An Agile Game – Sprint Simulation

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It is has long been noted that when conducting Agile workshops that games and exercises are key to how we help participants switch towards a more agile mindset and behavior. Here at Turlon & Associates, we conduct numerous agile workshops ( and we are fundamentals believers in experiential learning. Because of this, we include numerous games and simulations in our training workshops to demonstrate what it takes to have that all-winning and embracing agile mindset. There are numerous sites out there but over the past six months, we have been honing in an agile / scrum games which is all about validating and demonstrating three principles:

  • Collaborative working through the sprint cycle
  • The value of pre-defined team roles during a sprint cycle
  • The value of the transparency of information through a sprint cycle.

This is not just a game, it is a method of working, collaboration and discovering the correct approach to an agile project. So here it is

Step 1: – The Scenario

We create a scenario and personas for each of the individuals. This is done through the demonstration of a case-study that participants take time to familiarise themselves with. In short here is the outline of the case study

You have been asked to develop the product offering for the hotel. The hotel wants an online presence in the market and your job (with your team) is to develop this. The first two steps are about building your core asset (your website), the platform from which you can do all the rest.

  • Build a Professional Website: – Your website is the first impression people will have about your business. So, from a traveler’s perspective, it needs to be clean (uncluttered), attractive (great photos and stylish layout), have all the important information, and be VERY easy to navigate (i.e. easy for the traveler to find what they want).
  • Great Digital Content: – You need great digital photos and interesting stories to get the attention of travelers when they visit your website or read about you on blogs or Facebook.
  • Get Some Free Listings: – Once you have your website, your first priority is to be found by travelers, driving visits to your site. The quickest way to do this is to get listed on as many other free websites as possible, such as local or regional government tourism websites.
  • Get Listed on Google Maps: – A couple of years ago, Google started to give priority to map listings when travelers search for accommodations.
  • Use Online Travel Agents (OTAs) to Boost Sales: – A huge number of travelers use OTAs to make their travel bookings. Popular ones include Expedia,, Orbitz, Wotif, Agoda, Venere, HotelsCombined and You pay commissions in the range of 10-25% for bookings on these OTAs, so they are not cheap.
  • Use Traveler Feedback to Build Your Brand: – The number one tool travelers use to select accommodation is feedback – either from friends and family, or from other travelers on sites like TripAdvisor.
  • Engage with your Guests (Get Social): – Social media is becoming a hugely important way for accommodation providers to build and maintain relations with guests and find new guests through word of mouth feedback and active referrals.

Step 2: – The Product Road-map

You and your customers both know that features vary in importance. So, we tend to want to put our efforts behind the most important features – those features that provide the greatest value to customers. We use The Product Tree to provides the customers with a way to provide input into the decision making process by looking at the set of features that comprise the product in a holistic manner. This then drives the development of the product road-map

Step 3: – Develop and Prioritise the User Stories

Develop at least 10 User Stories with Acceptance Criteria. The user stories are formatted based on role, use and reason

As a [role], I can

  • so that [reason]

    Step 4: – Now Prioritise you User Stories based on Value Point and Story Points

    Step 5: – Develop the Task Board for an iteration

    • Take the top 4 User stories
    • Break them down into a set of tasks.
    • Put a story point / size on each task
    • Create a Kanban View
    • This is now a fifteen minute sprint where all tasks can be achieved within the 15 minute sprint.
    • Start to move your cards

    Step 6: – The Retrospective meeting occurs following the Iteration / Sprint Review.

    The amount of time spent in the meeting is determined by the team.

    The meeting is for the benefit of the team but anyone can attend. This is done by answering three questions in the meeting:

    • What worked well last Iteration that we should continue doing?
    • What didn’t work well last Iteration that we should stop doing?
    • What should we start doing?

    The results are amazing and not only do the team experience the dynamics of an agile project but it also shows learning and strengths of each of the participants.

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