Facilitated by Mic, Mul and Ignas

First conceived by The Collab Folks in 2016, COWTOPIA : Mission to Mars is an online game to help product teams learn about themselves and how agile concepts, design and product development.


You are a multi-dimensional team who knows about Cows, Rockets and all the important skills needed to get Cows safely to Mars.You are invited to design, build and test your ideas to deliver one million cows by 2060. The team that delivers the most value will be awarded the final contract by the Space Force Commander to relocate Cows from Planet Earth to Mars from 2060. This contract is worth nothing as money is no longer a thing. It will however give you a new badge to add to your LinkedIn as a Cowtopia Space Force Practitioner (YACP-CSFP).

Learning takeaways

  • Be CURIOUS : Asking questions is something that we do every day but when in a stressful situation, we can easily revert into delivering without understanding the impact
  • Balancing Value, Quality and Constraints [Time, Cost, Schedule] is an art
  • The roles of the Team Captain, Product Owner is a tension between team health and getting poop delivered!
  • There growing awareness on the need for shifting your styles depending on situation and time to deliver.
  • Change is constant, expect chaos: What’s your plan B? How might you de-risk a critical launch?
  • When requirements are unclear, don’t start building in Sprint #1!
  • ASK questions : Stakeholders usually don’t know what the team is facing (challenges, etc.) as they aren’t present in the team’s operational sprints, thus it’s unreasonable expect them to magically read the team’s mind (of what the team needs).

As a product leader, understanding the game you are playing, its constraints and developing your capacity to design and create engagement in your teams [health, structure and process] is critical in the face of complexity.