Timing: This game is normally done in a forty-five minute time block: 10 minutes upfront for instructions, 20 minutes for the game, and 15 minutes for the debrief.


The Sudokuban game is a quick 45 minute game to practice Kanban in a safe to fail environment where constraints have been setup to swiftly force work in progress limits to be hit. Built using pre-constructed sudoku puzzles and mimicking a real visual management wall, participants are encouraged to beat the other teams in the room and achieve the most value at the end of the timebox. The aim of the game is to get as many high value sudoku puzzles through to “Completed” as possible.

This game can be used for knowledge workers in general as there are no specific software development references at all. The usage of puzzles introduces enough complexity to require deep thinking time, mimicking a real knowledge work environment.

Learning Points:

  • How to limit work in progress and the value of doing so
  • How to pull work
  • How to handle unplanned urgent work
  • How effective swarming and pairing comes from limiting work in progress
  • The importance on focusing on value

Link to Game: http://www.unbounddna.com/resources/agile-games/sudokuban-a-kanban-in-action-puzzle-game/