Spotlight on Gamestorming

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If meetings are boring and you want another way to generate ideas or solve problems, brainstorming only gets you so far … the concept of Gamestorming takes this one step further, as a means of using structured play for business.

Transcript of Spotlight on Gamestorming

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2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. #If meetings are boring and you want another way to generate ideas or solve problems, brainstorming only gets you so far the concept of Gamestorming takes this one step further, as a means of using structured play for business. As presented by David Morris scrum-master, coach, and instructor. 1

2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. #Full disclosure:This presentation is based on the book Gamestorming by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, and James Macanufo

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2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. #This short talk will touch on the concepts of play and games, and what are the differences; before presenting some of the theory of business games and game development; and finishing off with some examples an further resources you can use to find out more. 3

2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. #Firstly, what is play?4

2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. #Imagine you are a child again: You are walking to the park with a ball, bouncing it up and down and off walls as you go.You meet a friend and you throw or kick it back and forth between each other. This is a fun way to pass the time. This is PLAY it is a healthy way to expend energy and definitely good for the soul. 5

2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. #If that was play, whats different about a GAME? Now, imagine you have reach the park and met another friend who was already there. Suddenly you have the idea to throw down your jumpers to act as goalposts, and you take turns to be in goal, with whoever scores three goals swapping over. As soon as you did this, you suspended normal time and space and 6

2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. # entered a different world, where the normal rules of behaviour and interaction are agreed to be set aside. This can be thought of as a parallel universe.

Lets see what this looks like:7

2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. #We have created a SPACE, with some boundaries, and typically a way of knowing the TIME when were going to finish (perhaps when its time to go home for tea). We know who are the PLAYERS. We have some ARTEFACTS the ball and the goal. We set a GOAL, both literally in terms of somewhere to kick the ball, and figuratively in terms of something were going to compete to achieve i.e. the first to three goals. We established some RULES around when we swap places, probably that the ball needs to cross the imaginary line from the front of the goal. 8

2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. #In doing this, we have set out a territory and know what to do within each area of that space. We have also established rules to create or maintain the flow of the game, and when we want to break the flow (time is up or a referee blows the whistle). These are the same basic ingredients for most games.

Lets consider this for a board game 9

2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. #When we play Monopoly, we have a board with an established territory; a set of players (represented by pieces, such as top hat, racing car, and flat iron); a set of artefacts (the property cards, the money, and the houses and hotels); a set of rules that tell us how to use these to establish and maintain flow (collect $200 every time you pass Go), and break flow (the Community Chest and Chance cards, that could send you elsewhere).

Now lets look at this in terms of a business usage. 10

2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. #When we play this into a business context, we have: a space (perhaps a whiteboard); a group of stakeholders; maybe were using post-it notes or 3x5 cards and marker pens; we have rules for how we start the exercise and keep it going until we reach an agreed conclusion, and we have an agreement that at key points we might re-arrange the cards into groups around size, priority, or theme.This is a very typical business exercise especially in an organisation adopting agile practices.

Having explored examples of play and games, let us consider some of the thinking behind Gamestorming:11

2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. #What is behind Gamestorming? How can we understand these games? How can we create new ones to fit the context / problem we have?

Lets first distinguish why we need games:12

2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. #If you know what you want and how to do it, and you just want to repeat the same thing over and over with no change

you need the PREDICTABILITY of PROCESS13

2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. #However, if you know youve got a problem you need to solve or an opportunity you want to realise, but youre not sure of the solution or how to achieve it

you need the POSSIBILITIES offered by GAMES14

2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. #GAMES help us navigate an UNCERTAIN PATH from a FUZZY GOAL to a TANGIBLE OUTCOME15

2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. #This approach typically requires three different types of thinking and activityDIVERGENT thinking, as we OPEN out the possibilities and understand the problem or opportunity more fully EMERGENT thinking, as we EXPLORE the potential of what weve discovered, try to separate and combine them in different ways to identify some possibilities that would actually workCONVERGENT thinking, as we CLOSE down the possibilities, breaking down what could work to a short-list and ultimately an agreed decision and action (or set of decisions and actions).

Having explored some of the theory of Gamestorming, let us now turn to some examples.16

2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. #Now, were going to look at some games and resources we could use to find and/or design some more. 17

2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. #Firstly, we need to understand the problem or opportunity were trying to resolve, this will help us understand what combination of divergent, emergent, and convergent thinking we need, and help us select one or more potential games that could assist.18

2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. #An approach I have found useful is a game I created called Walking in the customers shoes; a good exercise when you want people tucked deep in an organisation to take an outside-in view, to feel and think like the customer no substitute for involving real customers, but an easy alternative if that isnt possible. Firstly, understand the typical cycle of customer touch-points with an organisation typically identified as part of a separate exercise, so I have presented this as a generic model of: a customer searching/enquiring about a product; choosing to buy; trying to set it up; going on to use it; paying for it; trying to resolve a problem with it; and finally discarding it or trying to end a contract for use of it. Mark out a series of squares on the floor with silver duct tape and label each one accordingly. Have participants get into the mind-set of when they last made a significant purchase, then step into the first box and imagine what it feels like to enquire about your own companys product or service. Then they should step into the next box, and imagine what the experience is like to buy or sign up for the product or service. Repeat until you the end of your agreed life-cycle. To make this work, as they step into each square participants should fully experience the sensations: sight, sound, smell, touch, emotion, etc. Each square transports them to a space that allows them to act and feel differently. Capture these insights, and get a range of people to do this (ideally, not seeing what other people have already done); then you can use the outcomes from that to inform a whole range of activities again, the topic of a separate talk. 19

2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. #Another example comes from the world of Walt Disney. Disney called his approach IMAGINEERING, but it has since become known as the Disney Method. He believed that the creative process in film production was best supported by three roles: the dreamer, the realist, and the critic. The DREAMER comes up with the fantastic ideas, the REALIST thinks about how to realise the dream, and the CRITIC tries to see everything that could go wrong with it. Disney reinforced this approach by taking his staff into different rooms to encourage a different mind-set, and most famously the critic room was known as the SWEATBOX, as it was an uncomfortably small room that grew over-warm quickly with lots of people in it. Overall, at the critic stage this creative approach could then discard an idea, send it back for some more dreaming, or decided that it was good to go.

That was two examples, where can you find more? 20

2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. #The book itself, Gamestorming: The first few chapters deal with the theory and design of games, but the bulk of it is an excellent resource for games indexed for the types of problems or opportunities you might have. 21

2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. #There are also a whole host of websites and blogs, and other books of course, that have a wealth of suggestions for all purposes and age ranges whether for work, community, or whatever. 22

2013 Fiserv, Inc. or its affiliates. #Thank you for your attention, now

Go PLAY GAMES!

:)

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