Feb. 22, 2013

Why We Play

We want players to understand concepts that increase their chance to be successful in agile transitions, and to learn methods that help their teams

As agile coaches, we regularly want to create a learning environment for people. We use concepts like Training from the Back of the Room to step aside and let them learn. We facilitate and regularly use games. Playing is an integral and very effective part of learning, as it opens people's minds and hearts and creates the emotional connections that makes experiences stick.

What makes learning agile challenging?

We want participants to understand concepts that in our experience increase their chance to be successful in agile transitions, and to learn practical methods that may help their teams as well. This learning is challenging for the following reasons:

  • Most concepts in agile and lean are simple to understand, yet hard to implement.
  • They contain many elements that may look impossible based on former experience. Or, framed by our past experience we might think they are already more or less implemented, because we read them that way.
  • Trying something new, something we find challenging or hardly possible, requires a safe to fail container so that we dare try something we don't (yet) expect to actually work.

How do Games Help?

Games like the Ball Point Game, Lego City, Kanban Pizza, and others create these safe to fail containers so that

  • Players can build experience with unfamiliar concepts, methods and practices, and learn how to use them right.
  • Discover many common pitfalls in the simulation, where "failure" is much cheaper and more fun than later in your real project.

We have experienced that the right games help people to discover, experience, and greatly accelerate learning.

Long Term Effects

This weekend, some of us are participating in Play4Agile, an unconference about agile games, where we intend to invent, design and play games and simulations to improve our training and coaching practice. 

Play4Agile 

Quite often people reflect their current situation at work based on their experience in the games they've played with us. Sometimes we reference the games ourselves in coaching and point out similarities to increase awareness. Learning with play tends to be deeper and stick much longer than learning without play.

These are our experiences. What are yours? Did you make good (or bad) experiences playing games to teach or to learn? Please share them with us!

Image of ralfkruse81

Ralf Kruse

I'm an Agile coach. Sometimes I'm excited and sometimes I feel more like Marvin ;-) Follow me @ralfhh
blog comments powered by Disqus
Image of ralfkruse81

Ralf Kruse

I'm an Agile coach. Sometimes I'm excited and sometimes I feel more like Marvin ;-) Follow me @ralfhh

Latest Posts

Scrum Anti Patterns

Since Scrum is easy to understand beginners may use some of the practices and repeat them in a mechanistic way without understanding the principles

Image of ebru4984

Ebru Yalçınkaya

I act as a change agent where the teams, domains need to enhance agility to reach their goals, to create a shared vision if needed. I coach every kind of team , every domain, like management teams or like customer care, technology and sales groups.

Scrumtisch March 2018

The Berlin Scrum User Group meets on March 8th at SAP in Rosenthaler Str.

Image of aballer

Alexandra Baller

agile42 Team Assistant

Welcome to our new agile42 Event Space in Berlin

agile42 now offers training and meetings in its new cozy and flexible open space, right next to its Berlin headquarters

Image of apanagiotou

Anna Panagiotou

Report from the Scrumtisch Berlin of January 2018

A report about the February meeting of the Berlin Scrum User Group facilitated by agile42 coaches Javier Pérez and Gregory Keegan

Image of javierperez

Javier Pérez

Javier invested his first years of career working as developer and business analyst in Madrid. When Javier moved to Berlin, he discovered his passion: to help teams and organizations in their cultural transformation towards agility working first as Scrum Master and later as Team Coach.
Image of gregory

Gregory Keegan

Greg has been working as a Scrum Master and Agile Coach for nearly ten years, helping teams and organizations to improve the way they are working.

Certified Scrum classes in Sweden

We want to invite you to our first ever Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) class in Stockholm on February 15-16

Image of giuseppe.desimone

Giuseppe De Simone

Giuseppe is a Certified Enterprise Coach and a Certified Team Coach who is passionate about helping individuals, teams and organizations become resilient and agile. He is one of the only two CECs living and working in Sweden.