Total time: 45-60 minutes


The purpose of the game is for everybody to participate and share their opinions, thoughts, feelings, ideas and practical use of the agile manifesto and its principles. They will be doing this by playing a matching game.


  • For the team: After facilitating this workshop I observed teams checking their actions and values against the manifesto. They had a constant reminder in a single glance at the wall. For instance, there was a particular ocassion when they were being pressured by a manager to get too many stories done for a sprint, and they pointed out the technical debt would be increased, opposed to delivering technical excellence as one of the principles states.
  • For the coach: Our job gets so much easier by getting to know the people, their reactions, understanding their way of thinking, solving problems and behaving after observing their interactions. We can also help them communicate and collaborate more effectively by playing games like this one.


  • Cultivate the agile thinking from the early stages of the transformation.
  • Foster an agile mindset.
  • Understand the meaning of the agile manifesto.
  • Look closer for deeper, hidden or unexplored aspects and applications to their daily work.
  • Team building.

What you need

  • from 1 to 5 teams/pairs (up to 20 to 30 people)
  • agile manifesto and principles cards for each team/pair (download the material in English below)
  • a timer/alarm clock/app
  • post its (or several color papers)
  • crayons, color pencils/markers
  • blank poster (or flip chart blank page) per team

 How to run the workshop

A. Preparation (1-5 minutes)

  1. Explain: the rules and purpose of the game.
  2. Set up the teams: according to the physical space organize the teams (or pairs) for discussion.
  3. Read the manifesto: or even better, ask somebody to help you read the manifesto out loud for all of them.
  4. Deliver the principle cards for each team/pair: ask them to check they have the complete set (the manifesto and 12 principles) before starting.

B. Discussion and matching (20-25 minutes)

  1. Instruction: The participants must match each principle to one of the manifesto’s item.
  2. Set the timer for discussion: Each team/pair must be accountable for the time remaining. Let the conversation begin!

C. Sharing thoughts (15-20 minutes.)

  1. Share results: especially the ones contrasting between teams. Ask what were the conclusions pointed out from the discussions.
  2. Sum up: get the teams to deliberate about their outcomes.  Ask them for examples.

Powerful questions:

  • Do we understand each one of the principles?
  • How can we apply them on a daily basis?
  • Does it really matter to associate every principle to a single rule from the manifesto?
  • How our daily work would look and feel like if we did all this?
  • What are the obstacles we have to overcome to get there?
  • What can we do as a team and individually to contribute to this ideal goal?

D. Making the poster: collaboration (15-20 minutes)

  1.  Let the creativity spirit take over: any material they want to use is valid. Foster collaboration and ask them to cooperate altogether in the creation of the poster. All of them must take part. I encourage them to sign it, write their names on it, draw or put the team rubric on it afterwards.
  2. Make it visible: finally we post it into a near wall or door where everybody can see it.
 Additional tips:
  • It is better to have teams/pairs with people who don’t know each other so they can interact more and get to know each other better.
  • The principles have been numbered in case the cards get jumbled up, but these numbers doesn’t mean anything else.
  • When matching, you will notice that sometimes teams want to get “the right answer” or “the right number of matching” (for instance, 3 principles per manifesto item). Don’t interviene, let them figure it out. The goal of the game is to let them talk about it, not to be right or wrong. They will soon be engaged and establish their own method for matching. Just let them work.
  • If you see the game is turning into a desperate matching without conversation for any team ask them for examples or powerful questions to stoke the chat.

Game original post and printable cards:

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