When the team has been under pressure and seems to be stressed out, reaching consensus on even the most basic items can be difficult. Having differing interests from team members at such a time can further exacerbate difficulty in achieving consensus.
During such moments, the team facilitator(e.g the Scrum Master or Project Manager) can incorporate the use ofAgile Games to loosen up the team particularly when it comes to prioritizing work items. Let us take the instance that there are three features in the backlog during Sprint Planning.
The product team is in a contentious moment while trying to confirm to the team what the order of priority should be for the three features. A team member voices frustration on the seemingly indecisive product team. The Scrum Master then interjects;
Scrum Master:“Let’s play ‘If I had $100 Dollars’”
Scrum Master:“If you had $100 Dollars, how would you allocate it across these features in terms of value?”
After brief deliberation, the product team allocates the sum of $100 dollars as follows:
The backlog is then ordered with Feature C being the highest priority item followed by Feature B and lastly Feature A.
The point of the exercise and Agile Games in general, is to break monotony and cause the team to really think about value in a fun and engaging way. This is most useful when the team is having tense moments.
To make the exercise more fun and engaging, the facilitator can use visuals and props while encouraging the team to actively participate in roles as actors.