"Adults shouldn't play games at work."
It would be easy to think that playing games together is something that we should have stopped doing when we became adults and took on jobs and responsibilities. Games are important for children as they teach social, communication, and tactile skills, as well as many others. But as adults we should learn skills through PowerPoint presentations and reading documentation, right?
I mean, you can do if you want to.
But how many times have you daydreamed your way through a training session, or skim read some documentation because it doesn’t interest you?
There must be a better way!!
I'm a big fan of games.
Why not use games in our every day work? Games have all sorts of benefits for teams, and individual growth.
Many classic games are designed to teach us new skills in a way that is more engaging and allows us to immediately apply these skills to a simulated situation. These are key games in any Scrum Master’s toolbox.
Some games are ways of helping our brains process, sort, and act upon information. Retrospectives are chock-full of games (or exercises if you will) that allow us to understand the previous sprint and collaboratively figure out a way to move forward.
Others are all about fun. It may look like an excuse to mess around and not do work for a bit but I have seen teams gain insights, skills, and camaraderie from playing them. Laughter is a powerful tool at removing hierarchy, promoting safety, and boosting morale, all of which are key to a great Scrum team.
But what are these games?
This blog article is to introduce you to the ULTIMATE AGILE GAMES LIST which is essentially my list of all the games I have used or want to use in a google spreadsheet. (Note: I just used the title ‘Ultimate’ to sound cool, I have no accreditation to prove it is).
I am in no way creative enough to have imagined all these games for myself but as many people working in agile also love games there are so many to choose from. Lucky me! I often find myself spending hours browsing through websites and books looking for new ones to try out or ones that fit a specific purpose.
In respect of these wonderful people who create these games I have only included a summary in the spreadsheet and the link so that you can visit their site and show them some love for the game. For books, I have included the title.
Tell me more about this list!
The spreadsheet is a couple of tabs; the first being the full list of games, the second being retrospective focused.
I have added some filters into the spreadsheet to help find the right game for the context. The retrospective tab divides them into the steps that Esther Derby and Diana Larsen wrote about in their book in the same way that the phenomenal tool Retromat does. (I just wanted a space to hold my notes and which I could add to.)
And that’s something I believe you can do too with this spreadsheet! Copy and paste the spreadsheet into your own Google Drive and add your own notes.
There's a game missing!
There are so many amazing games out there. Please put in the comments below any games you want added to the list. I would love nothing more than to try out some new ones!