No silver brick: Opportunities and limitations of teaching Scrum with Lego workshops

Jan-Philipp Steghöfer, Håkan Burden, Hiva Alahyari, Dominik Haneberg

No silver brick: Opportunities and limitations of teaching Scrum with Lego workshops

Education in Software Engineering has to both teach technical content such as databases and programming but also organisational skills such as team work and project management. While the former can be evaluated from a product perspective, the latter are usually embedded in a Software Engineering process and need to be assessed and adapted throughout their implementation. The in-action property of processes puts a strain on teachers since we cannot be present throughout the students’ work. To address this challenge we have adopted workshops to teach Scrum by building a Lego city in short sprints to focus on the methodological content. In this way we can be present throughout the process and coach the students. We have applied the exercise in six different courses, across five different educational programmes and observed more than 450 participating students. In this paper, we report on our experiences with this approach, based on quantitative data from the students and qualitative data from both students and teachers. We give recommendations for learning opportunities and best practices and discuss the limitations of these workshops in a classroom setting. We also report on how the students transferred their methodological knowledge to software development projects in an academic setting.
published 9.6.2017 Journal of Systems and Software

Publisher: Elsevier


 author = {Steghfer, Jan-Philipp and Burden, Hkan and Alahyari, Hiva and Haneberg, Dominik},
 title = {No Silver Brick},
 journal = {J. Syst. Softw.},
 issue_date = {September 2017},
 volume = {131},
 number = {C},
 month = sep,
 year = {2017},
 issn = {0164-1212},
 pages = {230--247},
 numpages = {18},
 url = {},
 doi = {10.1016/j.jss.2017.06.019},
 acmid = {3143919},
 publisher = {Elsevier Science Inc.},
 address = {New York, NY, USA},
 keywords = {Agile software engineering, Scrum, Software engineering education},