Agile Games 2016Games to collaborate and learn across all levels of the organization

A successful agile organization is one that is continually learning and adapting in all facets of the business and the technology that enables it, so why should we limit games intended to promote learning, discovery and innovation to just the members of agile teams?

With the 2016 edition of the Agile Games Conference, we are going to explore games that will encourage and inspire collaboration and learning both within and between an organization’s roles, teams and workgroups.

 

Faster, Cheaper, Better:

Designing Agile Training That Delivers Results

by Dr. Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajani

 

 

 

In this walk-the-talk, hands-on keynote, Thiagi will demonstrate an approach to rapidly creating training sessions that deliver results. Using a no-nonsense approach, the FCB method employs such principles as let the inmates run the asylum, build bridges as you walk on it, be spontaneously systematic, and be a sage by the side. In this interactive session, Thiagi will demonstrate how this approach can be applied to your agile training design (and can be ported to e-learning design also).
 
 
 

Awesome Teams:

Games for Continuous (Extreme?) Teaming

by Richard Kasperowski

 

 

 

Want an awesome team that builds great products? Great teams don’t happen by accident and they don't have to take a long time to build.  In this keynote, Richard lays out the case for Continuous (Extreme) Teaming. Session participants will join in a flight of fun learning activity-sets. These will give you a taste of team awesomeness and how to start when you go back to work.

 

 

 

Conference Program

Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 1st Floor

Time

Presenter

Session Title

Room

Welcome
8:00-8:45    Registration, Breakfast  
8:45-9:00 Tom Woundy 
& David Kramer
 Welcome Horace Mann
Opening Keynote
9:00-10:15 Thiagi  Faster, Cheaper, Better: Designing Agile Training That Delivers Results Horace Mann
10:15-10:30    Break  
Morning Sessions

10:30-12:00

Workshops

Thiagi

 

David Koontz

Nancy Van Schooenderwoert

 Achieving Faster, Cheaper & Better Agile Training That Delivers Results

 Cultivating Collaboration

 The Addiction Game

Horace Mann

 Deborah Samson/Thomas Paul

 Abigail Adams/Crispus Attucks

12:00-1:00    Lunch  
Afternoon Sessions

1:00-4:00

Deep Dives

Laura Powers

Michael de la Maza

Yuval Yeret

 This is Your Brain. This is Your Brain on Agile Games 

 Games for Political Expression

 Spark engagement and participation in a SAFe Scaled Agile Implementation using Online Games

Horace Mann

 Deborah Samson/Thomas Paul

 Abigail Adams/Crispus Attucks

4:00-4:15    Break  

4:15-5:45

Workshops

Dawna Jones

Mike Bowler

Mariya Breyter

 Using the Tension Between Agile & Management

 Agile Technical Practices in LEGO

 The Creativity Game

Horace Mann

 Deborah Samson/Thomas Paul

 Abigail Adams/Crispus Attucks

5:45    Session End  
Reception
6:00-7:30

 

 

 Reception - At Meadhall

 

 

Friday, April 29, 2016 - 1st Floor

Time

Presenter

Session Title

Room

Welcome
8:00-8:45    Registration, Breakfast  
8:45-9:00 Tom Woundy 
& David Kramer
 Welcome Horace Mann
Opening Keynote
9:00-10:15 Richard Kasperowski  Awesome Teams: Games for Continuous (Extreme?) Teaming Horace Mann
10:15-10:30    Break  
Morning Sessions

10:30-12:00

Workshops

Andrea Chiou

Jason Tice

Michael Nir
& Wendy Wong

 Featureban

 The “Last Responsible Moment” LEGO Learning Lab

 

Horace Mann

 Deborah Samson/Thomas Paul

 Abigail Adams/Crispus Attucks

 

12:00-1:00    Lunch  
Afternoon Sessions

1:00-2:30

Workshops

Todd Charron

 

Ellen GroveMike Bowler

David Grabel, JP Beaudry & Sean Barrett

Woody Zuill

 

Horace Mann

 

 Deborah Samson/Thomas Paul

 

Abigail Adams

Crispus Attucks

2:30-2:45    Break  

2:45-3:15

Fast Games

Steve Martin

Josh Grob

Lisa Sieverts

Paul Wynia

Laura Powers

 

Nathan Robbel

Collab-AIR-ation

Engagement Starts with You

The Hello Game

Empathy Toy for Communication

 

Horace Mann - A

Thomas Paul

Deborah Samson

Abigail Adams

Crispus Attucks

 

Horace Mann - B

3:15-3:30    Break  

3:30-4:00

Fast Games

Steve Martin

Josh Grob

Lisa Sieverts

Paul Wynia

Laura Powers

 

Nathan Robbel

Collab-AIR-ation

Engagement Starts with You

The Hello Game

Empathy Toy for Communication

 

Horace Mann - A

Thomas Paul

Deborah Samson

Abigail Adams

Crispus Attucks

 

Horace Mann - B

4:00-4:15    Break  

4:15-5:00

 

 

 

Today's Wrap-up

 

Horace Mann

5:00    Session End  

 

Saturday, April 30, 2016 - Entrance on 11th Floor

Time

Presenter

Session Title

Room

Breakfast & Welcome
8:00- 9:00    Registration, Breakfast  Microsoft 10th
& 11th Floor
Open Space
9:00-9:45 Deb Pontes  What if you could create your own Agile Games conference? Open Space marketplace of ideas Microsoft 10th
& 11th Floor
9:45-10:00    Break Microsoft 10th
& 11th Floor
10:00-10:55    Open Space session #1 Microsoft 10th
& 11th Floor
11:00-11:55    Open Space session #2 Microsoft 10th
& 11th Floor
12:00-1:00    Lunch Microsoft 10th
& 11th Floor
1:00-1:55    Open Space session #3 Microsoft 10th
& 11th Floor
2:00-2:55    Open Space session #4 Microsoft 10th
& 11th Floor
3:00-3:30    Open Space closing Microsoft 10th
& 11th Floor
3:30    Conference End - See you next year April 6-8, 2017!  

 

This is Your Brain.

This is Your Brain on Agile Games.

The Neurology of Effective Learning 

Presented by: Laura Powers

The Agile Apocalypse has already happened. Agile workshops from Boston to Bangalore have been overrun by Agile Zombies whose brains exploded from too much Powerpoint. 
 
Fortunately, there is a ray of hope. A small band of Agilists have discovered a more humane way to teach. Games, simulations, and interactive exercises revive the brains of Powerpoint Zombies - leading to better learning that sticks.
 

Games for Political Expression

Presented by: Michael de la Maza

The goal of this workshop is to create games about politics that will be played by at least 100,000 people before the U.S. political election.
 
We will begin with a group discussion of the current political situation (e.g., who is leading?) and relevant frameworks such as Laloux's Reinventing Organizations and Boal's political theatre. We will introduce the game creation recipe created by Chris Sims and Laura Powers and presented at Agile Games 2014
 
We will then break into groups and create games. We will end by selecting a game that the entire group will promote throughout the country.
 
 
 
 

Spark engagement and participation in a SAFe Scaled Agile Implementation using Online Games

Presented by: Yuval Yeret

Slides

People keep saying SAFe is a very prescriptive methodology with zero room for engagement and participation. In this session we will uncover the many opportunities for participation/games in a Scaled Agile implementation. We will also share Kahoot - a useful game platform I've been using in recent years to quickly drive participation with large groups.
 

Achieving Faster, Cheaper & Better Agile Training That Delivers Results

Presented by: Dr. Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan

Join “Thiagi” to go deeper into the practices and activities from his initial keynote to learn how to create engaging training.  You’ll leave with in-depth knowledge and awareness of techniques from Thiagi’s 30+ year background of fostering effective environments for organizational learning.

Cultivating Collaboration

Simulation of Pair Programming via Tangrams Exercise

Presented by: David Koontz

Workshop Materials

It’s said that two heads are better than one, in reference to problem solving. We will use Tangram puzzles to simulate this experience, and via structured debriefs of these exercises, discover the powerful behaviors of awesome collaboration, and the negative warning signs of poor collaboration.  We will jump right into simulation exercises, come prepared to have FUN and learn by doing.
 
 

The Addiction Game

Presented by: Nancy Van Schooenderwoert

Addiction is defined as: persistently engaging in compulsive behavior that the addict knows to be harmful.
 
Even the smartest teams and organizations can have addictions. It’s about habits and practices over time, not intelligence. And there is plenty you can do about it.
 

Using the Tension Between Agile & Management

Presented by: Dawna Jones

The clash between Agile principles and traditional management presents an opportunity to close the gap. Otherwise Agile can not be used to scale innovation. In this interactive game, you'll survey your colleagues, formulate transformational questions designed to unlock fixed thinking, test them on your friends, then debrief. You'll walk away with insights into brain science and how to use it to turn tension into constructive action.

 

Agile Technical Practices in LEGO

Presented by: Mike Bowler

InfoQ Interview with Mike about this session

Instructions for this session

In this interactive and engaging workshop, you will learn the concepts behind, and the value of, several Agile Engineering Practices. Without requiring programming or other technical knowledge, these concepts can be explained through the use of play and understanding the importance of failure in individual and team growth.
 
You will be given several challenges to complete in LEGO bricks and through this, and the subsequent debrief, you will learn about the agile technical practices.  We'll cover simplicity, TDD, refactoring, technical debt, and continuous integration.

The Creativity Game

Presented by: Mariya Breyter

To give a creative answer, you need an unusual question, the question that encourages you to think differently, answer the question that is not expected, or not framed the way you are used to. This is what my Creativity Game is all about: framing expected environment in an unexpected way. The principle is: "When you want the results you never had, you have to do something you've never done." (Thomas Jefferson) This is exactly what we do in this game: first, we co-create an unusual and unexpected environment using a crowd-sourcing technique, and then, we frame and resolve the challenges of this environment by coming up with unexpected and innovative solutions to the issues presented.

Featureban

Presented by: Andrea Chiou

FeatureBan is a simple and quick simulation that introduces several of the key concepts of Kanban, including visualization, feedback loops and limiting work in process and that lets participants learn by doing.  The simulation is also useful because it lets organizations who are curious about Kanban quickly learn about it before investing further.  Mike Burrows invented the simulation, but in this session I will present a modified version that I have used with both technical and non-technical audiences.

The “Last Responsible Moment” LEGO Learning Lab

Presented by: Jason Tice

Agile and Lean principles call for teams to delay decisions and activities until the “last responsible moment” so as to minimize rework and waste.  While this sounds good in concept, sometimes teams fall victim to waiting until it is “too late” to make a decision or get started on a needed activity resulting in missed opportunities and/or down-to-the-wire heroic efforts to meet a deadline.  At the same time, successful adoption of many agile and lean practices requires a culture of “organizational learning”.  Come experience a “mash-up” of these concepts in the “Last Responsible Moment” LEGO Learning lab.
 

The Two Dollar Game

an MIT game

Presented by: Michael Nir and Wendy Wong

The Two Dollar Game is the opening game in Negotiation and Conflict Management.  It was developed in order to illustrate some basic tools of negotiation theory, in the simplest possible game.
 

Improv Your Agile or Scrum Stand-up

PLUS Building a REAL Team

Presented by: Todd Charron

 
Your Agile Stand-up Meeting Sucks!  Most Agile and Scrum stand-up meetings I see are boring, lifeless, status meetings that don't provide any real value.
 

Putting the Moose on the Table:

Make your retrospectives more effective using LEGO SERIOUS PLAY techniques

Presented by: Ellen Grove and Mike Bowler

In order for teams to step into high performance. it's critical that they develop the practice of having effective conversations about what is and isn't working.  Yet in practice, the retrospective meeting is often the least-valued of the agile events: team members feel that their retros are boring, repetitive, and superficial.

Do the Thing to Learn the Thing

Presented by: David GrabelJP Beaudry and Sean Barrett

 

Sharon Bowman's Training From the Back of the Room brings games to teaching and training. This provides an immersive, hands-on learning experience. One of her key messages is "Do the thing to learn the thing." We have created an introductory class on the underlying principles of Agile. This class follows Sharon's 4C (Connection, Concept, Concrete Practice, and Close) map. We will present this class with a focus on the games that utilize Sharon Bowman's principles and reflect on how this class was constructed.

 

Mob Programming:

An Introduction

Presented by: Woody Zuill

Mob Programming is a development practice where the whole team works on the same thing, at the same time, in the same space, and on the same computer. It is a whole-team approach to doing all the work the team does including designing, coding, testing, and working with the customers, users and other stakeholders.
 

Collab-AIR-ation

Presented by: Steve Martin

Collaboration is essential for any project or program success, especially in Agile. In this session, we’ll take a slight twist to the traditional airplane folding game. The intent is to highlight the importance of transitioning away from “throwing the requirements over the wall” to a group of people that have been deemed by above to be a team (but are really just a bunch of folks sitting next to each other not really working together as a team). Instead, we’ll see how truly collaborating together and focusing in on a common goal not only helps improve throughput but joy and satisfaction as well.
 

Engagement Starts with You

Presented by: Josh Grob

Month after month, year after year Gallup reports that over 70% of employees are disengaged.  On the other hand studies from the Standish Group (Chaos 2014) and Emotional Intelligence work by Daniel Goleman repeatedly show that engaged, highly productive teams have deep emotional connections. In order to make positive team progress it is clear that it is up to the individual to become self aware of their current emotional state and feel comfortable sharing that with the team.  This game provides a simple, low tech, approach to identify the reasons behind one’s emotional state, and how to use that knowledge to engage with his/her team.  As importantly, it strongly encourages the player to ask for help, increasing that person’s emotional connection with someone else.  This game is based on the Check-in Core Protocol originated by Michele and Jim McCarthy, and looks inward so that the individual gains self-awareness.
 

The Hello Game

Presented by: Lisa Sieverts

 
Using one of Thiagi's Frame Games, we'll run through the Hello Game, which is a highly interactive way to begin a workshop. The Hello game serves the purpose of collecting useful information from the group, such as experience and expectations, in a fast and collaborative way.
 

Empathy Toy for Communication

Presented by: Paul Wynia

In collaborative environments communication between team members is key to not only success, but survival.  But how aware are your team members of how they communicate?  Is there a common language and approach that is understood and agreed to? 
 
Using the Empathy Toy from Twenty One Toys we explore the difficulties that can occur when a common language is missing and how to create a framework that can be used to avoid misunderstandings and other pitfalls.  This game was developed by Paul to be used with Agile teams and is not part of the Empathy Toy Facilitator's guide.
 

Scrum or Not?

A Team Game to Assess Knowledge & Readiness

Presented by: Laura Powers

Based on the matchmaking game "Hot or Not" - the game "Scrum or Not" is designed to conclude an introductory scrum training workshop.  It gives the group an opportunity to test their knowledge in a fast-paced game where everything is not scrum, but it certainly sounds like it could be.  
 

Agile: The Gathering

An Interactive Card Game to Promote Agile Culture

Presented by: Nathan Robbel

It is a dark time for Agile teams. They've become... comfortable. Stuck in their ways. They talk the talk, but walking the walk of continuous improvement has been forgotten countless sprints ago. The Principles of Agile used to ring true, but now few team members can recite more than one of them. Can nothing be done? Are these teams doomed to an endless cycle of complacency?  
 

What if you could create your own Agile Games conference?

Facilitated by Deb Pontes

 

Open Space Proceedings

 

 

On the third day of the conference, during Open Space, we'll shed all nonessentials. We'll do away with scheduled talks and the structure of tracks, and like any good Agilist we'll focus on what really matters: people. We'll set ourselves free from constraints and build the perfect day together.