The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Scrum Game: An Agile Software Management Game

Scrum Game: An Agile Software Management Game
Scrum Game: An Agile Software Management Game
For the past few years, in their attempt to avoid the heavyweight bureaucracy of traditional project management methods such as the Waterfall model, companies have started incorporating agile methods (e.g. Extreme Programming, Scrum, Crystal) for their project development. These methods are characterised by their incremental and iterative delivery, their ability to incorporate change at any stage of the project lifecycle, as well as their small and co-located teams. Even though these methods are included in the syllabus of many software engineering modules at university level, many students currently feel more confident with traditional, rather than agile methods. Many employers find that recent graduates are not equipped with the desired skills of a software engineer because, even though they are knowledgeable in the different software engineering practices, they lack practical experience of these methods. The combination of these two factors show that the university’s approach to teaching software management methods is only theoretical and it does not give students the opportunity to apply them to their projects so they can get a better understanding of their use. The project developed the prototype of a computer game that simulates the use of the Scrum method within different projects, named Scrum Game. The game is supplementary material for a lecture course, and its purpose is to guide students through the Scrum lifecycle. Students can thereby get a small glimpse of the different phases of Scrum, the way that the different Scrum roles interact with each other, and the way that Scrum is used to implement real projects. In addition, the Scrum Game has an administrator mode enabling lecturers to view a log of the progress of all their students in the game. They can use this mode to create new projects or to alter existing ones by adding new tasks or problems, thereby adjusting the level of difficulty to the level of their students, or so that it fits their teaching. The web-based system was developed using PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AJAX (jQuery) and Google Charts API. The system was thoroughly tested against the initial requirements and other system tests. The Scrum Game was evaluated by 22 peer colleagues reading for an MSc in Software Engineering at the University of Southampton, to identify whether the system achieved its goal of introducing students to the Scrum methodology and reaching a deeper understanding of its practical use during project implementation. The results of a questionnaire showed that little prior knowledge was assumed during the game, and that 86% of the participants felt that the game helped them learn more about Scrum. When asked, “Do you think that if this game was part of your Project Management module, would you get a better understanding about Scrum?” an impressive 95% (21 out of 22 participants) agreed that the game would be helpful, and rated the system 8 out of 10 on average.
Gkritsi, Aikaterini
bb43a3b5-62ce-4204-97f2-56b8bdc34038
Gkritsi, Aikaterini
bb43a3b5-62ce-4204-97f2-56b8bdc34038

Gkritsi, Aikaterini (2011) Scrum Game: An Agile Software Management Game. University of Southampton, Electronics & Computer Science, Masters Thesis.

Record type: Thesis (Masters)

Abstract

For the past few years, in their attempt to avoid the heavyweight bureaucracy of traditional project management methods such as the Waterfall model, companies have started incorporating agile methods (e.g. Extreme Programming, Scrum, Crystal) for their project development. These methods are characterised by their incremental and iterative delivery, their ability to incorporate change at any stage of the project lifecycle, as well as their small and co-located teams. Even though these methods are included in the syllabus of many software engineering modules at university level, many students currently feel more confident with traditional, rather than agile methods. Many employers find that recent graduates are not equipped with the desired skills of a software engineer because, even though they are knowledgeable in the different software engineering practices, they lack practical experience of these methods. The combination of these two factors show that the university’s approach to teaching software management methods is only theoretical and it does not give students the opportunity to apply them to their projects so they can get a better understanding of their use. The project developed the prototype of a computer game that simulates the use of the Scrum method within different projects, named Scrum Game. The game is supplementary material for a lecture course, and its purpose is to guide students through the Scrum lifecycle. Students can thereby get a small glimpse of the different phases of Scrum, the way that the different Scrum roles interact with each other, and the way that Scrum is used to implement real projects. In addition, the Scrum Game has an administrator mode enabling lecturers to view a log of the progress of all their students in the game. They can use this mode to create new projects or to alter existing ones by adding new tasks or problems, thereby adjusting the level of difficulty to the level of their students, or so that it fits their teaching. The web-based system was developed using PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AJAX (jQuery) and Google Charts API. The system was thoroughly tested against the initial requirements and other system tests. The Scrum Game was evaluated by 22 peer colleagues reading for an MSc in Software Engineering at the University of Southampton, to identify whether the system achieved its goal of introducing students to the Scrum methodology and reaching a deeper understanding of its practical use during project implementation. The results of a questionnaire showed that little prior knowledge was assumed during the game, and that 86% of the participants felt that the game helped them learn more about Scrum. When asked, “Do you think that if this game was part of your Project Management module, would you get a better understanding about Scrum?” an impressive 95% (21 out of 22 participants) agreed that the game would be helpful, and rated the system 8 out of 10 on average.

PDF
MSc_Final.pdf - Other
Download (14MB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 23 September 2011
Organisations: University of Southampton, Electronics & Computer Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 272775
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/272775
PURE UUID: d9995226-8294-4e5b-9b04-5ed541448be4

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 14 Sep 2011 15:41
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 06:20

Export record

Contributors

Author: Aikaterini Gkritsi

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×