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What teams can learn from World of Warcraft – talk by Alex Schladebeck

Last month, Alex Schladebeck, Head of Software Quality and Test Consulting at BREDEX GmbH, was our invited speaker at the IT Services staff meeting in Parliament Hall. Alex Schladebeck is a team leader, consultant, software tester and product owner who has been helping development teams improve their quality through communication.

Alex ’s talk focused on the highly successful MMORPG game, World of Warcraft (WoW), and its parallels to how we work in teams – in role distribution, task management and communication. Players of WoW create characters who gain abilities from their race (such as dwarf and elf), their class, equipment and level. Similarly, team members in real life have different abilities based on their background, past activities and experience.

Photo of Alex Schladebeck demonstrating how team members work together in World of Warcraft
Alex Schladebeck demonstrating how team members work together in World of Warcraft

The game is structured around quests and goals with rewards for their completion. Individual questing is possible in many cases, but more rewarding activities require self-organising groups to complete them. On the other hand, everyday work is structured around tasks with goals to be completed. Some activities can be done individually, but more often than not, a whole-team approach is required.

Alex explained why achieving goals in the fantasy world works so well, why it doesn’t always work so well in real life, and what we could do to change that.

Alex also ran workshops for some IT Services teams on the previous day in the Byre Theatre. Many thanks to Alex for taking time out of her busy schedule to spend time with us last month.

More information about Alex Schladebeck can be found at

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