Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Game Theory

It's all a game
To quote the most Agile of the Agilists, Mary Poppins: "In every job that must be done there is an element of fun, you find the fun and SNAP, the job's a game". Ms Poppins comes from the nanny-state school of Agile in which all lowly workers should be treated as errant children, encouraged to do work through games, song, dance and the judicious use of chimney sweeps.

Some people have told Mary to get back on her broom stick and fly off. These people are foolish. It's an umbrella. The point stands, though, Agile is a series of games. These games are played in the Dojo (not involving a Yoyo, humble or otherwise) which is the office, under the presidency of a Nanny/Coach/Head Sumo.

What are the games
Here is a non-exhaustive list of the games you can play as part of the Agile process:
  • The standing around a whiteboard game
  • The planning game
  • The getting everyone together for a meeting game
  • The I'm not giving you a dressing down but you'll have spent time listening to my raised voice, game
  • The who's in charge? game
  • Retrospectives - the what can we write down about how much we messed up this time and then challenge ourselves to screw up more next time, game
  • The I want a new job game
  • The playing off management against each other game
  • The guess what the next job is game
  • What's my line? - like the TV show, but rather than getting a panel to guess your job, you have to guess it yourself
  • Who can be the most keen? - a competition to see who can be the most excited about nothing
  • Pin the blame on the donkey
  • Hopskotch
  • Story drafts - drafting and redrafting requirements until they're virtually meaningless
  • Cards - a variety of card games, involving pin boards, index cards and making the lack of grand progress invisible by breaking down the few things you have done into fine-grained tasks which are progressing
  • Call my bluff - the game that should never be played with an Agilist - you'll always lose, they have the advantage of being able to invent more terms than you can question
  • Hangman - when the projects start to fail, someone will get it in the neck
Maybe there are some games not listed here, please add them via the comments facility.


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