The Planning Game
Sample Results

On October 16 at the OOPSLA 2000 Educators Symposium we did the Planning Game exercise. There were several teams in the room. One team consisted of the following

Joe Bergin and Richard Wiener: Moderators
Bina Ramamurthy and Ashok Bhattachaaryya: Customers
Lewis Pinson, James McKim, Takeshi Inoue, and Jaime Niño: Developers

Following are the cards created by the customers and the estimates written on each.

Drip maker, one minute

two caraffes, 30 seconds

This card had its estimate changed from 90 seconds to 30.


espresso, 2 minutes


grind beans 30 seconds


easy clean 2 minutes

The above cards were the ones chosen by the customers in the first cycle for development as the developers had allowed 6 minutes out of the ten available. They are presented in the order in which the team "developed" the product.

What follows is an early sketch, rejected by the Customers, after the first two cards were considered.

sketch 1

The customer wanted two carafe's simultaneously. By the way, the right part of the picture is the result of the first card only.

The remaining cards were saved for later. Not all of them were actually estimated.

sugar cream 1 minute

This card was judged by the developers to be impossible to estimate and probably to do.

make coffee in 2 min, no estimate

portable, 15 seconds

roast beans, 30 seconds

This card was rejected by the developers as too many things, with concurrence from the moderators. The first line of the card was added by the customers after the card was rejected.

do later 1

do later 2



This was the final drawing.

final sketch

An interesting thing occurred in this group. One of the moderators was calling out the time each minute. The above picture was completed by the developers in exactly the first six minutes of the ten available. However, the customers were not pleased. They were looking for something more compact, though they didn't say that. The developers had four additional minutes and used this to explore with the customers what they really wanted, but did no more drawing, though they might have been able to refactor this "design" to please the customer and still meet the 10 minute deadline.

Only one cycle of the exercise was done.

The moderators judged that the developers had built what the customers said they wanted, but not what they really wanted, though they might have done so with more feedback as they went and some modifications within the schedule at the end.

Last Updated: October 23, 2000