Scrum Paper Plane Exercise

Building paper planes is an excellent way to learn about Scrum’s ‘Inspect and Adapt’ principle.

To use this activity in a teaching session, you will need to provide participants with sheets of paper to build planes.  You can also provide them with paper plane instructions or you can let them design their own planes.

Divide the participants into groups of four and ask each one to build a different plane.  Then the participants should throw the planes and record which one travels the greatest distance and which one travels the least distance.

The group should then inspect and adapt.  They should modify their planes, teach each other how to throw the planes more effectively, and so on.

Once they have made modifications, they should throw the planes again and record the results.

Have the participants go through this inspect and adapt loop several times and then ask them what they have learned and how it applies to software development.

Michael de la Maza

I am an agile coach and an angel investor. As an agile coach, I have consulted and trained at dozens of companies. Major agile coaching engagements have been with Paypal, State Street, edX, Carbonite, and Symantec. I typically begin with culture first and then proceed to process improvement and business results. I believe in a non-confrontational, non-coercive approach to change in which people are invited to be and act in a new way. This takes the pain out of agile transformations.

With Rob Rubin, an online education pioneer and the Founding VP of Engineering at edX, I recently created, an online agile education portal that we plan to grow until it has the best agile content and the best learning platform.