Chocolate, LEGO and Scrum Jambalaya - Introduction to DevOps

This highly engaging and dynamic workshop will focus on examining the ways to optimize a flow of work through the entire organization. Participants will learn how to expand traditional boundaries of a Scrum team by including Operations, Release Engineers, and Security roles. Inspired by ideas from “The Phoenix Project” and “The Goal", this workshop will use elements of Gamification to make a learning experience fun.

The participants will be using LEGO blocks and chocolates to learn about theory of constraints, continuous flow, minimizing waste, amplifying the feedback loop, leveraging the power of cross-functional teams and multi-skilled team members to improve overall effectiveness in responding to the market change and delivering value.

This workshop has been recently presented at Toronto Agile and Software ( Rating - 8.2 out of 10)

More info about it:



Outline/Structure of the Workshop


Intro – 10 min

Setup -5 min

Simulation game (3 sprints) – 60 min

Fishbowl retrospective – 15 min

Roles: Product Owner, Market, Market Analysts, Scrum Team , Scrum Master, System Administrator, Release Engineer, Security Officer, Hacker.

Simulation framework: A few sister companies under are trying to become profitable, producing party favors for children and competing with each other to deliver maximum value.

Market demand will be used to determine the types and values of products to be built.

Product Owner of each team will work with Market Analyst to understand the current demand (LEGO animals to build and chocolates to pack).

Scrum team will be creating a product vision, estimating stories, prioritizing them based on the market value, as well as building and shipping them to the market. The LEGO and chocolates will reflect knowledge work and not just a physical task. In the first sprint, team members will be asked to stay within the boundaries of their roles (based on the individual role cards they get at the beginning of the game). This approach will create some constraints in the process (only System Administrator can build or patch the environments, only Release engineer can deploy etc.) At the end of the Sprint 1, participants will be asked to count the number of products delivered into production and accepted by stakeholders. They will lose points for any unfinished products, emphasizing “the value they produced over activities they performed”. In the Sprint1 retrospective, teams will look at optimizations that they can do to their current process and the constraints that impede their productivity. (Potential improvements: smaller batch sizes and the early feedback from the stakeholders).

In Sprint 2 and 3 we will be changing the dynamics of the game by bringing in Auditors, introducing security issues (Heartbleed Bug in the environments, hackers attacks etc) as well as building DevOps organization and improving the overall flow. Points will be counted again at the end of each sprint. Key takeaways will be discussed in a Fishbowl retrospective at the end of the session.

Learning Outcome

• Attendees will recognize that widening their skills and building cross-functional teams have a positive impact in the overall project success.

• Attendees will get a grasp on the Theory of Constraints - identifying constraints and pursuing improvements of the overall process over individual team’s improvement.

• Attendees will be able to experiment with decoupling a Sprint (as a planning unit) from a Release (as a deployment unit) by minimizing the batch sizes, increasing frequency of releases, amplifying feedback loop and delivering value to the customers faster.

• Attendees will appreciate the significance of deployment automation and configuration management in increasing the frequency of deployments to production. 

Target Audience

Scrum Masters, Developers, System Administrators, Product Owners, Functional Managers

schedule Submitted 6 years ago

  • Diane Zajac

    Diane Zajac - The Business Analyst: How To Be More Than a Proxy

    180 Mins

    As a business analyst on an agile team, do you spend your time gathering decisions from Product Owners (or stakeholders) and passing them on to development teams? Are you tired of simply being a “proxy without power?” What can you do to boost your impact and become invaluable to your team?

    In this workshop, Diane Zajac-Woodie demonstrates how any team can benefit from the communication and facilitation skills of an experienced BA. Through some experiential exercises, you will learn what impact collaboration has on results and why requirements are just as important as ever. Diane also teaches you how to document requirements so people will actually read them. Using Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD), you will practice writing requirements that describe the exact behaviors that you expect in a format that everyone understands.

    Be inspired to embrace your role in an agile environment and leave with new techniques that encourage more cohesive teams and ultimately lead to higher quality software.

  • Dana Pylayeva

    Dana Pylayeva - Gamifying Retrospectives for Distributed Teams

    60 Mins

    If you could single out just one Agile practice which gives the most bang for your buck, that would undeniably be a retrospective!

    Retrospective allows a team to inspect and adapt it’s process. For a team that is distributed across different locations and time zones retrospective becomes a must!

    This workshop will examine the ways of using  elements of Gamification to reenergize retrospectives and help the team to become better.

    We will  looks closely at some of the most common retrospectives anti-patterns. As part of this hands-on workshop attendees get to experience, compare and contrast a number of facilitation frameworks that they can bring back to their organizations. 

    This session proposal is a fourth iteration on this topic. It combines some of the ideas from Gamification lightning talk ( Agile2014) and incorporates feedback from Opens Space sessions that were facilitated at Agile Day NYC, Global Scrum Gathering Berlin and NYC Scrum User Group. 

  • Dan Neumann

    Dan Neumann / Susan DiFabio - Building Coaching Through a Mentorship Program

    45 Mins
    Experience Report

    Are you ready to begin your journey as an agile coach? Are you already a coach who is looking to grow your mindset and skillset? Are you in an organization and want to see its agility go to the next level? If so, invest just 45 minutes in this experience report about growing coaching within an organization.

    Building coaching skills isn't the exclusive domain of a multi-day training session. In fact, the best way to build a new skills is to gradually introduce them over time and use intentional practice to build those new skills into a habit. This session is based on running coach mentorship programs that spread the learning and practice over a period of months.

    Questions we will answer in this session include:

      Why is a coach mentorship program integral to growing an organziation's agility?
      What are some mistakes to avoid when creating a coach mentorship program?
      How can intentional practice be integrated into a coach mentorship program?
      What can be done to have an effective program where participants are in different time zones?
      How do you build support for investing time and money into a coach mentorship program?

    You will leave this session with a set of practical tips for setting up your own coach mentorship program.

    While this experience report is based on multiple iterations of building a Coach Mentorship Program within a Fortune 500 company, the lessons apply to an organization of any size.


  • Dan Neumann

    Dan Neumann / Susan DiFabio - Balloons, Rice, and Folded Paper - Secret Tools for Learning (and Teaching) Agile

    240 Mins

    Experience agile in a fun, insightful, high energy, simulation where you will work in iterations to build products, test them, and apply feedback.  You will participate on a team and use a backlog, business values, sizing, and prioritization.  You’ll plan, execute, deliver, and reflect.  

    This session is a great way for you to experience working on a team in quick iterations and to see first hand how team members can gel quickly, combine skills, learn by doing, and achieve together.  If you have  been working on teams for a while, this simulation will help you see your current process in new ways and open up new opportunities for improvement.  

    Don’t worry, no technical skills are required - anybody can participate.  We have run this exercise with a number of different groups and the results are consistent - lots of energy, lots of insights that can be taken back to the real world, and lots of fun!

  • Guy Royse
    Guy Royse
    Pillar Technology
    schedule 6 years ago
    Sold Out!
    240 Mins

    Are you tired of TDD workshops that make you do boring things like calculate bowling scores and prime factors or demonstrate how to win at the game of life? If so, this is the session for you In this TDD workshop we will be building the domain model for EverCraft -- a new MMORPG from Blizzards of the Coast. We have lots of story cards prepared covering features from combat to magic, classes to spells, and races to items. Plus, we'll be defining some of these cards during the session in case you want that +9 knife of ogre slaying or enjoy casting magic missile at the darkness.

    This workshop is language agnotisic and for all levels of developers. The focus is on TDD and emergent design but pair programming will be covered as well. The only requirement is that you bring a laptop and that you be able to test-drive you code with your language of choice. When you are done you will emerge a better programmer for the experience but there is small chance you will have a craving for Cheetos and Mountain Dew.

  • Megan Torrance

    Megan Torrance - Adapting Agile for Instructional Design (that’s fancy-talk for training)

    60 Mins

    In many respects, developing training is a lot like developing software. Define the needs, identify scope boundaries and buckets, build, deliver … and cross your fingers. And, like all interesting software projects, the scope and need changes after the project gets started. What’s a trainer to do? Use Agile, of course. But that’s often easier said than done.

    We’ve adapted Agile for instructional design and development projects – we call it LLAMA (the Lot Like Agile Methods Approach) – and it’s gotten a lot of traction in the training industry.

  • Susan DiFabio

    Susan DiFabio / Dan Neumann - Agile Coach Activity Pack - Experience and Learn Through Four Simulations

    240 Mins

    Attention coaches, Scrum Masters, and facilitators! This session is for YOU! Come get hands-on experience with a variety of games and activities that you can use to help people understand the power of Agile ways of working.

    When working with people who are new to Agile it is important to engage them in the experience. Talking about the wonders of collaboration and communication rarely changes anyone’s mind, but creating an environment where they can experience the value of rapid feedback, creative communication techniques, and collaborating as a team can help them see new opportunities for application in their day to day work.

    In this session you will not only get to experience these activities, you’ll come away with new skills in how to conduct them and debrief them as well.

  • Holly Stoner Bielawa

    Holly Stoner Bielawa - Requirements Craftsmanship 101

    90 Mins

    Agile Manifesto sez: Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous deliveryof valuable software.

    Why doesn’t being “Agile” always mean creating innovative, world-changing, valuable software?  This session will focus on the tools and techniques of Requirements Craftsmanship and Lean-Start-up including understanding and creating Business Value, Value Stories, Story Mapping, and Getting out of the Building, that are the building blocks of value for Agile teams and, importantly, the customer and stakeholders for whom Agile teams create.    Participants will also explore the differences between measuring the output from Agile teams and measuring the outcomes that indicate value acheived.   This session will give participants real experience Requirements Craftmanship and introduce them to the challenges of making sure that Agile teams produce valuable software early and continuously, which is the highest priority of the Agile Manifesto and the goal of Requirements Craftsmanship.

  • Carol Treat Morton

    Carol Treat Morton / Samah Majadla - How Crayons & Post-its Can Alleviate Data Distress and Object Obscurity

    90 Mins

    A project's problem space is viewed through so many lenses: For developers, "code"; for designers, "user experience"; for analysts, "data structure"; for project managers, "scope/budgets". But how do teams share a common understanding of a business model when tackling a problem? And have fun at the same time? At Menlo, before we tackle software development, we visualize our problem spaces through two "share and make sense" techniques that render even the most complex technical problem accessible to anyone involved in a project discussion. Using simple, inexpensive tools--and a lot of teamwork--you will learn the art and craft of graphic object modeling and visual work flows that are guaranteed to promote both smiles and lively discussions.