Trainers interested in our Scrum simulation often ask us to compare ScrumTale with simulations using Lego bricks. We have decided to summarize differences between Lego based workshops and ScrumTale, so we have invited Björn Jensen to write this article and present subjective comparison of these two games. Björn is a CST and just like us, he uses both of these simulations in his trainer work.
Lego Scrum is a simulation with several variants. The most popular are Lego City and #Lego4Scrum by Alexey Krivitsky. There are also different options that use Lego bricks in a similar way. The product developed during the workshop is most often a city where specific facilities built by Scrum teams must be created. In turn, in ScrumTale, the products are two crime stories written by two Scrum teams using Google Docs.
Both simulations introduce the role of the customer who explains the vision of the final product. The beginning of the ScrumTale workshop, enriched with the Arsund Tales add-on, introduces the participants to the atmosphere of a Norwegian thriller. ScrumTale uses elements such as photos of the town of Arsund, a description of the user (reader) persona, an outline of the main characters, including the main character, detective Olivia Larsson. Despite the fairly rich introduction by the client, participants still have a lot of space for creativity in coming up with a complete vision of the product.
Both simulations use story mapping, user stories and DoD. Both simulations last three sprints.
From the trainer’s point of view, ScrumTale and the Lego City are great tools for working with a group. We use them interchangeably in our workshops. So let’s try to summarize what is worth paying attention to when choosing a simulation for training.
Here are the main factors to consider when choosing Lego Scrum.
This simulation does not require any special skills from the participants besides some hands on experience using Lego. The lack of language and writing requirements will not be a problem here. In case of ScrumTale, skillful use of language and some minimal writing abilities are useful. If you choose ScrumTale for a multilingual group, make sure that creating a story in a foreign language will not be too much of a challenge. In the case of ScrumTale, it should be taken into account that a fairly high level of creativity is required from the participants. It will be difficult for teams to create an interesting book without it.
The element of manual assembly of structures made of blocks is perfect as a group exercise. It simulates the self-organization and creative ways of problem solving.
Lego Scrum is shorter than ScrumTale. The entire simulation can be completed in 2.5 hours. In the case of ScrumTale, it is recommended to reserve 4 hours. In the end, it depends on what the trainer wants to include in the simulation as well. One can easily add more blocks in order to explain the theory in more details.
Lego Scrum will work for a larger group, because the teams work completely independently. ScrumTale will work for a workshop group with two Scrum teams and and conducting training for more participants requires an additional facilitator. This is because ScrumTale includes elements of scaling and collaboration between teams. Both of the stories that are being created must make up one book series about the adventures of detective Olivia Larsson. It requires efficient cooperation between the teams.
Here are the main factors to consider when choosing ScrumTale.
As a product, a crime story has many analogies to software development. The main are: similar way of product development, approach to quality and integration. Also, the challenges are similar. You can read more about it here
The ease of assessing the “coolness factor” and quality of a crime story (some groups are at the level of the real book bestseller) is certainly an advantage of this simulation. It is much easier for the customer to evaluate the product during a demo including quality and integration problems. Sprint review leads to a natural conversation about the condition of the product, further customer expectations and necessary changes.
The process of creating a detective story is extremely creative. The participants very quickly get involved in the plot they create. A strong sense of responsibility for the success of the product is quickly born. Subsequent ideas appear in the minds of the participants. It builds a high level of genuine involvement in the creative process. As a result, team members behave very naturally, which allows you to capture the dynamics of the group and the process of team formation.
ScrumTale Online Edition was created in the Miro virtual board. Basic elements were combined with the Arsund Tales and Story Mapping add-ons. Unfortunately, the physical limitations for Lego bricks cannot be bypassed so easily.
The last element that is important to notice (which will be felt especially by trainers who travel a lot by plane) is fewer items to take on a trip. In case of Lego Scrum, it is necessary to transport a large set of bricks. The ScrumTale Traveler Bag fits in a laptop bag.
We recommend both simulations to every Agile trainer. We hope this short comparison will help you to better choose the right Scrum simulation game for your specific training group. If you are interested, we invite you to our monthly webinars, which are an opportunity to get to know ScrumTale simulation better.
Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/30478819@N08/32517889458
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