This prioritization game was inspired by the innovative Agile and Scrum expert, Mitch Lacey. As described in his book, The Scrum Field Guide: Practical Advice for Your First Year, the collaboration and visual organization involved in this activity provides a painless way to manage backlogs, making your task list less daunting and more effective.

Timing: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • A list of backlog items (epics / stories) to prioritize.

Players (5..8 recommended):

  • Team Manager
  • Stakeholders and/or Internal Team

Directions:

Clicking on this image will start an instant play Innovation Game® at innovationgames.com. You will see the image as the “game board” and notecard icons at the upper left corner, which represent your backlog items.

The graph measures two aspects of each task:

  • X-axis = “Size.” This charts the complexity of the backlog items
  • Y-axis = “Priority.” This arranges tasks based on their urgency. It can be measured by anything the players agree is important, such as ROI or business value.

The chart is divided into three columns to help your team organize assignments based on the amount of effort needed to complete them.

Backlog items are represented by the note card icons found at the upper left corner of the graph. Players simply drag the icons to the game board and describe what they represent. All participants can then edit the placement and description of each notecard, which can be viewed in real time. Use the integrated chat facility to collaboratively organize the tasks and gain a better understanding of the placements and moves.

Work as a team to examine the backlog items in the upper right region of the chart. Is there any way to divide these large, high-priority tasks to make them more manageable? These smaller assignments may then be separated to different areas depending on their size and priority level. This will make your to-do list less daunting and more efficient. When all the notes are in their appropriate places, order them in a to-do list by starting with those in the top-left corner and moving clockwise.

At the end of the game, the results will be organized in a spreadsheet to maximize its benefits. All of the items, their placement values, and the chat history will be included for post-processing.

Key Points:
This game gets team members thinking differently about backlog items. Rather than making a scattered list of debilitating tasks, the Mitch Lacey Team Prioritization arranges your accumulated assignments according to the level of priority and effort needed to accomplish them, allowing for productive advancements.

References
Mitch Lacey describes this game in his book The Scrum Field Guide: Practical Advice For Your First Year.

Timing: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • A list of backlog items (epics / stories) to prioritize.

Players (5..8 recommended):

  • Product Manager / Product Owner
  • Development Team

Directions:

Team Estimation GameThis is an estimation game based on Mitch Lacey’s book The Scrum Field Guide: Practical Advice For Your First Year. In this game, notecards represent user stories or other work items. The following description is adapted from Mitch’s book: Scrum A Year One Survival Guide. Clicking on the image to the right will start an instant play Innovation Game®.

Height determines priority. Stories at the top are higher priority; stories at the bottom are lower priority. A story’s priority can be based on ROI, business value, or whatever else the players agree is important.

Width is reserved for size/effort/complexity. Stories on the left are smaller/ easier; stories on the right are bigger/harder.

Team members and stakeholders should collaboratively organize the stories – and use the chat logs to shape their feedback.

The quadrants help you identify how you should organize your work. Items in the top-left quadrant are high priority and small. They’ll end up in the top of your work/product backlog. The stories in the top- right are high priority and large. You should break most of those down into smaller stories because they’ll be coming up in the first several sprints. As the stories are broken down, you may find that some are higher priority than others and that a few might even move to a different quadrant.

Use the integrated chat facility to negotiate about your notecards. And any player can edit a noecard to keep track of the agreements of the team. This means that cards will move around during the game as the value of an item increases or decreases or the development team considers various ways of implementing an item.

To get the final results of the game, simply download the Excel spreadsheet. All of the items and their placement values will be available to you for post-processing, including all of the chats.

Key Points:

  • This is not a learning game. This is a “do work” game. When you’re done with this game, you’ll be able to get a much better sense about how to prioritize your backlog items by reviewing them in clockwise order.

References

Timing: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • A list of backlog items (epics / stories) to prioritize.

Players (5..8 recommended):

  • Product Manager / Product Owner
  • Development Team

Directions:

Team Estimation GameThis is an estimation game based on Mitch Lacey’s book The Scrum Field Guide: Practical Advice For Your First Year. In this game, notecards represent user stories or other work items. The following description is adapted from Mitch’s book: Scrum A Year One Survival Guide. Clicking on the image to the right will start an instant play Innovation Game®.

Height determines priority. Stories at the top are higher priority; stories at the bottom are lower priority. A story’s priority can be based on ROI, business value, or whatever else the players agree is important.

Width is reserved for size/effort/complexity. Stories on the left are smaller/ easier; stories on the right are bigger/harder.

Team members and stakeholders should collaboratively organize the stories – and use the chat logs to shape their feedback.

The quadrants help you identify how you should organize your work. Items in the top-left quadrant are high priority and small. They’ll end up in the top of your work/product backlog. The stories in the top- right are high priority and large. You should break most of those down into smaller stories because they’ll be coming up in the first several sprints. As the stories are broken down, you may find that some are higher priority than others and that a few might even move to a different quadrant.

Use the integrated chat facility to negotiate about your notecards. And any player can edit a noecard to keep track of the agreements of the team. This means that cards will move around during the game as the value of an item increases or decreases or the development team considers various ways of implementing an item.

To get the final results of the game, simply download the Excel spreadsheet. All of the items and their placement values will be available to you for post-processing, including all of the chats.

Key Points:

  • This is not a learning game. This is a “do work” game. When you’re done with this game, you’ll be able to get a much better sense about how to prioritize your backlog items by reviewing them in clockwise order.

References

Timing: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • A list of backlog items (epics / stories) to prioritize.

Players (5..8 recommended):

  • Product Manager / Product Owner
  • Development Team

Directions:

Team Estimation GameThis is an estimation game based on Mitch Lacey’s book The Scrum Field Guide: Practical Advice For Your First Year. In this game, notecards represent user stories or other work items. The following description is adapted from Mitch’s book: Scrum A Year One Survival Guide. Clicking on the image to the right will start an instant play Innovation Game®.

Height determines priority. Stories at the top are higher priority; stories at the bottom are lower priority. A story’s priority can be based on ROI, business value, or whatever else the players agree is important.

Width is reserved for size/effort/complexity. Stories on the left are smaller/ easier; stories on the right are bigger/harder.

Team members and stakeholders should collaboratively organize the stories – and use the chat logs to shape their feedback.

The quadrants help you identify how you should organize your work. Items in the top-left quadrant are high priority and small. They’ll end up in the top of your work/product backlog. The stories in the top- right are high priority and large. You should break most of those down into smaller stories because they’ll be coming up in the first several sprints. As the stories are broken down, you may find that some are higher priority than others and that a few might even move to a different quadrant.

Use the integrated chat facility to negotiate about your notecards. And any player can edit a noecard to keep track of the agreements of the team. This means that cards will move around during the game as the value of an item increases or decreases or the development team considers various ways of implementing an item.

To get the final results of the game, simply download the Excel spreadsheet. All of the items and their placement values will be available to you for post-processing, including all of the chats.

Key Points:

  • This is not a learning game. This is a “do work” game. When you’re done with this game, you’ll be able to get a much better sense about how to prioritize your backlog items by reviewing them in clockwise order.

References

Timing: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • A list of backlog items (epics / stories) to prioritize.

Players (5..8 recommended):

  • Product Manager / Product Owner
  • Development Team

Directions:

Team Estimation GameThis is an estimation game based on Mitch Lacey’s book The Scrum Field Guide: Practical Advice For Your First Year. In this game, notecards represent user stories or other work items. The following description is adapted from Mitch’s book: Scrum A Year One Survival Guide. Clicking on the image to the right will start an instant play Innovation Game®.

Height determines priority. Stories at the top are higher priority; stories at the bottom are lower priority. A story’s priority can be based on ROI, business value, or whatever else the players agree is important.

Width is reserved for size/effort/complexity. Stories on the left are smaller/ easier; stories on the right are bigger/harder.

Team members and stakeholders should collaboratively organize the stories – and use the chat logs to shape their feedback.

The quadrants help you identify how you should organize your work. Items in the top-left quadrant are high priority and small. They’ll end up in the top of your work/product backlog. The stories in the top- right are high priority and large. You should break most of those down into smaller stories because they’ll be coming up in the first several sprints. As the stories are broken down, you may find that some are higher priority than others and that a few might even move to a different quadrant.

Use the integrated chat facility to negotiate about your notecards. And any player can edit a noecard to keep track of the agreements of the team. This means that cards will move around during the game as the value of an item increases or decreases or the development team considers various ways of implementing an item.

To get the final results of the game, simply download the Excel spreadsheet. All of the items and their placement values will be available to you for post-processing, including all of the chats.

Key Points:

  • This is not a learning game. This is a “do work” game. When you’re done with this game, you’ll be able to get a much better sense about how to prioritize your backlog items by reviewing them in clockwise order.

References

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