Putting it all together

Triangle1Here’s an example of how the three ways in which we help clients — software innovation, serious games, and strategy for change — fit together. We’re glad to help our clients in any one area, or all of them, if needed.

Recently, we helped a client who had asked for us to train and coach teams in Agile methods. These teams were the pioneers in the IT organization of a large manufacturing company. Their ultimate goal was to improve the relationship with internal customers, who were unhappy with the IT organization’s ability to address their problems.

During the training, we used serious games to drive home important lessons about Agile practices and principles. We also used serious games during the coaching, whenever we needed to change team dynamics or create a different conversation with the customer. For example, one such game helped define the minimum viable product, which was especially important, given that the customer had asked for more functionality than the team could deliver by an important deadline.

Mid-way through this first phase of Agile transformation, IT executives realized that the new teams would have a profound effect on how they managed their portfolio. Instead of creating an ad hoc team for each project, IT was creating standing teams who would stay together, across a series of projects in the same business domain (HR, finance, etc.). Would this change create problems when the business and IT decided to change the priority of projects? We created a custom boardgame, playable in a short time, that simulated the portfolio management decisions that the organization faced with Agile teams. In the process, we showed that the standing teams would increase flexibility and throughput across the portfolio. Later, we used these insights in a strategic discussion about how IT defines and initiates projects.