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Agile Animal Farm 
understanding Agile through our behavior 
1
who am I? 
Senior Lean Agile Coach 
Senior Scrum Coach & Trainer 
Agile Management Catalyst 
father, brother & son 
ORES, ...
my house 
my office 
Pierre E. Neis 
my offices 
Pierre E. Neis
Starting with a metaphor 
4 
based 
on Mario Moreira’s 
work
… adapted for the Middle East… 
5
Purpose of this game 
๏ understanding the basic principles of the Agile Culture and understanding behavior 
6
๏ 
7 
I don’t know. 
What would we 
call it? 
Hey Lamb, I was thinkin’ we 
should open a Restaurant. 
Lamb 
Awarma 
How ab...
๏ 
No Thanks, I’d be 
committed, but you’d only 
be involved! 
8
briefly 
๏ the chicken only gives their eggs 
๏ Lambs have to put their flesh on the table 
9
Lambs 
๏ They are involved, enganged to the project. In Scrum, it’s the purpose 
of the Scrum Team (Delivery Team, Scrum M...
Chicken 
๏ They come and go on the project. 
๏ While chickens are mostly helpful, because 
they are contributing their egg...
Foxes 
๏ They like to stealthily move into and through 
the team seeing who has certain skills and 
ideas. 
๏ Then they li...
๏ They like to fly around the project and not really contribute in any manner. 
๏ They enjoy “talking” (mostly hearing the...
๏ They are deceiver types who will use the trust of the team to gain insight 
into topics so they can then “rat” on what i...
Cats 
๏ They are a lazy type on an Agile team 
that really do not pitch in but instead like 
to sleep instead. 
๏ They are...
๏ They are command-and-control types who think 
they can continue to tell their folks what to do 
even though they are ded...
Shepherd Dog 
๏ And finally no farm is complete without the Shepherd Dog. 
๏ However, on an Agile farm, it cannot be just ...
Let’s try a game? 
18
Rules of the game 
1. we are 16, let’s make 3 teams 
2. each team seats around a table 
3. I came to with « animals » card...
… what happened after 15 minutes ? 
20
after 15 minutes 
๏ 2 teams delivered the work 
๏ one team did nothing 
21
all together… 
๏ we tried to identify who played what animal 
๏ and debriefed the pros and cons 
๏ to be honest… people pl...
If I had time 
๏ all the teams should worked on a single backlog during 15 minutes 
๏ objective: understand dependencies a...
… for what is it good for ? 
24
using posters in 
Retrospective for 
fun to understand 
how we were 
together and with 
others 
25
More questions? 
26
Thank you 
We & Co 
Agile by Nature 
Luxembourg | Paris | Bruxelles | Amsterdam | Beirut 
Pierre E. Neis | @elpedromajor |...
Credits 
๏ based on Mario Moreira’s Agile Animal Farm 
28
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Lambs & chicken .... testing an agile game

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Explaining Agile through the Agile Animal Farm

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Lambs & chicken .... testing an agile game

  1. 1. Agile Animal Farm understanding Agile through our behavior 1
  2. 2. who am I? Senior Lean Agile Coach Senior Scrum Coach & Trainer Agile Management Catalyst father, brother & son ORES, SAP UK, Kingfisher, Euroclear Group, GDF Suez Europe, AXA Group, Invivo, CTIE, atHome, Accenture, Touring Assurances, Cloudwatt, Swingmobility, Lumension Security, Wemanity…
  3. 3. my house my office Pierre E. Neis my offices Pierre E. Neis
  4. 4. Starting with a metaphor 4 based on Mario Moreira’s work
  5. 5. … adapted for the Middle East… 5
  6. 6. Purpose of this game ๏ understanding the basic principles of the Agile Culture and understanding behavior 6
  7. 7. ๏ 7 I don’t know. What would we call it? Hey Lamb, I was thinkin’ we should open a Restaurant. Lamb Awarma How about Lamb Awarma? the main story
  8. 8. ๏ No Thanks, I’d be committed, but you’d only be involved! 8
  9. 9. briefly ๏ the chicken only gives their eggs ๏ Lambs have to put their flesh on the table 9
  10. 10. Lambs ๏ They are involved, enganged to the project. In Scrum, it’s the purpose of the Scrum Team (Delivery Team, Scrum Master and Product Owner). ๏ They are committed to the work. They are working in a sheepfold with other lambs who love their work. ๏ When Agility is well set, they are all willing to put they « flesh-on-the-set » each day because they feel ownership of the work. ๏ They are assertive and accountable for the success of the project and have a majority (if not all) of their performance goals linked directly to the success of the project and their specific Agile team. 10 credits M.Moreira
  11. 11. Chicken ๏ They come and go on the project. ๏ While chickens are mostly helpful, because they are contributing their eggs, they don’t always understand the full context because they are not a dedicated team member. ๏ So occasionally they may accidently contribute a rotten egg. ๏ They are not accountable for the success of the project, although they may have a small portion of their performance goals linked to the success of the project. 11 credits M.Moreira
  12. 12. Foxes ๏ They like to stealthily move into and through the team seeing who has certain skills and ideas. ๏ Then they like to steal not only resources (Agile team members) for their own teams, but they also steal ideas. ๏ They are not necessarily negative, because they are often so quiet in their manipulative work. ๏ They are dedicated to their own success. credits M.Moreira
  13. 13. ๏ They like to fly around the project and not really contribute in any manner. ๏ They enjoy “talking” (mostly hearing themselves speak) and pretend they are adding value, but they are only annoying the lambs (Agile team members). ๏ Often, they like to swoop in so it can look like they are involved (and they’ll tell others this). ๏ They are often quite negative, squawk a lot in a “know it all” manner, and often poop on people and their ideas. ¶R 13 Seagulls credits M.Moreira
  14. 14. ๏ They are deceiver types who will use the trust of the team to gain insight into topics so they can then “rat” on what is going on to others. ๏ Often on Agile teams, they are really deceivers because they are really anti-Agile or just plain negative people. ๏ They often know the decisions that are made based on certain contexts that the team is in, but will twist the truth in order to bring the project down. ๏ It is important to identify these deceivers as quickly as possible and get them off the team. ¶R credits M.Moreira Rats 14
  15. 15. Cats ๏ They are a lazy type on an Agile team that really do not pitch in but instead like to sleep instead. ๏ They are almost purposefully not assertive, have been used to just “getting by” on projects for years, and are not really interested in feeling ownership of the work. ๏ They typically neither positive nor negative and simply like to be left alone. ๏ The other team members will begin to notice this behavior and realize they are not really interested in becoming part of the team. credits M.Moreira
  16. 16. ๏ They are command-and-control types who think they can continue to tell their folks what to do even though they are dedicated to their Agile teams. ๏ Sometimes referred to as bullies, they charge right into the team and attempt to direct them to their own work and often deviate the team from building product functionality. ๏ Typically, they are not interested in the Agile mindset because they see it as a challenge to their authority (technical or managerial) or don’t really understand or care about the business benefits of Agile, but instead want to maintain their own status. ¶R credits M.Moreira Bulls 16
  17. 17. Shepherd Dog ๏ And finally no farm is complete without the Shepherd Dog. ๏ However, on an Agile farm, it cannot be just any Shepherd Dog but instead a benevolent Shepherd Dog who is good to his animals and ensure the animals have what they need to grow and prosper. ๏ The Agile Animal Shepherd Dog encourages, inspires, and allows for team autonomy and self organization. 17
  18. 18. Let’s try a game? 18
  19. 19. Rules of the game 1. we are 16, let’s make 3 teams 2. each team seats around a table 3. I came to with « animals » cards and assign a « role » to each of them 4. we got a team of lambs, a team of lambs and seagulls, a team of cats and seagull 5. during 15 minutes, each team has to draw or make a prairie with 5 flowers in different colors 19
  20. 20. … what happened after 15 minutes ? 20
  21. 21. after 15 minutes ๏ 2 teams delivered the work ๏ one team did nothing 21
  22. 22. all together… ๏ we tried to identify who played what animal ๏ and debriefed the pros and cons ๏ to be honest… people playing the cats where stressed because they couldn’t make anything 22
  23. 23. If I had time ๏ all the teams should worked on a single backlog during 15 minutes ๏ objective: understand dependencies and Team « Animal » behaviors 23
  24. 24. … for what is it good for ? 24
  25. 25. using posters in Retrospective for fun to understand how we were together and with others 25
  26. 26. More questions? 26
  27. 27. Thank you We & Co Agile by Nature Luxembourg | Paris | Bruxelles | Amsterdam | Beirut Pierre E. Neis | @elpedromajor | pierre@wecompany.me 27
  28. 28. Credits ๏ based on Mario Moreira’s Agile Animal Farm 28

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