CHRIS DILLER brought a card game (gone virtual!) that he first saw at the Global Scrum Gathering in Austin, TX in 2019 – SCRUMCHKIN, created by Mario Melo. Scrumchkin is “a card game created to improve Scrum training and coaching sessions. It simulates real problems and focus on provoking rich debates about prioritization, feedback and team interactions through roleplay.”

While the game was originally created to be played in-person with physical cards, it has been adapted into a virtual version, hosted on which enabled the group to play together on a virtual screen in real-time.

In Scrumchkin, each player takes on one of three familiar roles: Product Owner, ScrumMaster, or Development Team Member. To start the game, a Backlog is built with drawn Feature, Size, and Business Value cards – as these are randomly drawn, each game’s backlog is different. The team selects how many backlog items to take into the first sprint and game play begins. One round of play represents a single development day, with five days in each Sprint. On their turn, each player is allowed to take 2 role-specific actions.

Product Owners use their turns to discover more of the backlog (new Features, Business Value, Feedback, etc.) or rearrange item priority.

Development Team members complete work towards items in the Sprint Backlog or estimate features.

ScrumMasters work to put the Development Team into optimal position or remove impediments that are in the way of the team.

As play progresses, bugs and impediments are introduced, providing challenges for the team to overcome.

Overall, this game does a great job showcasing how Scrum works. The cards are well-designed and there is a lot of flexibility for the facilitator to decide on house rules or to create specific scenarios they’d like a team to deal with.

More about Scrumchkin here:

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