Timing: 30-60 minutes expected running time (including prep and debrief)


Iterative, Incremental, Big Bang is a workshop game to encourage people to think about alternative approaches for tackling projects. However, rather than discuss boring work-like scenarios, it asks players to decide on an approach for everyday scenarios like converting a loft, cooking Sunday lunch or building a nuclear submarine!


  • Iterative Incremental Big Bang cards (available on Amazon)
  • A prior understanding (or prior explanation) of the concepts of iterative, incremental and waterfall (aka big bang) approaches.

iterative incremental big bang cards


There are four different suggested rules for the game, but the basic game is:

  1. Each player is given a set of 3 approach (white) cards
  2. One player acts as the dealer and reads out a scenario (black) card
  3. Each player (not dealer) chooses their preferred approach to tackle the scenario and places the corresponding approach card face down on the table in front of them
  4. Once everyone has chosen a card, they are all declared
  5. Each player then has 1 minute to explain why they chose the approach they did (dealer may choose who goes first)
  6. Group discusses validity of each approach
  7. After 5-10 minutes, another scenario card is drawn and the process starts again

Learning Points:

Although we might take the terms ‘iterative’ and ‘incremental’ for granted, the terms of often confusing for beginners and even practitioners sometimes fail to remember that each approach has its benefits even when only one of these is implemented. This game helps people question the approach style and makes them formulate arguments for why each approach might be beneficial.

Link to Game: 


4 thoughts on “Iterative Incremental Big Bang

  1. Hi AE Jones, I’m based in the UK and haven’t got the global reach to justify regional distribution (yet) … but I can get these shipped to the US for only a few dollars more and it takes 5-7 working days for delivery (according to Royal Mail). The cost, in GBP £ would be £25.84 (about $39).

  2. Where in the USA can you get these cards? I’d like to use this game for my Scrum Team, but don’t want to have to send an order to the UK.

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