Scrum Roles and Responsibilities Game

A completed run of the game


Timing: 15 minutes to run, 30 minutes to prepare (once only).


  • 32 Index Cards of one color (I choose blue).
  • 7 Index Cards of another color (I choose pink).
  • A permanent marker pen (i.e. sharpie).
  • Two flip chart pieces of paper (A0 size) or large pieces of butcher’s paper.
  • A very large desk or two desks large enough to hold the two pieces of paper.



This game quickly builds understanding of the subtleties of the Scrum roles and responsibilities. Once you have prepared the cards (in the preparation instructions) you can easily repeat this game at a very low set up cost.



Split each piece of paper into three equal sized sections and label each section: Team, Scrum Master, Product Owner. You will be able to keep and reuse these pieces of paper for numerous instances of the game.


Write out the two sets of index cards

Blue cards (Primary Responsibility)

  • Ensure Quality
  • Attend Sprint Planning
  • Attend Sprint Planning
  • Attend Sprint Planning
  • Attend Sprint Review
  • Attend Sprint Review
  • Attend Sprint Review
  • Attend Daily Standup
  • Attend Daily Standup
  • Attend Sprint Retrospective
  • Attend Sprint Retrospective
  • Attend Backlog Grooming
  • Attend Backlog Grooming
  • Attend Backlog Grooming
  • Design
  • Build
  • Test
  • Integrate software
  • Deploy
  • Improve process
  • Improve technical practices
  • Prioritise Product backlog
  • Talk to stakeholders
  • Track progress of the sprint
  • Make Product Backlog visible to all
  • Create Product backlog items
  • Resolve Technical impediments
  • Resolve organizational impediments
  • Facilitate Scrum events
  • Ensure Scrum rules are followed
  • Coach team
  • Track progress of the release



Pink cards (Secondary Responsibility)

  • Attend Sprint Retrospective
  • Ensure Quality
  • Ensure Quality
  • Attend daily standup
  • Create product backlog items
  • Improve process
  • Improve technical practices



How to run the game

For six to twelve people

Split group into two teams of three to six people each.

Hand each group a set of index cards, asking them to shuffle them and evenly spread them out among the group.

Place one prepared sheet of paper in front of each team.

Ask them to take 2 minutes in silence to place their index cards against the role that is responsible for the items listed on each index card. Explain that there are some duplicated items. Some the duplicated items have Primary(blue) cards and Secondary(pink) cards. Meaning that some the roles carry more/or less responsibility for that item.

After placing the index cards the teams now have 5 minutes to gain consensus as a team about the placement of the cards. They should discuss items that they disagree with within their team.

After the teams are comfortable with their placement (you will be able to tell as the conversation will die off) ask them to swap tables and review the other teams work. When they find any placements that they disagree with they should calmly discuss this with the other team.


Learning Points:

Often the teams will come to appropriate conclusions through the discussions that they hold as they find cards that they disagree with. However as facilitator you should watch out for situations where they jump to incorrect conclusion or where they miss out on misplaced cards.

One of the regular points that come up during this game is that the Scrum Master does not solve all of the team’s problems / fix their process. The team needs to step up and do this, however the Scrum Master is responsible for making it happen.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: