playful improvement (1) – how board games can help your process

board game piecesA big part of striving for a high degree of quality is finding and living a process that suits your team, your values, and your product. One of the key problems in improving an established process (or implementing a new one) is that it takes a lot of time: As the process comprises everything done by and everyone in your team, you have to see it to believe it. Or more precisely: You have to actually use each process artifact to fully understand their consequences.

Instead of using the next 6 sprints to understand those consequences – why not try some board games that can teach you about those consequences in 1- to 3-hour sessions and get some additional fun out of it?

theory and practice

It’s always a good idea to start by learning the basics of what you’re trying to achieve: Read a book about Scrum or have someone introduce the concepts of Kanban to your team. Theory is important! No less important, though, is an early gain of basic practice that will help you understand that theory. By understanding the consequences you will be able to forecast more accurately which of the concepts might actually work for you thus significantly accelerating the process improvement.

board games? really!?

Board games have come a long way since Monopoly – which was, in fact, initially developed to teach about economic effects (see Description)! Today there is a huge number of board games (BoardGameGeek listing way over 86.000) and some very neat game mechanics that actually integrate with the theme of the game.

Not all board games will help you with your quest, of course. But there are several board games that I can recommend for a professional working environment. Some of them will help you in terms of team building and some with specific process concepts as described above.

coming up

The upcoming posts of playful improvement will introduce the board games I consider useful in a professional working environment. The areas those board games will cover are: team building, agile processes and roles. So get your game on!

September 28th, 2016 by