This exercise was co-created as part of a collaboration day between myself and Paul Goddard
15-45 minutes (depending upon the size of the Product Backlog, number of stakeholders and amount of discussion)
A Product Backlog
Stakeholders in prioritisation
(Optional) Currency tokens such as monopoly money or poker chips
- Explain that this is an exercise to help collaboratively prioritise the Product Backlog
- Divide the currency tokens equally amongst the stakeholders or nominally allocate $1,000,000 per stakeholder.
- Give the stakeholders an allocated amount of time to “bid” on the items on the Product Backlog (10 minutes or so). Explain that they can spread their budget as thinly as they wish
- Once the time limit has elapsed, or everyone has spent their budget, collate the “bids” and reveal which Product Backlog items have received the highest amounts of money.
- For items that are completed, the money bid on those items is returned to the “central bank” at the end of the Sprint, and then re-allocated to the stakeholders
- Sometimes collaboration can happen accidentally with this technique i.e. one Product Backlog item comes out as priority #1 despite all stakeholders bidding more on something else
- Stakeholders will attempt to collaborate by pooling their money or offering to bid on each other’s items in alternate sprints
- The only way for stakeholders to get more money is by other stakeholders getting their Product Backlog items done
- No one stakeholder can dominate this process as, if their work gets done, they end up with less money to bid with next Sprint
- Decide the relative importance of the stakeholders and allocate an appropriate proportion of the currency amongst them i.e. $250,000 to stakeholder 1 and $500,000 to stakeholder 2
- Blind Bidding – Do not allow stakeholders to converse with each other while spending their budget, or let them see what the others have bid on.
- Open bidding – Allow, and even encourage, discussion, collaboration and negotiation amongst the stakeholders while bidding and make sure the current totals are visible at all times.