Ball Point Game: Agile Introduced in a Fun Way

A game, are you kidding?

Imagine that you are a top management who is curious in this hazy stuff called “Agile,” an established internal scrum master at your company, or an external coach.

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Imagine that one day you want to assimilate a new team into the agile mentality as quickly and efficiently as feasible. Project managers and intermediate managers will also take part.

This seems like an unachievable task. How are you going to be successful? – But hold on. Don’t attempt it by delivering the typical cerebral talk and PowerPoint about self-organizing teams, agile ideals, and other buzzwords.

Play a game instead. More accurately, an agile physical game. Play the Ball Point Game, also known as the Ball Flow Game, using concrete.

According to Stuart Brown’s research, playing has a significant impact on human growth and intelligence in addition to being happy and invigorating. Stuart Brown founded the US National Institute for Play and is a physician, psychiatrist, clinical researcher, and clinical investigator. Playing is enjoyable—even joyous. It revitalizes and revives us.

Furthermore, playing is an excellent learning aid. You lose yourself in the present, using every sense. You are fully engaged with your body.

Above all, you experience a wide range of emotions and bodily sensations in addition to logical ones. There is activity in both hemispheres of the brain: the left, which governs the right side of the body and is the more intellectual and logical side of the brain, and the left, which governs the left half of the body and is the more creative and artistic side.

How the Game Operates

The Ball Point Game was developed by Boris Gloger in 2008. People may be introduced to fundamental agile concepts and ideals through the game in an engaging and entertaining approach that appeals to all senses.

Trust – See how to develop trust in the team and in individuals.

Self-organization: Observe how the group decides how to operate most effectively, free from outside managerial influence.

Adapt & Inspect: Attend team retrospectives to observe how the team takes a step back and evaluates its own work on a regular basis.

Timeboxed, incremental delivery: Observe how the group plans, estimates, and iteratively enhances quality.

Getting to know “Sprint,” “Retrospective,” “Planning,” and “Estimation” are some examples of agile ceremonies.

Learning: Watch the team’s rate of success.

The game is a simulation of an agile workflow. In essence, it is a scrum process analog. The group will self-organize and create a procedure according to the given guidelines. The goal is to obey specific regulations and send as many balls through the squad as you can in the timeboxes provided.

Playground & Resources Required

Reserve a space big enough for everyone to walk around without restriction, and take out any furniture like seats and tables.

A flipchart and a timer are required.

Like with kiddie ball pools, you need one hundred balls.

Size of Group

The game is best played with more than six players. The more, the better.

Bring some spectators to the game if at all feasible. They don’t play; they only watch from “the outside”.

The Guidelines

The guidelines are simple. To get a point:

Everybody belongs to a single team.

Every ball needs some air time.

Every player on the squad needs to touch the ball at least once.

It is not permitted to pass balls to your immediate left or right neighbor.

Every ball needs to find its way back to the original user of the system.

There are five iterations in all.

You may add “defects” to enhance the experience if you’d like.

A ball can be added back into the game if it drops and can be retrieved.

At the conclusion of the iteration, any balls that could not be fetched are considered “defects” and are deducted from the total.

Option 2: Declare a procedure and “penalty” for dropped balls that are fed as extra labor during the following sprint.

How to Engage in Play

There are just two roles in the game: the Product Owner, who is assigned by the facilitator, and the team.

This is how the game is played.

Permit the group to be ready and decide on their own organizational structure. Two minutes

Find out from the team how many balls they think they can get through the system in the first inning.

Execute iteration one. Two minutes

Permit the group to talk about ways to make the procedure better. One minute

Five times around, repeat this.

To test or put the team under pressure, begin with the third iteration. Expect more than the group is willing to provide. Make up some absurd statistics, such “The world record is 150 points,” if necessary. Is it possible to surpass that? “If you don’t give me 160 points, I’ll go to , your competitor.” “The team awarded me 500 points the last time I ran the game. “Attempt to transform into a tense, achy person.

Make a visual chart in the end and record all the numbers on a flipchart for each iteration.

Rebriefing. Talk about the insights and observations for as long as it takes.

Based on my own experience, a really valuable discussion may last two hours following a 30-minute game.