Agile Workflows

Agile Battleships



Group size:

  • A minimum of 2 players, but preferably more.

Game length:

  • ∼20 minutes.


  • Score as many hits as possible.


  • Each ship must be placed horizontally or vertically across grid spaces—not diagonally—and the ships can't hang off the grid.

  • Ships can touch each other, but they can't occupy the same grid space.

How to play

  1. Divide the participants into Team A and Team B.

  2. Show each team their respective Battleships sheets. Use the Breakout Frames if you want to make sure no one is cheating. ;)

  3. Both teams are given 2 minutes to plan their ship placement (horizontal or vertical only, not diagonal), a total of 5 ships each.

  4. Team A is given 5 minutes to plan 30 shots up front, marking these on the Enemy Ships section (mark by changing color on the specific table cells or by using emojis). 

  5. When they have finished planning, Team A relay all of their shots to Team B. Team B then reports misses, hits and successfully sunken ships.

  6. Team B will then take 5 minutes to play each of their 30 shots, but this time with realtime feedback from Team A on the misses, hits and sunken ships (the way traditional Battleships is played).

  7. At the end of the game, count the number of hits and sunken ships for each team.

What do we learn?

  • Predictive planning is unreliable.

  • The iterative approach is empirical.

  • Occasionally Team A will win, but it's more due to luck than judgement.


Henrik Ståhl image
Henrik Ståhl
Product Owner @Telia Company
Former journalist turned Product Owner. Methodology nerd and incurable strategist. Star Wars and Meshuggah. This is the way.

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