2007/09/11

Virtual gaming, leadership and agile software development

Report cover
As I was reading the excellent Virtual Worlds, Real Leaders by seriosity and IBM's Global Innovation Outlook (GIO) team, I was struck with the similarities of the leadership attributes that they found in MMORPGs (Massively multiplayer online role-playing games) and those that are familiar to me from working in agile software development projects.

I'm quoting two summaries that appear in the report:

Online gaming environments facilitate leadership through:
1. Project-oriented organization
2. Multiple real-time sources of information upon which to make decisions
3. Transparent skills and competencies among co-players
4. Transparent incentive systems
5. Multiple and purpose-specific communications mediums
In fast moving distributed environments, leadership can be:
1. A temporary phenomenon
2. Task-oriented
3. Dynamic and constantly changing

Doesn't this make you think about how the daily scrum/stand up meeting and collective code ownership provides "transparent skills and competencies among co-players"? About how the leading roles in an agile team changes constantly among team members depending on the task at hand? About the fluid communications in the noisy room where the team is sitting?