Hone your product development skills. Agile 101 | The Card Game

Play out real development scenarios that can teach
you the basics or help you hone your agile skills.

A game for anyone who wants to learn more about agile ways of working.

For newbies

Agile is a buzzword, and it’s an intimidating one. But it doesn’t have to be. Agile 101 brings everything down to earth by letting you play out real-world team experiences. Whether you’re looking to get started in an agile team or just want to understand what the developers you work with are always talking about — Agile 101 has you covered.

For experienced practitioners

Experiment with new team structures and novel delivery strategies without risking your product pipeline. Even if you’ve got years of experience running or working in agile teams, Agile 101 helps you break the mould and learn something new while having fun at the same time. And it’s great for training and team building.

Find out the backstory of how Agile 101 happened.

Experiment with real agile delivery strategies and learn how to get your product to market quicker

Master team sizes and roles

Learn what it’s like to be a product manager, delivery manager and developer. Set your team size, practice collaboration and put your capabilities to the test.

Allow everyone to understand agile product development

Developers, business leaders, clients and more can get a better understanding of agile ways of working. It will improve collaboration skills and their ability to work with development teams.

Rethink current processes

Get a fresh perspective by mapping your current team structure, size and priorities. See if you can beat the game or find a better way to win.

Experiment with priorities

See what happens if you focus on releasing new features over managing technical debt, and then fine-tune what works best. See how your current strategy stacks up against alternatives.

Develop decision-making

Respond to development challenges and allow team members to practice collaborative problem-solving and change management together.

Fold agile techniques into everyday life

Detach ways of thinking about right and wrong and lean into decisions and consequences instead. Watch it transform how technical and non-technical teams coordinate and collaborate.

“The one lesson I see almost all teams take way is the unparalleled value of genuine and transparent collaboration — avoiding closeted decision-making.”

Emma Hopkinson-Spark

– Agile development specialist, Chief of Staff at 101 Ways and creator of Agile 101 the card game.

How it actually works

The full rules: For a detailed breakdown of all the action read how to play Agile 101.

Step 1: Set your team size

The number of people you play with has a big impact on whether you win or lose (in the game, and in real life). More team members means more rolls of the dice.

Like the real world, it can make it more difficult to communicate and work together. Releases get too big and risky. Nothing get’s finished. Don’t let the leaner teams beat you…

Step 2: Assign team roles

Each team has one Product Manager and one Delivery Manager. These two respond to events and keep you on track.

The rest of your team are developers who build your product and fix bugs. You’ll quickly learn what too many developers does to your process…

Step 3: Build your backlog

You’ll choose from ‘story’ cards which represent features for your product. Each card has a score that, when hit, means you get to move on to release your next feature.

Events are sometimes a problem, sometimes a positive, but always a distraction, and have to be resolved to keep users and ensure long-term stability. You draw these randomly as the game goes on, how will your team respond?

Step 4: Set priorities and start rolling

To develop and release stories, and deal with events, you need to roll a twenty-sided die (a D20). Roll above the card requirements and move on to the next card. The order in which you play the cards, who rolls against each requirement and a bit of luck decides what is successful — just like life.

What our players say

It changed leadership’s perspective

“Having our CFO on the winning team was the best thing that ever happened. All of the arguments and conversations we were having about investing in a CI pipeline or what pair programming is and why we do it, they just went away. You can explain these things over and over, but experiencing it work is something else.”

It helped us find the right team size

“We had our real development teams play together, some of which were as many as 14 people. These teams struggled to communicate and became paralysed by large and risky product releases. Smaller teams pulled ahead and got things done. We split those larger teams in half -- in the game and real life.”

It allowed us to finally embrace agile

“We kind of just spread Agile 101 around the business, getting people from all different types of backgrounds (tech and non-tech) to play. It changed the organisation’s relationship with software development and helped people collaborate across the board.”

Transform your ways of working by playing the game with 101 Ways

Have one of our expert consultants play with your team now.

What each person takes away is always different, but everyone will learn something about how to get products to market quicker and make better decisions along the way.

What does that look like you ask?…

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