Architecture Kata with Tarot Cards
Architecture Katas are a collaborative way to practice software design first done by Ted Neward. Teams are asked to come up with a software design for a random problem and consider the specifics of problem to design something that could be quickly released while being scalable and secure.
But I really like running the variation by Martin Salias where the teams are limited to 10 minute sprints. And at the end of each sprint they will face random extra challenges based on Tarot cards he has designed. The tarot cards will include complications for the team to overcome like internationalisation, accessibility, price or testability. As facilitator I will interpret the tarot cards as to how their design is letting down their customers and they will need to react.
Will teams be able to prioritise quickly? Will they work together as a cohesive team? Can they design something of value to customers in only 10 minutes? And how easy will it be for their design to react to new challenges because no one can predict every possible issue that will happen in the real world.
Some images from the last time I ran this as a workshop:
Outline/Structure of the Workshop
10min - Explain the basic concept and what will be expected of teams and what I will be doing as a facilitator.
10min - Organise people into teams of no less than 3 and select a challenge all teams to attempt.
10 min - Sprint 1.
10 min - Each team will quickly present their design and draw two tarot cards that will be explained as a new goal for their design to fix.
10 min - Sprint 2
10 min - Each team explain thier next release and draw another tarot card.
10 min - Sprint 3.
10 min - Takeaways: Explain the value I've seen teams get from this exercise and ways you could apply it for new developers or to help experienced developers be better collaborators.
10 min - Questions.
Architecture Katas as a way to practice software design together. How to facilitate an Architecture Kata with a team of people. Benefits you can bring with Architecture Katas such as training basic design approaches, diagramming methods and collaborative design..Doing designs in sprints to challenge teams to prioritise for an MVP design. Introducing Tarot Cards to an Architecture Kata to challenge teams to design for flexibility.
Software Engineers and Architects. System Engineers.