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Improv Cards in School

February 15, 2017


I have been giving agile management lessons at Bahcesehir University for three semestre. I am also proposing a web based term project to let them apply and learn scrum methodology. They are selecting their own scrum masters and product owners and team members as well as the product itself.

The students are coming from different grades and from different programs, so they do not know each other very well, and I realized that after creating their teams they were facing with problems, such as selection of the roles, product features, code implementation etc. Therefore I thought to put some experimental things to let them understand each other.

My method was to apply improv cards play of management 3.0. I changed a little bit it to return it to a team building game play to let them each team to express the childhood expressions and then I also merged it with a warm up exercise. Before starting the game, first of all we created 5 teams of 6 members.

Here you can find the steps below for the game:

  • First step: I had set the stage: The basic aim is to let the team members to understand each other

  • Second step: I spreaded the card decks and asked them to select two cards while the cards are face down


  • Third step: I explained that they need to turn the cards face up and one after the other showed their cards and told a story about their childhood based on the cards.

After this exercise was finished, they started to discuss the informations on the table below to get to know each other as a team.  I also asked them to give a team name according to two exercises: 



Here you can find some of the tables that they filled. Every team member discussed his/her unique facts and their competences. At the and according to the given facts they also gave their team names collaboratively.





So with these two exercises:

  • Team achieved an active listening state and started a helpful conversation.

  • Imagination was triggered and creativity emerged

  • Everybody contributed to create the table and to give a team name

  • The play encouraged people who usually don’t talk much


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