CERT-SEI

Hard Choices Board Game

Making Hard Choices in Architecture

The Hard Choices game is a simulation of the software development cycle meant to communicate the concepts of uncertainty, risk, options, and technical debt. In the quest to become market leader, players race to release a quality product to the marketplace. By the end of the game, everyone has experienced the implications of investing effort to gain an advantage or of paying a price to take shortcuts, as they employ design strategies in the face of uncertainty.

Communicating the Benefits of Architecting Within Agile Development

The Hard Choices game was developed as part of the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute Independent Research and Development Project Communicating the Benefits of Architecting Within Agile Development in collaboration with the University of British Columbia. 

For information about the project, see our blog entries at the SATURN Network Blog. Or contact us using the link in the For more information box at the bottom of this page.

Downloading Hard Choices 

Playing the Game

We encourage you to play the game and send us comments and pictures. Please tell us about your experience and share your suggestions for rule changes and variations of the game.

  • Post a comment to the From the Trenches: Hard Choices Game blog entry.
  • Connect with your peers and experts in the field through the SEI Architecture Technology User Network (SATURN) LinkedIn group to discuss the Hard Choices game.
  • Stay updated on this and other SATURN topics by following @SATURN_News in Twitter.

Software Architecture Training and Publications

Software Architecture Training at the SEI

Software Architecture Publications

Further Reading

Board Game Gives Insights into Making Hard Choices in Architecture
The Hard Choices Game Explained