I started a new agile transition project with a customer right before I left for vacation.

I would have loved to have the people who are affected by the transition to get engaged with the topic of agile and Scrum before I come back from vacation.

Why lose time? The change already started by the time they reached out to me (or even before), so I thought it might be beneficial that people start right away to deal with the topic.

So What?
A friend and colleague of mine came up with the simple cake-principle: the experience of receiving or even consuming information must be as delicious as a perfect slice of cake.

Here’s my idea:
Play a game about Scrum and agile — get a delicious cake as reward 🙂

Objective of the game:
I asked the team that is affected by the introduction of Scrum if they are ready for a challenge: they are going to be confronted with questions and tasks around the topic of Scrum and agile in a certain framework — the game called Scrum Challenge. The team can score up to 120 points by answering the questions or completing the tasks on the items such as:

  • Why did you decide to develop your product with an agile approach?
  • What does Inspect&Adapt mean? And why is it important four you?
  • Find 5 or more stories which illustrate the 5 ore more principles of the Agile Manifesto?

The basic framework of the game:

As framework I used basic game mechanics known from the game show Jeopardy. I put questions and tasks into 20 items and categorized them by four topics. Each item is valued by a number on the Fibonacci scale.

The basic rules of the game:

  • Meet up once a day — decide which item you want to work on in the group. You’ll find the task description on the back of the item.
  • Decide who is going to take the responsibility to work on the task.
  • Next time you meet, the results of the last task must be presented to the rest of the group before you go on and choose the next item.
  • Each task has to be documented in a comprehensive way.
  • For solving tasks you receive points according to the scale.
  • Have fun!


Maximal score: 120 points

120–110 points: champagne and cake

90–109 points: cake

70–89 points: chocolate bars

How did it work out:

For the first time in their organizational lives — the team organized itself around the daily scrum challenge all by themselves. They created a full documentation that we still use today to look up basic things. They had fun and completed every task in addition to their daily work (and gosh, they are always so busy)! The team scored 107 points. One thirteen was done but did not meet the task to its full extend.

The outcome:

The team experienced a live and lightweight way to organize itself without organizational force. They dealt with the topic of Scrum and agile without me teaching or training anything. They practiced a daily scrum.

After I came back four weeks later we started to train the people in workshops on Scrum and agile — because of the Scrum Challenge they were excellently prepared!

It was a first step to hold the team responsible for their agile transformation!

What is left to say?
I would love to see this tool in action. Get back to me if you try it out!
You can find my questions here (in German). Feel free to use them or modify them the way you need it. And most important: have fun 🙂

Additional information:

You need to score with every 13 item if you want to have champaign in the end
The score indicates the difficulty level to solve the task. It is just an estimation from one single person (me) — there might be different point of views on the scores per item 🙂

First published on at 04.01.2019