Birdie Birdie : A collaborative game to learn about the Agile Scrum method as a team
The “Birdie Birdie” template aims to introduce players to the Scrum project management method by building a Tangram figure. The aim is to make up a specific figure defined by the facilitator, using seven differently-shaped pieces that fit into a square.
The game helps teams get to know the Scrum method and learn how to use it. It is an iterative process based on the Scrum sprints. The stages are similar to agile “ceremonies”, i.e. Sprint planning, reviews and retrospectives.
“Birdie Birdie” is the ideal tool to help your team develop their communication and adaptation skills. Learning to work effectively as a team is the first step to implementing actions rapidly, successfully completing a collaborative project and introducing a continuous improvement process.
The benefits of agile project management and teamwork
The Scrum agile project management method is a favorite among iterative and collaborative project management enthusiasts and is increasingly popular worldwide. Hardly surprising, in the light of what we know about the “future of work”! Goals to achieve include revamping working methods by incorporating new collaborative technology, balancing out coworkers’ professional and personal lives, and stimulating their creativity at work. So obviously, learning new tools is part of the equation. After over a year of health protection measures, which have led to new hybrid working practices, many project managers are now considering taking these new tools fully on board.
Agile methods put the customer’s needs center stage and promote dialog and communication between all project stakeholders. So Klaxoon can provide guidance and support when you move over to these project management methods.
Klaxoon’s new interactive whiteboard, Board Hybrid™, is the ideal tool for setting up a Scrum-based agile method. Its digital workspace facilitates collaboration and interaction within a project team.
Nowadays teamwork in a business environment means more than just meeting up for regular brainstorming sessions and then working on your own in your office. That’s why Klaxoon’s whiteboard supports interaction and sharing ideas both in person and remotely, alone or in a group, using creative graphic tools such as smart connectors, the Questions tool, and Live, the built-in videoconferencing tool.
Working remotely or working as a team on site becomes more efficient and fun, leading to successful project management!
Understanding the basics of the Scrum agile management method
The Scrum model is an agile methodology for developing products and features. It was first developed by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland in their reference work, The Scrum Guide and is based on a series of development cycles known as sprints. The method is broken down into several stages called ceremonies, as for example the Sprint Planning at the beginning of the cycle, and the sprint retrospective at the end.
At the very beginning of a development cycle, the sprint planning stage determines the scope of the next sprint and identifies the development team’s set of tasks. The idea is to work as a team to set a realistic and achievable objective for the next sprint. All the features scheduled for the new product are reviewed and broken down into a number of small technical tasks to help the team get a clearer picture. You then decide together which tasks will be developed during the next iteration with respect to the set objectives and the team’s development capacity.
The Sprint review helps you keep tabs on the project’s progress at any point in time, and collect feedback to adapt the list of features to be prioritized. At the end of a sprint, the purpose is to present the end product to the stakeholders and collect as much feedback as possible. It’s a key moment for communicating and showing the state of progress and solving any issues.
The sprint retrospective takes place at the end of a development cycle. It provides the project manager with information about the team’s mindset following a development phase, and helps them collect and generate ideas that will help decide what to do for the next sprint. This is a critical project management stage as it helps monitor whether the team has managed to talk and generate ideas, and it helps to improve collectively. As a matter of fact, working as a team doesn’t come naturally!
The “Birdie Birdie” template: a fun solution to learn about the Scrum method
Tangram is an agile game to learn how to truly operate as a team
The “Birdie Birdie” template is based on Tangram, aka the “seven piece game”, which is a kind of puzzle. The purpose is to recreate a square cut out into seven pieces, including five right isosceles triangles, a square, and a parallelogram, taking into account a number of specifications. It’s a fun and efficient way for teams to learn how to work as a team.
Before getting started, allow the team some time to become familiar with the Tangram pieces. One basic rule is that all the pieces must be used, and they are not allowed to overlap!
Setting up your template to play Tangram, an agile and collaborative game
Organize the players into two teams of two to five people. You can add a picture for each member and create a videoconferencing link for both teams. Pick a facilitator for the game or for each team.
The project manager picks the image to be recreated with the puzzle pieces (e.g. a ship). Choose certain special features that you must or mustn’t include in the figure you have to create (e.g. The boat must have a sail, it shouldn’t have a cabin, etc.).
What is the aim of the game? The team that has managed to produce the figure including the highest number of special features wins the level, and the team that wins the most levels on the board wins the game.
Playing according to Scrum methodology: true teamwork
Invite your team to join the whiteboard, and start a 5, 15 or 30 minute Live session that can be repeated as many times as necessary to explain the rules of the game.
At the start of each level, the facilitator unveils the mystery card showing the figure that has to be created and the special features to include or exclude.
And you’re off!
The planning phase is a 5 minute session where the teams discuss their project and assign a role to each member if they want to.
Next is a 7 minute execution phase during which teams produce a visual with the required figure.
Use Live to conduct a group review, when each team presents their work and compares it against the requirements. In teams, change the color of special feature requirements that were met, count them, and find out who won the round. The host can lock the mystery card until the end of the game to hide it from the players.
Run a team videoconferencing session for the retrospective: everyone reflects on what worked and what didn't, and finds areas for improvement for the next round.
Does this ring a bell? Planning, execution, review and retrospective: all these are stages in the Scrum method!
Finally, take about twenty minutes to answer questions during the Feedback session. For truly efficient collaborative online work, the team members must say what they think of their teamwork and whether they were able to communicate effectively. Learning through playing is key because this is when the team will realize the importance of getting the overall picture, even if they have never used the Scrum method before.
You can adapt the level as you go along by making the figures and the special features more or less complex, or by shortening the stages. The “Birdie Birdie” template is a fun and agile way of learning the Scrum method and improving its use with every project!