Apr 29, 2024
Comedy & Satire
 min read

Scrum: The Drinking Game (Gasp!)

P.S. The ending is a must-read.

P.P.S. This is satire. (Except for the ending.)

Hear ye, hear ye! Gather ‘round, nerds – somebody needs some comic relief! I’m thrilled to unveil the official-ish rules for “Scrum: The Drinking Game” - where healthy drinking meets work extravaganza inspired by the wonderfully complex world of Agile.

Get ready to spice up your journey as an "Agileholic" with Scrum, a thrilling drinking challenge inspired by Scrum and Agile practices! In this adventurous game, we'll navigate through phases, draw cards to reveal challenges and opportunities, and, of course, enjoy a few sips as we roll the dice. Join us in this unique blend of work and play, and let's explore the rules of engagement, penalties, and KPIs!

Basic Game Flow, An Overview:

Crack open a cold one because things are about to get wild! At the start, all players grab a figurine to represent their Agile alter egos, err... without the alter. The Product Owner goes first, pulling an Agile Poker card to determine the effort level of backlog items. Listen closely and estimate using physical story pointing fingers, because accurate estimates mean fewer penalties!

Next, feature shop by drawing 80/20 cards to plan the sprint. Chaos ensues as we reveal what percentage of work will actually get done after interruptions! Then, vice-like throughput metrics help us inspect and adapt. Just don’t let the velocity get too excessive, or the whole team’s chugging 🍻!

During the sprint, get lost in the work and definitely ignore any personal commitments you have. We take a brief break for standups to debate whether tasks should be duct-taped together. Suddenly, it’s Sprint Review time and The Customer cracks the whip on demonstrated productivity! This train keeps rolling all the way to the Sprint Retro, so grab another round and complain about everything that bothered you from the sprint. The cycle repeats endlessly so long as The Customer remains satisfied or until we run out of beer.

Sound good? Good! So settle in, because this merge train just left the station and your brain is the final destination! Woot woot! 🚂

Components of the Game:

- Game Board: AKA The Torture Trail. This represents your team's journey and the winding roadmap that leads straight into Agile chaos! Chart your sprint journey on this action-packed cardboard...if you dare. muahaha!

- Cards: Draw these disruptive duty cards to assign random responsibilities, unveil spur-of-the-moment stories, and unleash laughable obstacles! So many tasks, so little time before happy hour.

- Figurines: Select your squad piece and don your unstoppable Agile alter ego. Will you be Barry the Burned-Out Backend Dev or Pollyanna the Ever-Optimistic Product Owner? Impossible to tell!

- Probability Cubes: Gives these geometric delights a shake to inject fully-random external conditions, known colloquially as "opportunities", into the already turbulent Scrum simulation. Go on, roll away!

- Drinks: Wet your whistle with a frosty fermented refreshment as you navigate the balmy dunes of dependency hell. Just keep those beer goggles on and have fun amidst the folly! 🍻 Cin-cin!


To succeed in your team must keep The Customer satisfied while navigating through Agile ceremonies, priorities, and delegation. Continuous learning is your ultimate weapon, and a few penalties add a spicy twist to the challenge!


Things can get messy out there in the wild world of Agile. If players stray too far, they must face the music!

Excessive profanity means someone’s sipping their drink. Duct tape solutions warrant an immediate shot for the offending team member. Fall prey to box-ticking syndrome and bottoms up your entire glass - hope you weren’t getting too thirsty! Let the velocity exceed ludicrous speed and slam on the brakes with a shot. Finally, rally around burned-out players by taking a group swig while they meditate – guru not included.

DORA Metrics as KPIs:

As you progress through the game, keep an eye on the following KPIs inspired by DORA metrics. Hint: As a rule of thumb, amongst winning teams, stability is directly correlated with rolling back code changes because if ya ain't first, you're last – to heck with testing!

1. Lead Time for Changes: How low can you go?! Bust a move to deploy work faster than a greased guinea pig! Speed reads lead to happy hour freedoms.

2. Deployment Frequency: Bump up the frequency of flinging work into production and dodge deployment duty penalties! Babysit a deployment? Ha! Quick deliveries mean lower ride share fares, my friends. 🚕

3. Change Failure Rate: Make a mess when shipping shoddy code too fast? Shift left on QA, my friends, because too many fumbles and you'll be doing improvised dance to yesteryear's hottest pop hits as punishment. 🕺

4. Mean Time to Recover (MTTR): When systems crash, recover lickety split! Screw testing! That's why we have an "undo merge" button. Nothin' says stability like a buzzing Smart Watch (or perhaps your favorite vintage pager?) ⏱ and a mean rollback habit! Unit tests are for the birds!

Players and Roles as Figurines:

- The Product Team Figurines: Can you feel it Mr. Crabs? (Spongebob fans, you know what I mean.) We're about to break the 4th wall, because this is the only serious patch of text in this whole spiel. Product represents The Customer, deciding what needs to be done and to whom tasks are delegated. Includes the Product Owner and the Product Designer. Thank you Product. You are loved by all ❤️.

- The Tech Lead: Captains of the development dinghy, afloat down the river of rapid release! Apply bandaids a’ plenty to uphold unrealistic expectations, stewards of high-brow clickety-clack magic, these gurus diligently guide the hands of those gentle naives that churn the wheel of development below.

- The Code Minions: AKA The Team! These highly valuable assets straddle the impossible divide between pawns and wizards! They weave technical magic amid unrealistic asks and agilehol (that's a pun) -induced antics! Bask in the glow of monitor madness as you traipse towards the team goal (or happy hour - whichever comes first! 🍻)


The game goes until morale improves, continually adapting goals and priorities in true Agile fashion. To win Scrum your team must keep The Customer satisfied while embracing continuous learning, adapting to loss of coordination, small objects, and achieving your priorities. Most importantly, keep things jovial since we’re here to have some fun!

So, grab your figurines, roll the dice when faced with unexpected external conditions, and enjoy a drink or two as you embark on this Scrum-inspired drinking challenge. May your journey be filled with swill, thrill, and... delivery! Now, get out there and start estimating - our sprint clock is already ticking! glug 🍺


Whew! That was a wild ride. Disillusioned yet? Aren't we all. But that's okay. The secret to overcoming this level of fun is just around the corner (hint: the secret is not called Waterfall 2.0). We're almost there, so read on!


Offended yet? Me neither! But that never stopped anyone from trying!

So, what's next? I'll tell ya'. A real heart to heart.

All joking aside, healthful habits, good boundaries, and respect for self and other are what make amazing things possible. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Stay well. Take care of your body and mind. Invest in your own dreams. And get your brilliant, creative, irreplaceable self to the gym – seriously, you're worth it! ❤️

Get after it! Cheers! 💪

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