The Beer Game with Agile Teams - MIT Game Theory in Agile Project Management
This presentation illustrates, using an animated Agile Story Card Wall, the concepts of Lean’s Work in Progress, Drum–Buffer–Rope from Theory of Constraints and Systemic Thinking from Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline. The presentation, originally inspired by the MIT Beer Game, uses Flash animation to show the flow of story cards across a Story Card Wall over 10 iterations, demonstrating the effects on the team’s throughput as a result of a staffing decision made during the project. The presentation also includes an Excel spreadsheet to do ‘What If’ scenarios.
The Flash presentation will be given first, illustrating a real world scenario from a client site. Concepts of Lean, Agile and Theory of Constraints will be pointed out during the animation of 10 iterations.
The Excel Spreadsheet will then be used to test of some ‘What If’ scenerios such as: Changing staffing levels at different times in the project Changing the total number of story cards released into the workflow Changing the staffing profile of the team to further optimize throughput
- This presentation is intended to demonstrate the following:
- • How keeping Work In Progress to a minimum will maximize throughput
- • How to use an Agile Story Card Wall to monitor WIP
- • How keeping Short Work Cycles for story cards will keep WIP at a minimum
- • How to use the concepts of Drum Buffer Rope from Theory of Constraints to be sure to not release too much work into the system
- • How to use Excel to measure and manage WIP over the duration of the project