Have you ever experienced a dull Sprint Retrospection meeting where team members were not speaking up and sharing their thoughts/ideas freely? Generating new inputs & ideas is always a challenging process!
The true Agile environment needs a culture where each team member feels free and empowered to share his views. Hence it is important for Scrum Masters or Project / Program managers to identify various ways through which they can encourage team members and customers communicate with each other and collaborate on the areas of interest for the team. This is precisely where Agile Innovation Games can help.
As mentioned by Luke Hohmann, Innovation Games® provide a fun way to get feedback from various participants. It involves a visual and experiential way of sharing thoughts and can be used for collecting feedback on current / new products or services. In this exercise, actual customers or end users would collaborate with the project team members to share their expectations about the project with the help of interactive games.
Advantages of Innovation Games:
The innovation games are in line with the values of the Agile Manifesto:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Identify what provides the most value to the customer.
These are multiple innovation games that help in identifying customer’s inputs on priorities of various features and to understand different views/perspectives of peers. It helps participants to organize their thoughts/ideas/suggestions collectively. It helps in making people speak/share their thoughts. In some of the cultures, team members might not be comfortable in sharing their thoughts (especially apprehensions) freely in front of their seniors or with the customers. But these set of games, played in a fun environment would really help people to share their true feelings, which would be extremely beneficial for the Agile team. The games can also be used to identify an organizational strategy in a collaborative manner, during Release / Sprint planning sessions.
Executives in an organization can use these games to generate or prioritize new ideas. Marketing teams can use them to conduct market research to understand what the customer wants? Product Management team can use the games to identify enhancements to existing solutions & to get stakeholder prioritization. HR/Admin team of any organization can use them to get feedback from employees on work environment / policies etc. We have used Innovation Games in the different context and found it to be extremely beneficial.
The Agile Innovation Games can be used effectively to facilitate collaboration amongst the employees, customer and users of the product/services. It would help in understanding the expectations and concerns of employees and customer. Scrum Masters / Project Managers should take advantage of these games and facilitate the games to build team bonding and collaborative environment.
Persistent Systems are into a Partnership with Innovation Games® to drive enterprise agile innovation across their customers.
- Innovation Games®: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play – Luke Hohmann