Timing: 15 mins

Materials:

Post-its

Instructions:

For each team participating – I provided one set of post-its on 4×4 post-its of the same colour (didn’t want anyone reading anything into colour). On each set of the post-its I had the Agile Manifesto values written out. Each post-it only had 1/2 of a value statement (eg. “Individuals & Interactions” on one post-it, and “processes and tools” on a different post-it.

For each team participating – I put two post-its as headers on the wall. One had “More” and the other “Less”

How to run the game:

Ask the group to self organize into X number of teams. When this is done ask them to think about successful projects they’ve been on. Their task is to take the stake of post-its you’re going to give them and organize them under the two headings of:

More – these things contributed more to the success of the project
Less – these things didn’t make much difference to the success of the project (or may have even had a negative impact)

I gave them 2 mins to organize the 8 post-its under the two headers (which was plenty of time). This meant looking at what had more vs. less impact. Also pairing them across the two columns (ie. the top two seemed to be related, the second two, etc)

Then we discussed the results — I didn’t not correct or moving anything

Unfortunately my time was very limited and I couldn’t afford to do this next part . I simply discussed the principles, but would have rather gone this way. So this is an untested concept (let me know if you try it and how it works for you):

– For the 12 principles I had them written on index cards. As a next step I was going to have the teams arrange them based on how the statements fit into past project successes.
– I don’t really see them as something you can put in order, but the whole point is to get the participants debating & talking about them
– I would be sure to clarify there isn’t a priority order and why I asked them to do this

Learning Points:

– introduce the manifesto and the concept of Agile being about doing the stuff that works to deliver value
– get them understanding there’s more to Agile than a methodology (before we start talking about methodologies)
– Get them discussing the principles

Discussion and facilitation guidance:

– see picture for end result of this group
– don’t correct them – through discussion help them re-arrange to align according to the manifesto (eg. I had one team put “Responding to change” and “Following a plan” on the “more” side (ie. we simply value both of them more). I asked why they thought both of these belonged to the “more” side. They told me they strongly believe even with Agile projects you need a plan. I congratulated them and we talked briefly about the myth with Agile projects you don’t plan. This opened the door and stressed the fact the manifesto says “We value X over Y” … not “We value X instead of Y”.

3 thoughts on “Matching values”

  1. I ran the game last Friday. It did it with the values as I didn’t have time to run the 12 principles. It did generate the right amount of discussion and got the group thinking. One person did put Processes and Tools in the More column but this was an isolated example, probably indicative of a problem that falls in the Complicated quadrant of the cynefin framework.

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