Remote teams: From 0 to self-organizing in under 2 hours.

Getting to Agile is not easy, doing so with remote teams is more so. As a trainer you need to convince, often sceptical, audience of the soundness and viability of Agile postulates. In particular you need to show that self-organizing is not just a sound bite but rather an achievable goal. This workshop will present an original approach to doing so when training a distributed team.

The counting game is designed to be played over the phone, or an audio/video bridge, with or without any additional collaboration tools. It is simple to understand and difficult to get right at first. To solve the problem the teams will need to organize into roles, iterate over approaches and come up with a working algorithm. The winning teams will organize themselves in 3-5 iterations into efficient counting machines able to accurately process greater and greater inputs.

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Outline/structure of the Session


  • Introduction and short discussion of self-organizing teams (5 min)
  • Division into groups (5 min)
  • Presentation of the game (5 min)
  • 5 iterations of game play (65 min)
  • Discussion of the outcome (10 min)


As the game will be played in a room, "remoteness" will be simulated. The rules of the game will be structured in such a way that the participants will not be able to rely on visual cues to get to the solution, all communication will be done using voice only. Depending on room setup we may provide props to the participants that will reduce the visual input and hints from body language of others.

Learning Outcome

The session will provide an effective tool for Agile practitioners and trainers to introduce a concept of self-organizing teams. For anyone new to Agile it will provide a convincing argument that self-organization is possible in distributed teams.

Target Audience

Agile trainers or anyone interested in getting convinced that self-organization is possible for remote teams.

schedule Submitted 1 month ago

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