Mitch Lacey Team Prioritization

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This prioritization game was inspired by the innovative Agile and Scrum expert, Mitch Lacey. As described in his book, The Scrum Field Guide: Practical Advice for Your First Year, the collaboration and visual organization involved in this activity provides a painless way to manage backlogs, making your task list less daunting and more effective.

Timing: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • A list of backlog items (epics / stories) to prioritize.

Players (5..8 recommended):

  • Team Manager
  • Stakeholders and/or Internal Team

Directions:

Clicking on this image will start an instant play Innovation Game® at innovationgames.com. You will see the image as the “game board” and notecard icons at the upper left corner, which represent your backlog items.

The graph measures two aspects of each task:

  • X-axis = “Size.” This charts the complexity of the backlog items
  • Y-axis = “Priority.” This arranges tasks based on their urgency. It can be measured by anything the players agree is important, such as ROI or business value.

The chart is divided into three columns to help your team organize assignments based on the amount of effort needed to complete them.

Backlog items are represented by the note card icons found at the upper left corner of the graph. Players simply drag the icons to the game board and describe what they represent. All participants can then edit the placement and description of each notecard, which can be viewed in real time. Use the integrated chat facility to collaboratively organize the tasks and gain a better understanding of the placements and moves.

Work as a team to examine the backlog items in the upper right region of the chart. Is there any way to divide these large, high-priority tasks to make them more manageable? These smaller assignments may then be separated to different areas depending on their size and priority level. This will make your to-do list less daunting and more efficient. When all the notes are in their appropriate places, order them in a to-do list by starting with those in the top-left corner and moving clockwise.

At the end of the game, the results will be organized in a spreadsheet to maximize its benefits. All of the items, their placement values, and the chat history will be included for post-processing.

Key Points:
This game gets team members thinking differently about backlog items. Rather than making a scattered list of debilitating tasks, the Mitch Lacey Team Prioritization arranges your accumulated assignments according to the level of priority and effort needed to accomplish them, allowing for productive advancements.

References
Mitch Lacey describes this game in his book The Scrum Field Guide: Practical Advice For Your First Year.

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