#Innovation Games – Rapid Discovery Event

We had our second Innovation Game meeting earlier today and it was very interesting. This meeting was more of a standard application of Innovation Games unlike my previous two posts. It was a meeting that we at Protegra call a Rapid Discovery Event. A Rapid Discovery Event is a Discovery meeting with Innovation Games combined with a User Story Mapping session to quickly gain an understanding of the true business problems and potential solutions.

All the people that attended had never done Silent Brainstorming before.

Here was the agenda for the session:

Two Things – This is a very quick Silent Brainstorming warm up activity where we ask the participants for two things about the proposed solution. One thing that the solution MUST do, and one thing the solution MUST NOT do. This was a good warm up session and quite well received.

Who/What/Why – Silent Brainstorming exercise to start to get everyone to think about Who is going to use the solution, What are they going to do, and Why are they going to do it. Very good exercise and the group started to build up momentum and throw out a lot of ideas. We had an excellent diversity of styles and opinions in this group. Very nice to have and it is making this session very productive. We also had a good diversity in the two facilitators. My co-worker has more of a Business Performance Consulting focus while I have a technical background. I think this is an excellent match and allows for us to ask more of the right questions.

Personas – We take a break from the Silent Brainstorming and have an interactive session on the Personas or people that will use the solution. While we did not capture all the attributes about Personas that would normally be done in a standard Persona session, it was still a very valuable session. This session generated the most discussion and new ideas of any session. The amount of information we captured on the separate Personas and how they would use the solution was incredible. We easily captured at least 4-5 new Personas and ultimately functions of the solution that we were totally unaware before we started. Easily the best session. I think varying Silent Brainstorming with Interactive Sessions also helps to generate more feedback. Need to remember this.

User Story Mapping – The last Silent Brainstorming exercise was a User Story Mapping exercise. This exercise generated some excellent new ideas on what the solution needs to do. I think this session really benefited from having the three sessions held previously. With the results and discussions from those three sessions in hand, people were able to come up with the User Stories very easily. If anything, we had to end some discussions prematurely due to running out of time. It was fantastic to be in a 3 hour meeting where people are passionate and energized to continue talking. I’ve seen User Story Mapping sessions take 20 minutes. Everyone had their stories up in 5 minutes.


I’m an Innovation Games convert. It was a great session and we captured much more information than I had hoped. We have a larger group schedule next week and I am very excited about the information we will gather from that session to combine with this one. If you haven’t checked out Innovation Games online, I recommend that you go there and try out some games as soon as possible. You won’t be disappointed! Don’t be afraid to customize then to your specific circumstance….


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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