Recently we arranged a kick off for our department consisting of 4 teams. Aiming to connect people we applied a gamification approach using 4 cool games and exercises that I share with you through this post (this time 2, maybe later on 2 more ;-).

Overall goal – have fun, connect people by sharing insight, get to know another even better and create something that stays in memory connected with our cool environment.

#1 Bingo, BINGO, BiNgO

Old school game, applied in an agile environment. Will this work? For sure!

Let’s have a look (see picture left) to a highly engaged group trying to figure out facts of one another – hunting for their Bingos.

Fun assured 😉

How does it work 

Everyone gets a sheet – the BINGO sheet – with personal facts of every team member. 
Let’s say you have 23 team members (let’s take a prime to make it not that easy), you use a grid of 6 columns x 4 rows, every cell having one fact.  
All facts are distributed randomly and without a name connected on every Bingo sheet. 
Fill gaps (e.g (6×4)-23=1 gap) with JOKERs – leads to even more possible strategies to win the game.  
Goal for everyone is to connect every fact with the name of a team member as fast as possible by asking through the crowd (there is just one name correct for one fact ;-)).
3 winning stages – BINGOs – can be achieved. 
BINGO … for the vertical/column completed (all facts in a column are correctly connected with a name).
Bingo … for the horizontal/row completed (all facts in a row)
BiNgO … for the whole Bingo sheet.
As soon as one kind of a Bingo is (maybe) achieved the team member contacts the game facilitator and they check whether its the correct solution. 
If so – it’s announced to the whole group and the hunt for the remaining Bingo stages can continue (for sure some team members will not listen carefully enough and continue hunting for an already solved Bingo stage ;-). 
The game ends as soon as all 3 Bingos are achieved.
Congratulations to the winners and have your award ceremony with some tiny awards connected.

Observation

What a mess 😉 
Everyone is talking to everyone, some start exchanging solutions, some optimized with JOKERs in mind. Some don’t get already solved Bingos. Some are amused by the facts itself.
High engagement and some confusion during the game make it a funny one.

Preparation

Estimated preparation time is about 3 hours. 
Gather funny facts from every team member joining the session. I recommend doing it some days (weeks … depending on your availability and laziness to respond to mails ;-)) before, as it can take some time to get all responses. 
I asked everyone to send me a crazy, funny or not ordinary fact about herself. 
Create the Bingo sheets. Every sheet should be unique so that spying during the game becomes not that trivial. You can use my Bingo sheet generator – a small script you can use with a google spreadsheet.
Put numbers for every fact and add the numbers in your Bingo facts sheet (it allows an easy check for a correct solution during the game).
Print one sheet for every member joining your session.
Have fun with your Bingo session and please share your insights 😉

#2 Lean Penny

A simple and fast to play game showing perfectly the importance of small batch sizes and focussing on highest value implementation. First I’ll explain the roles and game play and later on my observations.

Roles

  • Customer – provides money to be processed, accepts finished work
  • President – records time until first delivery and total delivery
  • Worker – Flip coins in batches and provide finishes batches to be processed by the next worker

Sets of money

One set contains:
  • 5 x 20 Cents
  • 5 x 10 Cents
  • 5 x 5 Cents
  • 5 x 1 Cent

Lean Penny Game Timing

Explanation + Team creation 5’

  1. Batch – 20 coins, left hand    2
  2. (Batch – 20 coins, left hand 2’) — to repeat an learn if you get faster
  3. Batch – 10 coins, left hand 2’ — effect of smaller batches
  4. Batch – 5 coins, left hand 1’ — even smaller batches
  5. Batch – 5 coins, both hands 1’ — process improvements with both hands
  6. Batch – 2 coins, both hands 1’ — optimum batch size
  7. Batch – 5 coins – only 10 coins (20 Cent and 10 Cent), both hands — focus on high value

Talk about the results after the game (what were the teams observations and learnings from the game) 10′

One iteration in detail

  • explain restriction for this round
  • GONG – presidents starts the timer
  • customer provides first batch (with according number of coins=batch size) for the first worker
    • Customer provides next batch as soon as the first worker finished his batch
  • the worker flips all coins in the batch + and provides the batch for processing by the next worker (not coin by coin but batch by batch!)
  • all worker process all batches …
  • when the customer receives the first batch
    • the president records this time
  • when the customer accepts the last batch
    • the president records the total time
  • the presidents add the recorded times to a result sheet (see below)


    This is an example of the times recorded for 3 teams (A,B,C) for 5 iterations. Starting from 2′ and best done in 8 seconds and still producing 83% of the total value with 94% time reduction (we removed the 5 cent and 1 cent low value coins = 30 cents – leading to 150 cents/180cents = 83%)

    Observation

    It’s really amazing what speed improvements the batch size reduction and later on the value focus is possible. You can see the WOW-effect in the teams eyes too.

    It’s fast to set up and play and provides a lot of fun.

    Preparation

    Create a flip chart with a short game explanation, the result recording sheet and your coin stacks. It should not take longer than 1h to set it up.

    Further resources
    I’m looking forward for your response how the games worked for you and wish you a lot of fun and insights in your teams.