The products of my MSc dissertation at the University of Liverpool includes two gamified learning activities, focused on teaching agile project management.
To design these learning activities I created a pre-exercise survey for agile instructors, that was answered by several agile instructors. There was a question asking them to rank the four values of the Agile Manifesto in terms of difficulty of comprehension by students, the best placed in the ranking was:
“Responding to change over following a plan.”
The same ranking was answered for the twelve principles of the agile manifesto. The three best placed in the ranking were:
- Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential;
- The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams;
- Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely;
These results are a clear picture of the paradigm conflict for students. It evidences that the mindset imposed by traditional project life cycles, based on predictive/waterfall models, remains dominant. The Scrum Simulation is a good place to fight against such mindset, as the students will feel for the first time what is to be “agile” – a great experience that can be a turning point for them.
8 hours (full day), divided in:
- Minecraft Bootcamp – 2 hours;
- Pre-Game – 1 hour;
- Game – 4 hours;
- Post-Game – 1 hour;
Materials and Resources
- 3 sheets of cardstock per group;
- 1 set of colored pens per group;
- 1 pack of post-it notes per group;
- 1 plastic ruler per group;
- 1 roll of adhesive tape;
- 1 notebook/desktop with mouse for the instructor (4 GB of RAM recommended);
- 1 notebook/desktop with mouse per student (2 GB of RAM recommended);
- Minecraft user licenses;
- Minecraft server (if not using the Minecraft Education Edition);
4 – 6 students per group. Maximum of 4 groups, otherwise it will be very difficult to keep a productive enviroment.
All instructions and templates are available in a free e-book. To download the e-book and template files, please inform your e-mail.
The values and roles of Scrum represent a big paradigm shift for professionals whom are familiar with traditional approaches for project management, where command-and-control-ism and micro-management are imperatives. This learning activity provide to the students a great opportunity to experience the Scrum framework, with several elements of a real-world project.
In my agile classes, the Scrum simulation is the last mile of the training – the “cherry on the cake”. This is where the students evolve their own comprehension, seeing how all the pieces fit together: values, principles, roles, ceremonies and artifacts.
If you whant to share your experience with this learning activity, please leave a reply 🙂
SCRUM Simulation With Minecraft by Julio Oliveira is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://gameagile.com/scrum-simulation-with-minecraft/.