I haven’t mastered the pronunciation of the card game known as Scrumchkin, but I have enjoyed facilitating it a few times.

I’ve played Scrumchkin with groups of various Scrum skill levels. Some had mostly no Scrum experience. Some groups were comprised of experts, they teach and coach Agile techniques. Each group had fun. Each group admitted how this game reflected real life situations.

Some games were like being handed a really bad base of legacy code, with test automation and continuous integration not available to us. Other games were riddled with developers joining and leaving the company. Some games have people out sick like it was a bad flu season.

I’ve resorted to stacking the deck part-way through a game because a team hadn’t yet uncovered an impediment. I was pleased to discover that team handled them well.

I have been delighted by some of the teamwork groups added to the game. How do you know which day it is in the sprint? How do you know how many moves you have remaining that day? How does the group know if they will meet their goal? How do they negotiate with the Product Owner to have enough work to do?

All of the games depersonalized situations we see in our jobs. They made it possible to discuss situations without the emotional component of it being “my code”, “my problem”, or “my mistake”. It’s a team issue to solve.