Questions Only

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This improv exercise was originally seen on Whose Line Is It Anyway? CH4, on British Television, but manipulated into an agile learning experience by myself and Geoff Watts during a collaboration day.

Timings:

5-10 mins

Materials:

4 people

A buzzer or hooter

Instructions:

Two of the four player meet in an imaginary location (place of work etc) on stage. The only rule of the game is that they can only converse by asking each other questions in turn. If a player hesitates or makes a statement, they are buzzed out and replaced by one of the other players (how is standing behind them).

Learning points:

The game emphasises how hard it is to answer a question with another questions. As problem solving human beings, we are naturally drawn to providing an answer when given a question.

Geoff and I use this to position the ScrumMaster as someone who should encourage a Scrum team to solve their own problems instead of being seen as someone who will always have the answers.

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3 Responses to "Questions Only"
  • Steve November 2, 2012 at 6:33 am

    As a die-hard Whose Line Is It Anyway? fan, I approve of this! :-)

    Actually, I’m sure quite a few WLIIA? games could apply to Agile. Party Quirks using personas? That’d be interesting to see…!

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  • Reid December 4, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Love it! having had the privilege of being onstage with Drew in his stage tour of Whose Line…I’m going to use this this week…great work!

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  • Annabel August 3, 2013 at 6:04 am

    This game is called “Questions,” and Drew Carey almost certainly got it from Tom Stoppard’s play “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.” IIRC the rules are: no statements, no repetition, no non-sequiturs, no rhetorical questions, and it’s scored like tennis.

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