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    Scrumble – an Agile board game

    February 9th, 2015

    Agility is completely new to you? Skeptical about applying Scrum for your project? Feel like challenging your team? Get ready to Scrumble!

    Developing Agile strengths and values through a fun simulation of Scrum
    Scrumble allows to highlight many issues that team members often face, as being developers, product managers or facilitators and to provide solutions spontaneously, all in a casual setting.
    This game and its printable content are free to download. Have fun!

    Game duration: 2 hours or more.

    Complete guide:

    Objectives of the game and desired behaviour

    As noted in the introduction, Scrumble is a fun way to learn and consolidate Scrum when participants are reluctant to take the step themselves, to learn by using guides, or to appropriate it.

    The great strength of Scrumble lies in its role of revealing dysfunctions in the team in a context that is conducive to transparency and interaction, and safe for everyone.

    The rules described in this guide are ideally modeled on Scrum and may seem complex at first. However, they are not. You will realize it very quickly after the first sprint. Also, all rounds will be different, based on the players’ creativity and the decisions they make. Together, they find new opportunities and sometimes problems where there are none! Of these challenges stem many lessons and Agile development:
    • Team spirit: Everyone is actively involved in the game and is heard by others.
    • Creativity: Without cheating, the game mechanics are exploited by all players.
    • Self-organization: Initiatives are collective and spontaneous and adds rhythm to the game.
    • Transparency: Everyone expresses oneself clearly and ideas are made understandable to all.
    • Respect: Unnecessary tensions and disturbances are avoided and set aside of the game.
    • Conflict resolution: Problems between players are resolved intelligently and smoothly.
    • Ability to prioritize: The Product Owner targets the delivery of value, and the team contributes to it.
    • Commitment: Everyone does their best to achieve a common objective.

    Prerequisites and organization

    Game components

    Before beginning a Scrumble round, you need of course all the necessary materials and components. You will find them enclosed. They are ready to be printed and cut. Substitutes may be used instead of pawns and markers. For example, LEGO® bricks and characters are easy to integrate.

    Here is what needs to be printed in color, cut, and glued:

    • The board, pawns, and markers:
    Print these items on Bristol board (or stronger paper) in a large size (minimum A3). The A2 format is perfect for a large number of players. Then, cut parts keeping the small edge (shaded area on pawns and markers). Fold symmetrically the pawns representing the players and the debt, then glue their center so they can stand vertically (to facilitate movement on the board).

    • The cards:
    Print on plain white paper or Bristol board in A4 format. By printing two-sided copies, the cards will have their cover in the back of their statement. If you want to save ink, you can print only the odd pages (you only have the statements on one side).

    • The set of User Stories:
    If you want to play a game of Scrumble within a set context for the product to develop, print all pages except the last one.
    If you want to write your own User Stories, print only the last page. Then, together with the Product Owner, write all User Stories on the index cards obtained (one story per card).
    The User Stories can be printed on coloured paper of A4 format for an optimal finish.
    The following items are also required: a dice (have several nearby in case of loss), blocks of Post-it® notes, pencils with an eraser at the end (preferably).
    Accessories such as a whiteboard and markers can be useful, but they are not essential.

    Preparation and organization

    You now have all the required items at hand. Also, you probably read the guide. Well done! Now you have to choose one or several teams to play with.

    Regarding the organizational aspect, we recommend that you follow the following list for successful Scrumble rounds:
    • Allow two hours for the game (that you will have previously planned with the team) and provide a pleasant setting. A room is essential to enjoy the game without being disturbed and without disturbing others.
    • Limit the number of players (between 5 and 11 maximum), including the Product Owner and Scrum Master. Communicate at least the introduction of the game previous to the activity.
    • Make sure you have a Scrum Master in the group. This person must know Scrum sufficiently to be able to act as game leader.
    • Have all the elements of the game in hand.
    • If the game is played within the context of a real project, you can write your own User Stories, as indicated in the previous section. In this case, you can use an existing Product Backlog to get down to the pre-sprint phase. If the Product Backlog does not exist yet, we invite you to conduct a Big Wall workshop to develop it.

    About the game

    Scrumble was created in 2014 in the whimsical spirit of Romain Trocherie, an Agile coach and Scrum Master at Pyxis Suisse. After all, if Scrum comes partly from a game, why not create a game on Scrum? That was the original idea.

    Game design and experiments lasted for weeks, and Scrumble will continue to evolve based on your experiences. For any comments or suggestions, please contact Romain by email at

    Licence and user rights

    The Scrumble game is completely free, playable by everyone, regardless of place and time.

    However, we want to highlight that this required a substantial effort on the part of Pyxis Suisse’s team and the final goal of the game, which is the promotion of an ideal operation of teams based on the principles of Scrum, should not be altered.

    As such, the game and its different media are provided under licence (Creative Commons–Attribution–NonCommercial–No Derivatives 4.0 International). Therefore, you can share it by quoting authors, without modification and without financial compensation.

    Jouons à Scrum! (Softshake) – 2014/10/23 – Romain Trocherie [French] from Romain Trocherie
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