location_city Bengaluru schedule Mar 16th 12:30 - 12:50 PM place Grand Ballroom 1
Can we get 100 people to agree on what to prioritise to the top of a backlog? Sure we can. Can we identify a reliable systematic system we can use to get this done in just a few minutes? Of course we can.
Requires 100 people to meet the claims in the session, but we can run this with ANY amount of people from 3 (Easy!) to 300 (Equally easy!)
I learned this one from Alistair Cockburn in a pub. It's a neat trick.

Outline/Structure of the Talk

Co-presented with Abdul Salam

Open: 3 minutes

We open the activity by asserting "Getting agreement on backlog prioritise across complex stakeholder networks is hard, and we need a good process to solve the problem."

We then promise to be able to get [x = number of people in the room] to agree on a prioritized backlog in under 15 minutes.

Activity: 12 minutes

We set a goal for prioritization

We ask people to form pairs

We give them x minutes to come up with options and resolve the priorities 

(x based on size of group)

Repeat 3-4 times until we have one prioritized goal

Close: 3 minutes

Talk about how at each level of complexity (ie size of group) different methods were used. Different groups also used different methods.

Clarify important of managing complexity by giving people clear goals & constraints and then control of how they get there.


Learning Outcome

What's the mechanism? Put people together, give a clear goal a simple set of constraints (i.e get consensus in 20 minutes) and get out of the way.

Teach people that simple constraints and simple agile methods like small groups, face to face collaboration can solve very complex problems.

This has an opportunity for people to generate insights but is also lots of fun.


Target Audience

product owner, scrum master, business analyst, project manager, consultant


schedule Submitted 5 years ago

Public Feedback

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      Craig Brown
      Everest Engineering
      schedule 5 years ago
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