Lean & Agile with LEGO, a complex simulation for a complex world

Agile & Scrum

Proventa played the “DevOps with Chocolate, LEGO and Scrum Game”, a business simulation, with 150 leaders of an energy provider. The simulation emphasizes human interaction, which allows for reflection and learning at both the individual, team and enterprise levels. The use of role-playing facilitates communication and collaboration at the heart of both Scrum and DevOps.

How to play the DevOps with Chocolate, LEGO and Scrum Game and what can you learn along the way?

The workshop is based on the "one of the best DevOps books of all time" (stated by BookAuthority), Introduction to DevOps with Chocolate, LEGO and Scrum Game by Dana Pylayev.

The participants discovered a role-based simulation game, designed to introduce DevOps in a very unusual way. Participants work with LEGO and sweets. We use avatars, personas, and role cards, we gain an understanding of the Dev and Ops roles as well as their interdependencies. Throughout the game, players went through a range of emotions and learn to expand the boundaries of individual roles, acquire T-shaped skills, and grow the Scrum-team circle to include Operations. The game engages all five senses to maximize learning effectiveness and in three sprints taking players through a gamified DevOps transformation journey.

Proventa's hands-on approach allows everyone from team members to C-level executives to understand and internalize, the more experienced the team becomes with delivery the more they realize Scrum by itself is too slow. Pylaveya’s addition of tactile tools like LEGO explains the difference between iterative and continuous flow, helping better understand the benefits of DevOps (continuous flow) and their role in making it successful.

What kind of conclusions were made at the end of the game?

Throughout the workshop, small 10-minutes theory blocks and reflection time was given. Proventa uses 1-2-4-all to set the aha-moments and conclusion. Some aha-moments were: “Working model changed rapidly”, “we need better structures and processes” “more alignment and purpose”, “alignment of interfaces and E2E process”, “more transparency”, “teamwork”, “foster communication and clarity”, “benefit of ScrumMasters”, “community”, and finally, “we all love playing games”.

Why should everyone play the DevOps with Chocolate, LEGO and Scrum Game?

The Lego simulation is fun, interactive and designed to help participants understand what it is to be Lean and Agile, the finer points of Scrum & DevOps from the inside out.

Source: Introduction to DevOps with Chocolate, LEGO and Scrum Game. Dana Pylaveya.

Dr. Dietmar Georg Wiedemann Autor

Dr. Dietmar Georg Wiedemann is Partner at Proventa AG, providing management, innovation, and technology consulting services and advising executives and business leaders. He works primarily in the areas of agile transformation and agile project management. Dietmar helps organizations to plan and execute their digital transformation journey using agile practices.