Agile conference, who do you think will be attracted to a simulation of XP? Who do you think _should_ be in the session? Do you think your abstract will attract those people to attend?

    The abstract is the place where you sell your session to the right prospective attendees. Help them recognize themselves and their situation, and tell them what benefits they'll get by attending. Give them enough information about the content to convince them that they'll get that benefit.

    What will the teams be doing in each iteration? What will you do to compress the team startup time to fit well within the first 10 minute iteration?

    The outline/structure is the place where you sell your session to the reviewers. Help them recognize that you'll deliver on your abstract. Give them details about the content and the way that you'll present it to convince them that you'll do a good job.

    See also https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1028714041349263360.html for an independent description of submitting a successful proposal.

    - George, AgileDC Program Chair