agile simulation

Agile Teaching Done Better Through Gaming

How often have you heard agile enthusiasts say something on the lines of, “Experimentation is favored more than adherence to a rigid plan”? 

Scrum has empiricism as one of its founding priciples. Empirical research is based on observed or measured phenomenon and derives knowledge from actual experience rather than theory or belief. 

These can be important principles as we introduce modern agile learners to the agile way of doing work. As modern agile learners enter into the workforce, we have at our disposal a number of unique trends that teachers, instructors and agile coaches can consider. 

Gaming is second nature

Where do young kids hang out these days? Online, within Minecraft and while playing Roblox. Gaming has become second nature to these young kids. Working with their peers they design virtual worlds, build products and learn how to work in teams. Games help students stay interested, accelerate learning, develop skills, and provide opportunities for deeper learning. How can we leverage these same tools to help teach agile concepts? Many agile instructors have experimented with games to drive engagement in their courses. Agile Games West is an annual conference that brings together instructors, ideas and vendors that support gaming as a serious learning tool. Games are a natural learning environment for today’s agile learners. 

Scaling an effective teacher

Significant body of research suggests that the teacher is perhaps the most important actor in education. And if you happen to get a fabulous, effective teacher, your trajectory of learning skyrockets. This outsized impact of teachers on education raises the question of how to scale a really effective teacher. Technology can provide some hope of achieving this. Take the example of Tonal – it’s a smart home gym and a personal trainer. Tonal’s artificial intelligence analyzes every facet of your workout to help you build strength. Multiple sensors track your form and technique in real time and provide instant feedback. In the past you would need a personal trainer to help you with this, but technology has helped scale certain aspects of a personal trainer. 

Simulations are emerging as an effective tool to capitalize on these opportunities and complement classroom teaching. We have gamified agile learning through our SimAgile product. 

SimAgile is one such agile simulation game where the learner role plays a Scrum Master and navigates a virtual agile team to deliver a minimal viable product. The Scrum Master simulation is based on the Scrum framework, where learners are presented with real life challenges and scenarios, and receive immediate feedback based on how they respond to scenarios. It is constantly evolving, incorporating the most effective teaching methods and guidance from effective instructors. Building knowledge into the simulation allows for scaling effective learning methods and strategies. 

In this simulation the student plays the role of a Scrum Master who has to deliver a minimal viable product for a company that is undergoing a merger. The product’s goal is to integrate the benefits and human resource systems for both companies. A team of ten agile team members collaborate to work through the product backlog. Similar to a real agile team, the learner has access to a number of artifacts to understand team performance and velocity. Some of the reports include the daily burndown chart, velocity trend and cumulative flow diagram. Experience the agile ceremonies of daily Scrum, sprint planning, sprint review and sprint retrospectives.

For those that have minimal to no exposure to agile teams, the simulation is a safe playground to get a feel for what they are about to experience in the real world. 

Learn more about SimAgile or request a demo today!