The Agile Manifesto Pictionary

In 2001 something happened. A document was drafted and called the Agile Manifesto. It is wonderfully simple and requires just a bit of thought-full-ness  in order to consider a favored balance of someone or something OVER something else.    In order to help bring the point across I often draw a small picture of the document that goes something like this…

                                                                                                     The teams seem to remember iagilepictographt much, much better.

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

My drawing for a person is simple and quick.  a stick figure.  the emphasis is that they share the same thought cloud.
a hammer and a wrench or some gears….  processes and tools were meant to enable people… not fetter them.

Working software over comprehensive documentation

A train made out of 1’s and Zeroes.  = working software.  In the old days we didn’t have enough 1’s to go around.
pieces and stacks of paper

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

Simple Stick people – but one of the is holding a ‘$’… Just as in a USER buying our software.
Jail.  Locked down and imprisoned by paper that seemed to hold everything we wanted but quickly grew heavy and burdensome.  protecting a prior understanding rather than representing how we work together.

Responding to change over following a plan

A chameleon – and this is how I think of adaptability. Responding to change.  If I have some colored markers I’ll stripe a few bits if rainbow in there. We are teaching teams with an emphasis on problem solving skills.  They must adjust and respond to change, as no situation is ever ideal.
A treasure map.  A plan.  I Love me a plan. – Yet most experienced coaches and veterans will tell you that plans seldom encompass or foresee every detail when in the thick of action.  So you train your team to adapt, adjust, and be problem solvers in order to overcome the things that get in our way and the difficulties along the path.  Buried treasure, by the way, is not valuable. Like in software – if it is hidden and no-one uses it or knows it is there…  it is not worth much.

Try it and see if the 4 principles are easier to recall.  Even if you are recalling a gecko pirate…  wait another second and it will lead you to ‘adaptability over plan’.


3 thoughts on “The Agile Manifesto Pictionary

  1. I’d really like to try this. Maybe extend the exercise by having people drawing their own pictures attaching to what they know. Compare and contrast amongst the group.

  2. We recently did a somewhat related, super fun, and super easy-to-set-up activity. We had a large company gathering where teams have booths. We set one up with the Agile Manifesto printed, but we left the 4 A over B statements blank. We had each A and B on little pieces of paper (so, 8 total). We put velcro on the pieces and on the blanks, and challenged people to put them in the right place. The game drew people in, but what was interesting was when a couple of people working together would got stuck and then discuss why one answer or another might be right. Debating which answer made sense was forcing an interesting type of thinking about a document we frequently gloss over.

  3. Very nice, memorable and if done “live” from memory, should make a good impression on your audience. Jeff Patton does something similar in his current presentations – draws his slides using a tablet and projection software. Very impressive.
    I also really like @Growing Truffles’ idea of making this an interactive game!

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