#Strategy #Innovation Games

I don’t know when I have been more excited to be facilitating two sessions in one week. The reason is that both sessions are using types of Innovation Games. Now both sessions are using some unique customizations of Innovation Games and I am very interested in seeing the results. The meetings are drastically different. One is a Strategy meeting and the other is a Rapid Discovery Meeting.

Strategy Meeting

In the Strategy meeting, we are using three different and customized Innovation Games. We were going to take a somewhat traditional approach to this Strategy session until we sat down and thought about the process we should use to present current state. The question was then asked about whether we should present on current state, or let the group tell us what the current state is from their perspective. We loved the idea. Instead of he traditional approach of presenting the opinion of what current state is, why not get the team to create the current state through Silent Brainstorming. We were assuming that everyone would agree as to what the current state is.

So the three games I am proposing to get us to review current state and start to think about Strategy are:

Whole Product Game – To get us to start thinking about current state, we are going to use a slightly altered version of the Whole Product Game. It will be changed to solicit input on the entire company rather than a product. I believe this game will provide some interesting insight as to what people view as the company’s differentiators.

Company Report Card Game – I based this game based upon the ‘Grade a Feature’ Exercise. I believe the grading metaphor is something that we all can relate to and can allow for excellent insights. Instead of grading features, I have customized the game so that we will be grading the company according to the following categories:

  • Locating Opportunities (Sales)
  • Satisfying Opportunities (Offerings and Products)
  • Delivery Opportunities (Delivery and Manufacturing)

For each category a person will do the following on a stickie:

  • Provide one overall grade per category on how they think the company is doing in that category – denoted by circling it
  • Provide an item or items which they feel the company is doing well in that category – denoted by a plus sign in a circle
  • Provide an item or items which the company needs to improve to be able move up to the next higher grade – denoted by a minus sign in a circle

20/20 Game – I based this game on the 20/20 game contained in Luke Hohmann’s excellent Innovation Games book. There is also an excellent website available with online games. (although the 20/20 game is not one of the online games) This game will be based upon the results of the Company Report Card Game and each person will be asked to asked if the company is better or worse for each of the items that came out of the Company Report Card Game as compared to two years ago. This will be done by using stickers for voting. Each person will get 5 green stickers for voting for the items the company has improved and 5 red stickers for voting for items the company has  regressed on.

I’m very excited to gather the groups ideas and also for the ability to capture trends.

I’ll save the Rapid Discovery Innovation games I will be using for my next post…

Author: Terry Bunio

Terry Bunio is passionate about his work as the Manager of the Project Management Office at the University of Manitoba. Terry oversees the governance on Information Technology projects to make sure the most important projects are being worked on in a consistent and effective way. Terry also provides leadership on the customized Project Methodology that is followed. The Project Methodology is a equal mix of Prince2, Agile, Traditional, and Business Value. Terry strives to bring Brutal Visibility, Eliminating Information islands, Right Sizing Documentation, Promoting Collaboration and Role-Based Non-Consensus, and short Feedback Loops to Minimize Inventory to the Agile Project Management Office. As a fan of pragmatic Agile, Terry always tries to determine if we can deliver value as soon as possible through iterations. As a practical Project Manager, Terry is known to challenge assumptions and strive to strike the balance between the theoretical and real world approaches for both Traditional and Agile approaches. Terry is a fan of AWE (Agile With Estimates), the Green Bay Packers, Winnipeg Jets, and asking why?

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