Simulation games are popular activities these days, but what for they are? Do we need those games on our team or work? In this article, I want to say some words about simulation games.
A simulation game is a simplified analogy to the real environment. People in a save and unreal situation can learn new things by experience.
On the web we can find many websites with simulation games. There are some exmples:
- Kanban Pizza Game - https://www.agile42.com/en/training/kanban-pizza-game/
- Tasty cupcakes - a page with many simulation games about agile, lean, communication, development and so on. http://tastycupcakes.org/
- LESS - http://tastycupcakes.org/2017/09/the-large-scale-scrum-less-dynamics-game/
- Scrum Resort Brochure: http://tastycupcakes.org/2009/06/resort-brochure/
- What Were They Thinking: http://tastycupcakes.org/2009/06/what-were-they-thinking/
- 99 Test Balloons: http://tastycupcakes.org/2009/06/99-test-balloons/
- Presto Manifesto: http://tastycupcakes.org/2009/06/presto-manifesto/
- Lego for Scrum Game: https://www.lego4scrum.com/
How to facilitate a simulation game? Yeah... it's a thought question, and there is no ideal answer on that. Below, I'll show you a sample scenario of that workshop
Introduce yourself - it's essential element because people have to know who you are and why you are with them now.
The goal of the game
a) main goal - you have to prepare what participants will achieve after this workshop.
b) individual goal - you also have to ask participants what they want to achieve. It's worth to verify if the knowledge that you want to share is necessary. Example: you want to improve communication in a team and provide self-organising mindest, and people that you have to work with never work in a team. Using this method we can avoid "worst scenario" that people achieve goals that are not interesting in.
Agenda - you need agenda to provide a safe environment, where people know next steps of the workshop
Game's rules - you need to present all rules to the participants. If there is a lot of rules, you have to write them down. This step you can do in two ways:
a) answer all questions that people ask about rules
b) present regulations and start interaction 0 without answering questions - participants learn rules by running game
After each iteration collect conclusions and observations from groups (like Retrospective)
- write those conclusions somewhere
Encourage groups to improve programme process (like new Sprint Planning)
Go to point 5 for 3-4 times
Time for working with emotions
- It's quite important to work with emotions. Simulation games can be very emotional, and people need to vent.
Discussion about goals and new knowledge
- "How you can use this knowledge in real life?"
- write all ideas on flipcharts or stick notes
- what goals do we achieve
- "thank you for the game."
- "Congratulations for the game."
Everything has to be done under time pressure. As a facilitator, you have to take care of timeboxes.
What is your best way to run a simulation game?
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