The Empathy Toy

One of my colleagues, Omar Bermudez (you can reach him at Ocbermudez [at] gmail [dot] com or Twitter: @ocbermudez, Blog: Website: ) suggested to me use the Empathy Toy  this game is very helpful to deal with Empathy.

First of all, I would like to introduce the concept of Empathy:

Product Owners against Stakeholders

Every stakeholder consider their idea as the best and of course it will have to develop as soon as possible. Indeed, they never consider the idea that everyone has a great idea but every company has to deal with many good (and so so ) ideas that should be implemented in a hurry.

The rol of Product Owner demands to keep the balance of many stakeholders and the budget of the company as well because of that many times they have to say, “NO” or “No, at this time”. They feel frustrated many times because most stakeholders never put in their shoes (Empathy).

The Empathy Toy

It is a blindfolded puzzle game that can only be solved when players learn to understand each other.

Basing in that concept I decided to use the toy between stakeholders and Product Owners.










Stakeholders play the game as Guide and Builder, and Product Owner, and Scrum team members play the role of observers.

There is an extra role, the facilitator who build a puzzle pattern (if you buy the game you will get access to many prebuilt pattern) and give it to the blindfolded “GUIDE”.

Multiple Builders

First of all, I used the game with two builders and one guide and I repeated the game two times.

  • One blindfolded Guide with a built pattern provides instruction to Two blindfolded Builders
  • The Builders shared the same set of loose pieces
  • The remaining players act as Observers

The results of the game were amazing because the two Builders and the Guide in the first round (I played two rounds) couldn’t divide and / or share responsibilities and reacted in a bad way to the inherent frustrations of the game. In the second round Builders and the Guide felt more comfortable but they couldn’t build the pattern.


We often find ourselves in situations involving overlapping responsibilities and shared resources. Being able to navigate these situations required to put on the shoes of the others involved in the project.

Last but not least, if you want to buy this amazing tool go ahead on







Mario Lucero

Mario Lucero

I am all about helping companies to adopt agile as methodology in Chile.


I believe many organizations think that agile is not for Chilean companies because of Chilean culture is totally
different from i.e. USA culture but I worked with Chilean professionals who after using agile realized it is feasible
to implement it.

Agile works in small and large projects and there are many evidences which demonstrate this.


    1. Hi Thomas

      Thanks for your recommendation. I’m available to discuss the game on Skype just in case.



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