Agile Scrum Taboo

Agile Scrum Taboo is a very quick game, considered as an everyday workshop, that arouses curiosity about Scrum events, methods, and celebrations. I’ve played it for the first time with Barry Overeem on ABE 2017 in Warsaw. The game presented by him was slightly different and can be found on Barry Blog.


In order to play Agile Scrum Taboo, you need to prepare cards with some words, which will be guessed by players. You don’t need to stick with Scrum connected ones. Feel free to include some Kanban or Waterfall terms as well just to make the game harder. Feel free to print a set of words connected with Scrum.

Rules of the Agile Scrum Taboo

The game is very easy and can be held anytime. Very good idea is to play this game after the Daily. So how o play it?

  1. Give a first player pile of cards and start the counter.
  2. The Player has 30 seconds for explaining as many words as he can.
  3. The player can toss the card to the bottom of the stack and take the next card.
  4. Taking the next card does not extend 30 seconds time.
  5. If any other player guesses correctly, then he takes the card.
  6. After 30 seconds move the stack to the next player.

After the game

The player with most points after a couple of iterations is the winner and receives a cookie. Moreover, the whole team should go through all unknown words and clarify them.

Scrum Taboo
Game is also known as Scrum Taboo. It is super easy yet powerful workshop.

What words should you use for the Agile Scrum Taboo game?

Agile Taboo is a game in which you can use more words than just those combined with Scrum. If you don’t know what words to use you can always start with a standard Scrum. Here is an example list of words that can be used to play the Agile Scrum Taboo game:

  • Scrum
  • Focus
  • Courage
  • Openness
  • Commitment
  • Respect
  • The Scrum Team
  • Scrum Master
  • Product Owner
  • Stakeholders
  • The Development Team
  • Impediment
  • Facilitation
  • Definition of Ready
  • Definition of Done
  • Backlog
  • Product Backlog
  • Sprint Backlog
  • Backlog Refinement
  • Ordered (Backlog)
  • Burndown Chart
  • Potentially Shippable (Releasable)
  • Planning Poker
  • Team Estimation Game
  • Sprint
  • Sprint Goal
  • Daily Scrum
  • Sprint Planning
  • Sprint Goal
  • The Scrum Guide
  • Scrum Values
  • Empiricism
  • Transparency
  • Inspection
  • Adaptation
  • Daily Scrum
  • Sprint Review
  • Sprint Retrospective
  • self-organizing
  • cross-functional
  • priority
  • Increment
  • potentially releasable
  • servant-leader
  • coaching
  • time-boxed
  • one month or less
  • time-box of 8 hours or less
  • capacity
  • velocity
  • time-box of 15 minutes
  • 24 hours
  • complexity
  • time-box of 4 hours or less
  • time-box of 3 hours or less
  • framework
  • improvement
  • feature
  • Product Backlog refinement
  • 10% of Dev Team capacity
  • estimate
  • Agile Manifesto
  • Individuals and interactions
  • processes and tools
  • Working software
  • comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration
  • contract negotiation
  • Responding to change
  • following a plan
  • Demo
  • Business value
  • Business risk
  • Continuous Delivery
  • Continuous Integration
  • Technical Debt
  • Code review
  • Ken Schwaber & Jeff Sutherland
  • User Story
  • Story Points
  • Communication
  • Agile