Tuesday, 15 July 2014

If walls could tell stories

If walls could tell stories

My team finishes another stand-up near the story-wall. Some of us lean against it for support, otherwise, the wall is largely neglected. In the first 2 weeks of our sprint, at times, our QA reminds us of updating the cards, moving them to the correct states. From the third week, he also gives up.

Why is it that our story-wall has ended up as a rusty board?
Why are we not feeling motivated to move the cards?

I observe that the story-wall generally does not visually encourage us. A week or two into the sprint, and we have at least as many cards as our team size, on the board. And then, some urgent tasks come in, some tasks take longer than we initially thought to move and we wonder "So many tasks?!"

An agile team structure is some what like a team formation in a game. We also have flamboyant forwards, game controlling midfielders, play makers and some great defenders.

I remember having read some where that many agile methods are influenced by sports. May be that is why it is also suggested that an agile team may be of 6 to 11 members in size. Most team sports have teams of these sizes.

I wonder if we can (re)model our story wall like a sports team formation, say a football (soccer) team formation. We can choose different formation in each sprint to spice it up, like 4-3-3 or 4-4-2. There can be a goal, when a developer moves her card to system test and when the tester moves it to done. A review can be an assist. We can have golden balls & golden boots. The clock can tick with each day progressing. We can let each team member choose their position, may be even personalize it with an avatar or photo. Five days into the sprint and when our score line reads 1-0 at 00:05, we can even break into a jig.

What say?


  1. Excellent thoughts...

    The Sports to Agile relation when you think over makes lot of sense..
    I am sure the folks are gonna start enjoying the game ( Like all good sportsperson ) while trying to win ( Like any good team will do )..

    However what would you name the Scrum master as, coach or captain ?