In April I attended RallyOn11 in Boulder where I was introduce to Aaron Sanders one of the Rally’s Agile coaches. During dinner I explained to Aaron that I felt teaching Scrum using basic games and slides was ok but not great nor did it create the engagement and excitement I wanted to generate. Aaron asked me if I ever used Legos to teach Scrum. I replied with, “Nope, but please tell me more.” He went on to explain how he learned it from Geoff Watts another Rally’s Agile coaches basked in the UK.
After the conference I kept thinking how is it possible to play Legos and learn Scrum. Over the next couple of months I exchanged emails and phone calls with Aaron trying to get as much details out of him on how this actually works. I remember asking Aaron how much he spent on Legos during one phone call and he said, “$1000.” I then remember thinking, “crap how am I going to pay for this.”
Fast forward two weeks ago. I woke up on Saturday, four days prior to my scheduled Agile training in Moline. I opened the slide deck that I used once before and deleted all of the slides. That night my wife and I were at Toys R Us and purchased $500 worth of Legos. I remember her saying, “Not exactly what I thought we would be doing on a Saturday night.”
That Sunday morning my wife starting building Lego and keeping track how long each one took to be built. While she was busy keep track of time and building houses, I started building my slide deck based on the idea of building a Lego city that would teach all of the core concept of scrum like backlog, stories, story points, acceptance criteria and teams.
That Monday I emailed my manager and told him I just purchased $500 worth of Legos for my training class in Moline and Germany. I told him that if people felt like they didn’t learn anything, I would pay him $500 + the $100 for all of the wasted time.
Going into day one of the training I had 50% of it figured out told myself to go with the flow and inspect and adapt.
The first day went off without a hitch and the teams were excited to get building the next day. Below is a video describing how it all went down.