Being agile in my free time

15 Jan 2016 Jeremy Naus Agile & ScrumLean & Kanban

One of my biggest hobbies is participating in Live Action Roleplay events, larp in short.
For years I've also been organising such events for a couple of non-profit organisations.
Last year I finally took the plunge and used some agile techniques for running of the event.
It should not really have surprised me that this was successfull, but still it did.

Most of the time we have a room that we use to coordinate the event, lets call it HQ. So we always had some poor souls standing ready, at all times, in HQ to help out people who would come in to get a new role to play and help the event along.
So as an experiment, last year, I just put up a whiteboard in HQ, put up the names of all the actor participants in the first column and then added some extra columns:

  • permanent role (this would be the role that one could always play during the event)
  • current role
  • planned role
  • finished role

Then I've put up some sticky paper, one for each possible role to play. Each role was linked to a certain scenario, which were put on the table next to the whiteboard.

The experiment was that we told people that they could choose for themselves which role they wanted to play, but they had to make it visible on the board.
The one other rule was that they could only pick one role in the 'planned role' column and they could of course have only one in the 'current role' column.
Once they picked a role, they could just readup on the linked scenario, using the papers on the table next to the board.

The goal was to see if we could actually have an empty HQ room, with no-one standing ready there.
So from time to time we, as organisers, would go to the HQ room, see what the current status of everyone was and check wether we needed to make changes.
Well, no changes were really needed, people used it, and even provided extra feedback and information on the sticky notes if something unexpected happened!

The experiment really delivered more than we hoped and liberated us from having to be present at all times in the HQ room. Thus enabling us to enjoy the event more and also to see what happens in the field.

For my new larp project we are now even doing scrum with 4 week sprints! It really helps us to be more productive and gets rid of a lot of the pre-event stress. In the past the most productive moments were in the last couple of weeks prior to an event. Now everything happens during a sprint months in advance.

Now I don't want to go back to the old way we did our larp events.