How I Learned Agile Principles while Playing Minecraft?

How I Learned Agile Principles while Playing Minecraft?
Photo by Nina PhotoLab / Unsplash

For the past 6 weeks, I took a class called Principles of Agile Project Management at Northeastern University. The class had a twist where we all had to build a village in Minecraft and incorporate sprints into the building process. Every team had a product owner and we had to create requirements and user stories. We also used Trello to organize the user stories for each sprint.

Wild West Minecraft Village

Scrum implements the empirical process and there are three pillars: transparency, adaptation, and inspection. With transparency, the team knows what is going on. With adaptation, the team is okay with change the direction of where the project is going. Lastly, with inspection, it is always important to check your work as you do it. The Scrum framework, allows teams to solve problems while delivering the highest possible value.

My group had to timebox activities and we held retrospectives at the end of the week. We spent hours and hours building on Minecraft, but at the end of the day, we learn so much about how Scrum works.

If you adopt only one agile practice, let it be retrospective. Everything else will follow. - Woody Zuill

We learned about impediments, which is anything that can slow the team down and can not be resolved internally. In Minecraft, there were several villages that were blown up by TNT. It was considered an impediment, it was up to the teams to carry on with the rest of their requirements or rebuild the village.

Overall, I think more classes should incorporate video games into their curriculum. The last time I play Minecraft was probably in middle school, was definitely nostalgic.