Every year, serious games have made a larger appearance at the Agile Alliance’s yearly conference. For instance, a few years ago, one session featured a game that simulated the collaboration between UX professionals and an Agile team. Other sessions demonstrated how to use serious games to improve the dialogue between Agile teams and their customers. If you know me, you’re already aware that I have a special interest in this topic, in part because, as it says in my LinkedIn profile, one of my professional missions is to make serious games wildly successful, not just in software development, but in lots of settings that desperately need the typical rules of conduct disrupted. This year was Read more
Posts Tagged 'Serious Games'
This Monday, on the first day of the Cutter Summit 2015, it was my great privilege to moderate a session about serious games as tools of disruptive innovation. By changing the normal rules of interaction, we can have more productive interactions during the innovation process, including the all-important collaboration with the customer. Serious games also help in the education process, driving home lessons in a way that words alone often cannot. They also provide an opportunity to “try before you buy,” simulating new innovation strategies, such as adopting Agile or managing your portfolio differently. During the session, we played three games, one representing each of these potential benefits that serious games offer. (There are others.) Read more
In a recent post, I talked about the value of playing a game about Agile portfolio management. The game showed how, over time, stable Agile teams are more productive than ad hoc teams of even the highest performers. As a result, Agile turns on its head the way many people look at portfolio management: rather than feeding teams to projects, portfolio management should feed projects to teams. This example shows one of the many virtues of serious games, their ability to help us make sense of important principles about the operation of systems. Our brains struggle with systems thinking, so anything that can help us move beyond our cognitive limitations is a good thing. Some Read more
Dedicated teams are critical to the success of Agile projects, both in the short-term (this particular project) and the long term (the queue of future projects. A serious game on which I’ve been working shows this principle in action better than any words I’ve used to communicate this point. I started working on the game because a lot of people struggle with the notion of dedicated teams. Even in cases when Agile has achieved a foothold in the organization, and everyone’s happy with the results, many people outside these teams may not understand or appreciate how big a difference team cohesion makes. There’s a difficult cultural shift from seeing teams as collections of individual “resources” Read more
In my last post, I talked about the ways in which serious games can fill a significant hole in Agile practices. Let’s turn that around and see how Agile can help serious games. Before we can get into the meat of that topic, it’s important to be clear about which serious games we’re going to be discussing. There’s a wide variety of game-like activities used for reasons other than entertainment (education, ideation, market research, etc. etc.), and not all of them can benefit from serious games equally, or even in the same ways. For our purposes, we’ll be focusing on three types: Software-based serious games in general. This is a pretty broad category, encompassing everything Read more
Agile’s success depends, to a great extent, on the seriousness with which the team performs the prescribed ceremonies. Thou shalt start a sprint with a real sprint planning meeting. Thou shalt always end a sprint with working code, which thine customers and stakeholders shall comment upon. If thine daily stand-up meeting goes longer than 15 minutes, then lo! Someone needs to put a cork in it. Agile keeps the list of ceremonies small, and the ceremonies themselves fairly lightweight. They serve the same purpose as any ritual, to encourage both right behavior and right thinking. Unfortunately, there are not enough of them. Agile ceremonies must reach beyond the team The founders of the Agile movement Read more
It is my profound pleasure to welcome Sue McKinney and Tom Grant to the Cutter family and to the Agile practice. I am really excited about the expertise they bring to the practice and the opportunity to work with them in person. I first met Sue some five or six years ago in an APLN conference in which she presented her experience teaching the IBM elephant to dance to the rhythm of Agile. My overarching impression from the presentation was “Wow, this lady has fire in her belly!” This impression of mine grew stronger and stronger over the years as I became more familiar with her large scale transformative work at both IBM and Pitney Read more