The Agile philosophy is not only applicable to IT projects. It makes sense in any collaboration context, because it is just a better way of working. My recent experience of Agile with primary school teachers has shown me that the approach truly can be used everywhere and that it will quickly be of benefit to the team that uses it.
No matter how engaging an experience is, or how much effort you put in designing cool rules and goals: If someone feels forced to engage in an activity, they will find it utterly boring. In this fourth and final part, we are addressing the last aspect of what makes a game fun: Voluntary participation. How does this notion apply to Scrum?
Feedback is a decisive aspect of human interactions. Be it in education, games, management, design or in interpersonal relationships, the way we communicate to people if they have met our expectations can have a strong impact on their future behaviours. Well-designed feedback loops are thus crucial for crafted experiences, and one of the main reasons behind the success of Scrum as a method.
In the past few years I had the opportunity to explore various uses and dimensions of Scrum. On projects working with Scrum and the Agile philosophy, I always felt more energized, accomplished and enthusiastic. The atmosphere in my team was better, we were more productive, engaged, and overall we experienced much less stress. To put it simply: Working on projects with Scrum was fun. I started to ask myself why it was so much better to run a project with Scrum than without.
Scanning the horizon
I have started this blog to explore how work methods can foster motivation in human organisations. It is meant to grow organically, and will follow the twists and turns of my work and research.
My first idea was to start from game-thinking and see how it applies to various topics and activities. You can see this unfold in the four-fold series “Why is Scrum so much fun?”
When we hear of gamification, it is often in reference to the tip of the iceberg: achievements, levels, points, and other forms and representations of scoring systems. This leads to a common misconception that one could simply add a few levels and points to turn a boring task into something fun. However, even if these kinds of game mechanics are able to prompt behaviours to some extent, it is a double-edged sword.
With my co-founder Sofía Montuori at inaloop games, we set out to challenge the way board games are produced. As soon as we started looking for solutions to manufacture our board game Creators, we were confronted with a burning question: What would a circular business model for board games look like?