The Newlywed Game

Stay Updated: Posts | Comments   Follow us on Twitter

Timing: 15 – 30 minutes, depending on the ensuing discussion!

Overview: This is a game about setting expectations.  That can be setting expectations between a coach and a team, or between a new product owner and new scrum master.  The point is to make getting to know each other and establishing expectations more fun! The ensuing discussion is a great way to establish a coaching agreement between a coach and a new team or to get people aligned on what to expect from fellow team members (IE: what a team expects from their new product owner and vice versa)


Given a scenario where a new coach is being parachuted into a team that has no experience with Agile, it’s important to set expectations on both sides.  This is a fun way for a coach to communicate to a team what he/she expects from the team
  1. Play the Newlywed Theme song
  2. Enjoy the crazy looks you’ll get from the people in the room
  3. Explain the rules of the Newlywed Game:
      • Each party will need to take 10-15 minutes to write down 3 expectations they have from the other party. IE: the coach will write down 3 things they expect from the team, and vice-versa.
      • One party, in this example, the coach, will be sent to the iso-booth to record his/her answers on 3 big sticky notes.
      • The coach will come back in the room and try to guess the 3 expectations the team wrote down.
      • The team will then try to guess the 3 expectations the coach wrote down.
  4. Have a discussion (decide on a time-box) around where both parties converged and where they diverged.
  5. The big stickies are then posted on the team wall as a reminder about the working agreement that has been formed.
This game was co-developed with Shawn Button.

VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
Rate This
Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)
The Newlywed Game, 5.0 out of 5 based on 3 ratings
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
3 Responses to "The Newlywed Game"
  • Nick Zdunic August 10, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    I like the potential of this game – will make a note to play it sometime on a new Agile assignment.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  • Scott Seivwright December 15, 2014 at 2:09 am

    Great game Jason.

    I will look for an occasion to use it. Thanks for sharing.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  • Vanessa Martens March 6, 2018 at 10:32 am

    Great way to start Scrum Master training with the expectations discussion…thanks

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Leave a Reply:

Discuss Login
Recent Comments