Published: 18.07.2017

Building Agile Structures

Fun and interactive simulation showing how different organizational designs impact effectiveness of product delivery.

Building Agile Structures

“Culture follows structure” is one of Larman's Laws of Organizational Behavior. It means that structure impacts employees’ behaviours and beliefs and if you really want to change culture, you need to change structure first.

To show consequences of different organizational designs we developed a fun and interactive simulation with a lot of Lego bricks. Instead of focusing on specific approach to product development such as Scrum or Waterfall, we decided to show how building company structures around component versus feature teams impact communication and coordination. The simulation is flexible and can be efficiently run with group of 20-60 people and can be completed under 90 minutes. During the workshop, we learn by playing and hands-on, active participation make the whole experience more convincing.

Simulation

This simulation mimics an organization with both business and development departments trying to work together in pre-defined structures. The goal of organization is to build a Lego city by delivering (1) as fast and (2) as many as possible Lego building according to specification delivered by facilitators. Three sessions let you feel first-hand how different structures are impacting Value Delivery and Time to Market. These imitate:

  • Component teams
  • Cross-component teams, single specialization members
  • Cross-component teams, multi-skills members.

To provide you with possibility to run this workshop by yourself we’ve prepared a detailed description including logistic and key messages for every section. You can download it here: Building Agile Structures Instruction.pdf.

Inspirations and feedback

This workshop was inspired by Lego4Scrum simulation by Alexey Krivitsky, which I highly recommend. So far, we’ve run the workshop few times on Agile conferences and local group meetups. We hope to improve it basing on next session and feedback from you. Have you tried the simulation. Did you like it?

Do you want us to visit your conference and present it? Let us know!

You can also watch the video relation from our workshop:


 

Tomasz Wykowski

Tomasz Wykowski

International storyteller, first Polish Certified Scrum Trainer. Always searching for new solutions.