12 Agile Collaboration Games for Team Building

Agile collaboration games are designed to encourage engagement at group agile activities such as estimating sprint work we use planning poker. Agile collaboration is about working in increments towards a shared goal. Agile collaboration games are about working together as a team and facilitators use various games like below to build relationships.

As teams have started moving virtual over the past Atlassian has created an epic virtual team building activities list worth checking out.

Our Recommended Team Collaborative Games

Broken Skype

Purpose: Communication Collaboration

Time: 20 minutes

Team Size: 8-50 people

How: Group can’t talk only use hand signals. Group stands in a row passing from back to front a simple hand sign to one another. Repeat but pass a complex sign. Next everyone forms a circle and passes a complex hand sign to the left and only one person goes at a time and can correct based on what they see.

Result: After exercise asks team which was the best form of communication.

Crazy Chat

Purpose: Respect Listening

Time: 5 minutes

Team Size: 2-100 people

How: Group is paired and one person gets one minute to stand up and speak about something they are passionate about. The other person is to stay seated and act uninterested. Then switch.

Result: After asking the each individual what did it feel like to ignore someone and what did it feel like not to be listened to.

Collaborative Origami

Purpose: Communication Collaboration

Time: 20 minutes

Team Size: 5-50 people

How: Group forms pairs and are given a sheet and instructions to create an origami. Round 1 they sit back to back and try to complete origami with one instructing and one folding. Round 2 they sit face to face and try to complete origami, folder can’t see instructions, though. Round 3 they sit side by side both can see instructions and what is happening.

Result: Great for distributed games as it helps the team understand the limitations of different types of communications.

Listening Game

Purpose: Listening Collaboration

Time: 5 minutes

Team Size: 6-20 people

How: Group stands randomly located in a room ideally facing opposite directions. The aim is to recite the alphabet letter by letter. If two people speak at the same time they must start over. Round 2 tell people to pause before they say anything, the round will progress slower but will get a lot further than the first round.

Result: After ask how people felt during the rounds. Ask if anyone didn’t contribute in round two and how them doing nothing contributed to the overall goal.

Movers & Shapers

Purpose: Respect Collaboration

Time: 10 minutes

Team Size: 10-100 people

How: Group is told they are to pretend to be a victim and need silently seek out 2 other people, an attacker, and shield. They must position themselves between the shield and attacker. They should do this for 2-3 minutes. Next, they are told to pretend to be a shield and need to silently seek out an attacker and victim and position themselves between them. They should do this for 2-3 minutes. Finally, they are told to pretend to be an equilateral triangle and to keep moving till it’s perfect. They should do this for 2-3 minutes.

Result: Ask what differences they saw between each round. First round when they are a victim they should end up moving further and further apart. Round two when they are a shield people should end up converging. Round three when they are equal they should come to equilibrium very quickly.

Magic Stick

Purpose: Communication Collaboration

Time: 5 minutes

Team Size: 4-10 people

How: Group stands in two rows and put a stick in between them on their index fingers only. Their aim is to lower the stick to the ground.

Result: Get the team to realize it is so much easier to achieve a goal when they work together.

Human Knot

Purpose: Self-Organization

Time: 15 minutes

Team Size: 8-100 people

How: Group forms two rows and there is one designated manager. First, the row should join left hand with back rows right hand. Then use spare hand to join with the neighbor person and at the end of the rows to the person in front of them, creating a human knot. The manager is to instruct the team how to untangle themselves and they can only follow their instructions.

Result: Usually the group succeed in a very short period of time and form a circle of joined hands.

123 go

Purpose: Communication

Time: 5 minutes

Team Size: 3-100 people

How: You tell the group you are going to count 123 and say “go” when you say go they should clap. Do it once quickly. Second-time pause and people will say “go” too early. Repeat 2-3 times.

Result: This demonstrates that people have hard wired responses, instead people should take their time and think about their responses.

Columbian Hypnotist

Purpose: Respect Collaboration

Time: 5 minutes

Team Size: 2-100 people

How: Group is paired together and one is chosen to go first. They stand across from each other and the chosen one will move and the second person is to copy for 30 seconds. Then switch roles for another 30 seconds. Finally, ask to instruct instead of copying one another.

Result: Ask team after which they preferred and how they felt. Helps team members build up trust and starting moving.

Non-Musical Chairs

Purpose: Self-Organization Trust

Time: 10 minutes

Team Size: 5-100 people

How: 1 person is to be the chairperson, there is to be 1 chair for every team member and one spare. The group is to prevent the chairperson from sitting on a chair without touching the chairperson, no moving the chairs and if you stand you must move and sit on a different chair. Give the team 1 minute to plan a strategy. Everyone is to move in a circle around the chairs. Tell chairperson to move at a steady pace but they can change direction at any time.  Repeat for 3 rounds or until the team finds a strategy to prevent sitting on a chair for several minutes.

Result: Helps team understand the importance of inspecting and adapting.

Purpose: Collaboration

Time: 15 minutes

Yes and

Team Size: 8-20 people

How: Each person has to start a phrase with “Yes, but”. You start the story and the next person is to continue with “Yes but”. After a few people, the story will no longer make sense. Next round get people to say “Yes and”. Final round repeat but people say “Because of that”.

Result: After team will have learned to build on others ideas rather than shutting them down.

Singing Clapping Numbers

Purpose: Respect Collaboration

Time: 20 minutes

Team Size: 6-100 people

There are a number of collaboration games that help group communication. The following collaboration games were gathered from Karen and Samantha eBook (link below).

How: Too long to explain just download the free ebook and follow instructions

>> Karen Greaves and Samantha Laing free eBook on Collaboration Games here.

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