Gameplay to create team cohesion

Agile Musical Chairs Workshop presented at Agile Prague 2023.

Agile Musical Chairs

Agile Prague 2023

This week I had the great privilege to run an Agile Musical Chairs gameplay workshop at Agile Prague 2023. Prague is a beautiful city, and the friendliness and support from the organisers and attendees and other speakers made it a memorable event.

Games are a great way to learn and a great way to coach. This game focused on self-organisation and fast feedback loops or learning through failure. I was scheduled in a slot directly after lunch, so it was a great way to re-energise a group of people full of food!  We had about 16-20 people in the session but it can be run with groups as small as 7 as well as scaling well to large groups.  All you need is space and chairs and 45-60 minutes.

Agile Prague 2023 Workshop

Agile Musical Chairs

What does it involve?

This game enforces the importance of SELF ORGANISATION, COMMUNICATION, and TRUST.

A self-organised team is efficient (no manager needed)

The team should find a quick and simple way to communicate (short verbal word)

Each member should trust other members (for taking care of the chair they left)

You also want the team to learn quickly by failing in rapid succession and learning from their mistakes. The game drives short cycles, inspection and adaption and lays down some restrictions that they (initially) can’t work around (just like in the real world).

Agile self-organizing teams prove extremely efficient because they can spend less time on project management and more time on solving problems and completing work. Self-organizing teams quickly decide on the tasks they need to work on and how they can meet the corresponding deadlines which directly leads to better speed of delivery.

Agile Musical Chairs

Why play Agile Musical Chairs?

You can play Agile Musical Chairs as a team icebreaker, as a team retrospective or at an Agile Conference, just like I did at #agileprague 2023.  It’s great used as part of a team formation to unite the team, remove traditional barriers and set the scene for what retrospectives could look like. It will drive some interesting reflections on how they work as a team and can re-invigorate retrospectives.  It can also be used to kick off team planning or big planning days.  It can also be used as a community building activity.

I have created an information pack and facilitator guide for Agile Musical Chairs.  You can click here to download your own copy.

If you are looking for a responsive, collaborative and engaging Azure DevOps Administrator for your project, and to tap into my lessons learned, don’t hesitate to DM me, or contact Accuteque.

Michelle Prosser-Roberts, Head of Operational Excellence

Agile Prague MC 3
Agile Prague 4

Some of the behind the scenes action at Agile Prague and Agile Musical Chairs.

Agile Prague MC 2

September 25, 2023

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