The Elephant Carpaccio Game by Alistair Cockburn

Speaker Dr. Alistair Cockburn
The Elephant Carpaccio Game
  • workshop
  • 60
  • coaching
  • management


Few business people know how to carve up work requests to their developers into work that can be accomplished in a week or less, or how to trim off requests that are taking to long to develop and deploy.
Similarly, few programmers know how to slice feature requests to sub-day work assignments. Top programmers, in contrast, regularly work in 30-60 minute programming episodes.
What does it take to make the transition?
In this workshop, business people and programmers will pair up to decompose a problem into work requests, then the programmers will deliver those features in five 8-minute iterations, the analyst adjusting requests on the fly.


Attendees need to bring a laptop to this workshop, either with a development environment on it, or a simple spreadsheet program. The requirements for the development environment are basic - the program that will be written in a simple calculation with no complicated user interface. Non-programmers can work with Excel or equivalent, and Powerpoint or equivalent. 
In fact, we will team up in teams of 2 and 3 people with one laptop per team, so if you do not have a laptop to bring, you can attend anyway.
Learning outcome for the business person:
 How to slice large applications into 1-day to 1-week requests, from the business perspective
Learning outcome for the business person:
 How to slice application requests into 15-30 minute work slices, from both the business and programming perspective 
User Persona
  • coach
  • developer
  • practitioner
  • product owner
  • manager
Constraints and Class Arrangement

laptops, tables

Session History
Last Updated 23 Jul 17:12