It’s time to tell you a bit about the point of this game, now that we have a little basic graphics stuff under our belt. The core idea is to have a simple game where you can compare various Agile development strategies against one another. The comparisons will at least include graphs of value growth, somewhat like the graphs shown in our example. There will probably be other pictorial elements as well.

The bad news is that this will be no World of Warcraft. It’s just a simple tool for scoring various strategies in Agile development.

The basic premise is that each feature story contains some amount of “value” for the project. Some have lots, some have little. However, stories often include “fluff”, ideas that add little or no value to the essence of the story. So you’ll do better if you can squeeze out the fluff. In addition, the technical skills of your team influence things. The team can help squeeze out fluff. They can build with great design or sloppy design. They can build bug-free or buggy code. And so on.

We’ll have some number of “teams”, some number of sliders per team for setting up practices. And we’ll show the results in graphs and other pictures. There are many possible sliders, with various kinds of impacts:

  • PO involvement with team increases creativity, reduces fluff;
  • TDD reduces defects, makes design improvement safer;
  • Refactoring skill keeps velocity up;
  • and so on ...

We can foresee that inside this game there is some kind of model that is sensitive to the settings chosen. Some of the settings apply to individual stories, some to the flow of stories. For example, does the PO sort high value first? Makes a big difference. Obvious, you say? You might be surprised how many teams do not do this. The game will, we hope, make the importance of that more clear.

So, for a while, in the upcoming articles, I’ll be building up some model objects. Here is a place where I expect to need some TDD, which I plan to invent as we go along, though I hope to find some good ideas to borrow.

Anyway, that’s what next. As always, your questions and input will be welcome, and your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to watch how I work and learn, and to decide whether any of it would have value in your own bag of tricks. Welcome!