When I found, while reading Agile Spain mailing list, that someone had the idea of using LEGO as an aid for Scrum Coaching, I thought that it could be a very enjoyable way of reinforcing some concepts that are addressed during the training.
But after using it during several sessions, I only can confirm what I suspected. Not only we enjoyed it like little Childs, but even more, I think that it was much easier for everyone to begin to get in touch with all the learned issues.
Simply put, the idea consists on going through a handful of Sprints, where the Team tries to build a LEGO town, committing to a backlog that has been proposed by me (as the product owner), and that has been estimated and prioritized by all the attendants working together (as members of the different Teams). As you can imagine, people gets fascinated when you show them the pile of LEGO bricks and you ask them for getting to work ;-). The process I followed, with some minor modifications, is the one described in the link which I included at the beginning of the post.
Following you can find my retrospective, based on the experience gained during several sessions carried out with different teams.
Things that went well
- You can play the game no matter which is the technology or the kind of projects in which the Team is involved
- Concepts are quickly settled down because of the practical approach
- People get involved immediately
- Lots of fun!!!
Things that didn’t go so well
- Usually time gets too short to finish it properly
- It’s a bit confusing to find out the tasks for the Sprint Backlog
- There are several key concepts in Scrum that you can’t cover quite well, because the lack of time or the difficulty to carry them out; for example, Daily Scrum. But it’s always possible to complement this game with other related ones
- If you are not careful, sometimes people pays more attention to playing with the bricks than to learning the process
- Better adjustment of Sprint length and cadence
- Include essential Scrum practices not covered yet
- Buy more LEGO bricks (ok, I don’t really need them, but this is the perfect excuse… you never can get enough LEGO bricks)