Maria Matarelli Blogs

Friday, June 28, 2013

Scrum Roles Tic-Tac-Bingo

An engaging, interactive approach for learning the responsibilities of each role in Scrum

Welcome to the game Scrum Roles Tic-Tac-Bingo, created by Maria Matarelli. This game has been used in Scrum training classes and CSM classes with great results!

If you like incorporating interactive approaches in your training classes or want to help students or Scrum teams better understand the responsibilities of each role in Scrum, play Scrum Roles Tic-Tac-Bingo.

I created this game so that while in a training class or trying to explain the importance of what each role does while using Scrum, rather than tell people what each role does, invite them to participate in discussing which role performs which responsibilities.

Scrum Roles Tic-Tac-Bingo
-       Engages people in talking about what each role does
-       Creates an opportunity for valuable dialogue
-       A great teaching from the back of the room approach

Scrum Roles Tic-Tac-Bingo incorporates knowledge of Scrum and board game strategy for an engaging game that will be accompanied by valuable dialogue about each role.

As people talk about the activities that occur on a Scrum team, some questions may come up… “Who does that role, is it the Scrum Master the Product Owner or the Team?”
“Wait, I thought the Product Owner did that”

Playing this game will allow for these questions to emerge and will present an opportunity to provide clarification.

You can play this game in a training class or as a Scrum team to foster a great atmosphere for learning and it is a great way to engage everyone in discussing the roles.

Try it!

How to play:
Identify a Master of Ceremonies to read the role descriptions and have two people at each game board. As a role description is read aloud, the person who correctly guesses which role performs that responsibility places an "X" on the game board. They can lock in their answer by holding up the appropriate Role Game Piece.

Scrum Roles Tic-Tac-Bingo is like a mix between Tic-Tac-Toe and Bingo. Each player alternates guessing and can place an "X" over the appropriate answer. Once they complete a line of five "X's" in a row, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, they shout out a victory yell and win that game. Players use different colored markers on the game board and have an opportunity to block the other person from forming a line which makes for an exciting game. 

It is recommended to have two people at a game board and have a round where each table plays then have a championship round with a winner from each table. If the timebox ends or if no line is made, the person with the most "X's" on the board is the winner. If two people from different game boards make a line after the same question, whoever shouts the victory yell first is the winner.

Enclosed is a link to instructions and game boards and game pieces that you can download and use in your next training class or with your team. I would love to hear what you think or any adaptations of the game that you have tried. Enjoy!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Agile Management and the Essence of Leadership

Where does a Manager do in Agile? Have you ever heard this question?

Johanna Rothman talked on “Agile Managers: The Essence of Leadership” as a closing Keynote presentation at the Agile Indy 2013 conference.

She talked about how Agile Management is Leadership and that managers serve the people in the organization. Managers guide, coach, and use their influence to ease the way for the work.

Agile Managers are Leaders because they lead the teams in the following ways
- set strategy
- manage the project portfolio
- remove organization obstacles
- build trusting relationships with people
- lead hiring decisions and process
- build the capacity of the organization
- enable communities of practice

Agile Managers manage the project portfolio and determine what work is strategically important and when it should be started and stopped. Not making those decisions or having clear priorities creates management debt as well as chaos. We want to encourage transparency and openness and honesty. Leaders remove organizational obstacles and build trust across the organization.

Johanna encouraged more of a team approach and management style instead of focusing on individual reviews.
- Build a trusting relationship
- Share the strategy
- Share the profits
- Provide cost of living raises to the team
- Give the team a team bonus and let the team decide how to use it

What keeps people in a job? Trusting relationships and having a sense of purpose, trust, and autonomy.

Managers can become champions throughout the organization. Resist the urge to micromanage, meet often enough with people one-on-one to build a trusting relationship, and engage with team members to see what they are working on.

Managers can also build organizational capacity. How many of you know your organizational velocity now? Focus on removing system obstacles and recognizing when a team’s velocity is stuck – remove roadblocks.

Enable Communities of Practice. Encourage a small world network approach to problem solving. Create avenues for cross team collaboration.

“The manager’s function is not to make people work, but to make it possible for people to work.” – Tom DeMarco & Timothy Lister in the book “Peopleware”