This face-to-face activity quickly demonstrates how effective the iterative process can be.
The Challenge: As a team, the group must “process” as many balls as possible following specific rules. The group has four opportunities with a ‘SCRUM’ meeting in between each and a fifth “Grand Challenge” at the end.
The Results: The first time I directed this activity the team processed 15 balls during the first iteration and 88 balls in the Grand Challenge. They all experienced problem-solving, flow, and cooperation and had fun at the same time.
Reflection: The activity ends asking the group these questions:
- How does this relate to agile code development?
- What does this mean? “Every system has its own velocity.”
- Flow is being totally focused and losing track of time. Did you experience this during this exercise?
- How does that relate to other experiences such as programming or gaming?
Here is a PDF presentation you can use to implement this activity: labProcessFlow – The Ballpoint Game
Here is a video showing one team in the first iteration of the game:
You can purchase a bag of 100 plastic balls from Amazon for around $20: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LX7BAK6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1