The Innovation Games® Tribe at Agile Camp

If you’re not going to AgileCamp 2014 on May 3, you’re really missing out. The one-day agile event (with pre-camp workshops on May 2) is bringing together some heavy hitters in the agile community —  many of whom just happen to be members of the Innovation Games® tribe as well.AgileCamp14

The conference promises to have something for everyone interested in agile, whether you’re an expert or novice, with sessions on enterprise agility, agile leadership, team dynamics, lean innovation, GTD with agile and lean and the agile coach / scrum master kata. And then there are the keynotes from folks like our own Luke Hohmann, Rally founder and CEO Ryan Martens and Lean Kanban Inc.’s CEO David J. Anderson.


Check out the Innovation Games tribe’s contribution to the program below:

  • Pre-Camp Workshops

May 2, 2014; 1PM – 5PM

Introduction to Kanban
IGQI, CCA and ValueInnova CEO Masa Maeda
Agile Facilitator’s Toolkit
CCA and Innovation Games® Training Graduates Susan Berry and Randall Thomas

  • Agile Camp Sessions

May 3, 2014

Luke Hohmann, Founder and CEO of Conteneo

Power of Play
Matt Brown, Chief Gaming Officer for Conteneo

Gorilla Talk: Are you talking with your team, or at your team?
Joel Bancroft-Connors, Sr. Program Manager for EMC

Team Performance Model for High Performing Teams
Susan Berry and Randall Thomas, Aligned for Results, LLC, with Thomas Sibbet, The Grove Consultants International

Your Plans meet Reality with LeanCanvas
Dennis Britton, Agile Coach & Collaboration Architect for Lean Dog

Agile Improvisation
David Chilcott, Agile Coach, Outformations and Owen Walker, Inside Outside Improvisation

Enterprise Transformation Scaling Patterns & Anti-patterns
Monica Yap, Agile Coach for SolutionsIQ

Retrospectives for Team Engagement and Continuous Learning
Monica Yap, Agile Coach for SolutionsIQ

MEET THE SPEAKER: Oana Juncu on Games and Product Destiny

Can you tell us what attendees can expect from your session?
Attendees will discover the power of Innovation Games in building a product’s story, frame and design, while actively involving all the stakeholders on a common ground of shared language and understanding.

Is there anything special about how you use Innovation Games? 
The way the games are played is based around a shared story of how we can achieve a goal from the current status. I usually use the Design Thinking format of diverge-analyze-converge in my sessions.

What has been your overall experience with doing work with games?
I’ve found that using games always has an “epiphany” effect on a major part of the attendees. The collaboration effect of people with different skills working together makes the game play magic.

Do you have a favorite Innovation Game or technique? Why is it your favorite?
All the games are powerful and there is no “favorite” per type of situation addressed. I think Speed Boat and Prune the Product Tree are effective because they are both very visual and simple. If there was a game I should mention, it would be Buy a Feature because of its power to make people collaborate, while understanding constraints.

What are you most looking forward to at the Summit? Any particular sessions?
It’s my first time at an Innovation Game Summit. I’m excited to be there and am looking forward to meet a lot of awesome people. I’m open about what I will learn there and am prepared to be surprised.


Want to find out more? Check out the IG Summit website or register now.

Running with the Gazelles

Running with the Gazelles

Luke Hohmann just joined the roster of the 2013 Growth

Growth SummitSummit presented by Fortune on Oct. 22-23, in Las Vegas, NV. Organized by Verne Harnish’s Gazelles, the high profile event brings together nine business leaders, including Zappo’s Tony Hsieh, Stephen MR Covey, Mark Johnson, Mark Goulston, Ram Charan and others, with an audience of leading executives to focus on growing their business.

Growth Summit 2013

22-23 October 2013

Build Better Software with Innovation Games, Kanban and Lean

Luke Hohmann to Present at Lean Kanban North America

Luke Hohmann has joined the faculty of Lean Kanban North America and will be presenting a session on the main stage on Monday, April 29. The session, “Innovation Games: Software Powered Innovation Through Collaborative Play” focuses on how the combination of Innovation Games, Kanban and Lean can help many organizations develop better software.

Session: Innovation Games: Software Powered Innovation Through Collaborative Play
April 29, 2013, 10:30 AM
Lean Kanban North America
Chicago, IL
Registration & More Information

Luke Hohmann to Present Deep Dive Session at AgileGames 2013

CEO and Founder Luke Hohmann is doing a deep dive session on April 4 at the Agile Games 2013 conference in Boston, MA. The full-day session, “How Serious Games Will Move Us From Better Software Into A Better World”, will allow participants to explore a broad range of serious games in context, from the use of games (agile games, Innovation Games, gamestorming) used in agile software development, to game design and collaborative play to tackle such serious issues as transforming the Mexican Drug Trade into a legal and sustainable business or promote Womens’ rights in Africa. The session includes hands-on and practical experience with a range of serious games, along with background on how the games are used in context.



Deep Dive: “How Serious Games will Move Us from Better Software Into a Better World”
April 4, 2013
10:30 AM – 5:00 PM
More Details and Registration


The Agile Games Conference was formed to explore how concepts like serious play, collaboration, and experiential learning apply to the field of Agile software development and project management. Launched three years ago, the annual event brings together practitioners in agile software development from all over the world.


Meaningful Games–Michigan to France

Meaningful Games–Michigan to France

The best part of putting together this newsletter each month is seeing how Innovation Games® are being put to work around the globe, in every industry imaginable. This month we have posts from conferences and meetups in the US and Europe, revealing how Innovation Gamers are putting Budget GamesSpeed BoatRemember the Future and more to work! 

Meaningful Play
Innovation Games Qualified Instructor Andy Simon joined

 Andy Simon
Andy Simon

Every Voice Engaged Ambassador Steve Dodds and Michigan State’s Carrie Heeter to discuss Every Voice Engaged Great Neighborhoods program at the Meaningful Play Conference at Michigan State this fall. The Great Neighborhoods program was designed by Innovation Games’s not-for-profit spin-off, Every Voice Engaged, to help local governments support community and neighborhood growth through the use of serious games. Read Andy’s blog post, and check out Every Voice Engaged for more details on Innovation Games is doing good works.

Buy a Feature — en Francais
There’s no doubt that Innovation Games have take France
Buy a Feature in Paris

by storm, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. (After all, I actually get to put my seven years of French classes to work.) Case in point, the recent Agile Playground event in Paris that featured Buy a Feature as one of two games participants played. Nathaniel Richand, aided by Audrey Pedro and Yannick Grenzinger facilitated the game. The subject was an e-learning platform and the participants–as always–had to collaborate to “purchase” the best possible features. Read more (in French, of course) here.

Speed Boat + Remember the Future
Our friends at ValTech have been using Innovation Games
Valtech Open Space
Speed Boat at Valtech

to great affect in their work. Case in point, this post by Valtech Trainer and Agile Coach Jean Claude Grosjean, entitled “Speed Boat + Remember the Future + Open Space = the Road to Joy“. Jean Claude details how ValTech’s team used both games in an internal standup to define ValTech’s vision of success and how they will get there. Onward!


Software Powered Through Collaborative Play
InfoQ just published the video of Luke Hohmann’s keynote at SDEC 2012 in Winnipeg last October. Luke’s talk centers around his favorite topic, how games power innovation.

A Grab Bag of Innovation

I like to pride myself on writing thoughtful, useful, and at times, provocative posts. But sometimes there are just so many good things happening that I’m not entirely certain where to focus my energies. So, this month I’m going to write a “grab bag” post — a veritable cornucopia of important items to share!



TIGC Customer Advisory Board Meeting: Key Insights From Customers

Ever wonder if we “practice what we preach”? Yeah, we do! On Sep 20, 2012, we invited our closest and largest customers to attend a Customer Advisory Board and Customer Funding meeting to help the company accomplish the following goals:

  • Identify and prioritize the key value propositions of our games and offerings;
  • Understand the impediments that are preventing our customers from realizing these benefits;
  • Develop some draft “sticky slogans” that can capture these benefits;
  • Explore which existing and new services are of most interest to CAB members;
  • Prioritize potential enhancements to Innovation Games® Online.

I was thrilled with the turnout: Mark Interrante (Rackspace), Jean-Francois Vanreusel (Adobe), Julia French (Avaya), Jeff Honious (Reed Elsevier), Paul Germeraad (Intellectual Assets), Steve Dodds (Every Voice Engaged), Monique Anderson (vsp), Julie Hu (vsp), Laura Merling (Alcatel-Lucent), Jon Snyder (Cisco), Tom Wesselman (Cisco), Kip Harkness (City of San Jose), Kara Jariwala (HP), Peter Green (Adobe), and Jon Kerry-Tyerman (LexisNexis). Paul Mantey (NetApp) also contributed key content to the meeting (but was unable to attend in person).

As you can guess, we played games all day (specially designed versions of 2020 Vision, Speed Boat, and Buy a Feature). Our games were expertly facilitated by Deb Colden and our graphic facilitator was Julia Feng.

Through these games we learned a great deal. Here is a brief summary of our insights — and what we’re planning on doing:

  1. Our games are used in more ways than we knew! Our customers shared stories of how they’re using the games to improve sales, identify customer priorities, engage employees and perform a whole range of activities. What was especially exciting was watching customers share experiences and then make connections so that they can continue to use games throughout their business.
  2. Provide more “full agency” services. We learned that while our customers love our games, and are using them, they also want us to offer more services that will make it even easier for them to play our games. These services range from prepackaged “kits” of game supplies to other services that we’ll be designing and rolling out to customers.
  3. Make Innovation Games® Online “slick”. While our current online games produce amazing results, we’re the first to admit that our current user experience is not “slick”. It needs to be improved. We are listening to our customers and have initiated a major program to redesign our entire user interface and user experience, from scratch. We’re really excited about this, and can’t wait to build our next generation offering!
  4. Continue to offer both in-person and online games. Our customers want us to continue to offer both in-person and online games. So, we will!
  5. Develop a “Certified” Facilitator program. While our customers praised our trained facilitator program, they were clear that they wanted more. Specifically, they want a Certified Facilitator program that they can use to identify the best facilitators for their needs. We are committed to creating a terrific program and are working on a program we will launch in at the Innovation Games® Summit.

Arguably the most emotional aspect of the day was the final items purchased in our Buy a Feature game. As many of you know, we are deeply committed to using our games to engage citizens through our relationship with Every Voice Engaged, a nonprofit we helped to start. During our game, we offered several new features for Innovation Games® online to our customers — including the direct support of Budget Games in our platform. After much intense debate, our customers elected to fund the development of this critically needed software. Of course, those of you who have played Innovation Games know that I’m not giving this debate justice (it really was very intense!). That said, it helped us all realize that our customers care about things that are much, much, much bigger than just prioritizing features!

Three Years of San Jose Budget Games: Jan 26, 2013

On Oct 2, 2012, Kip Harkness and Ernest Guzman from the City of San Jose, Steve Dodds from Every Voice Engaged, and I shared lunch to start the high-level planning of the third year of Budget Games for the City of San Jose. I’m thrilled with the game design that we developed (Steve will be sharing more on this, over time, at Every Voice Engaged).

The reason I am highlighting this event in our newsletter is that we’re going to try and make this the BIGGEST game we’ve produced yet! We’re hoping to engage hundreds of citizens — which means we going to need a LOT of facilitators. To help create the facilitators we need, we hope that you’ll come to the Innovation Games&ref; Summit on Jan 24/25, 2013 and then stay for the Budget Games. If you can help, please contact Every Voice Engaged.

Alexander Osterwalder to keynote the Innovation Games® Summit: Jan 24/25, 2013

I’m incredibly thrilled that Alexander Osterwalder, famed co-author of Business Model Generation, has agreed to be the keynote speaker at the Innovation Games&ref; Summit! Come and join us celebrate 10 years of serious gaming! Details here!

PDMA playing Innovation Games at an annual conference — Oct. 20-24, 2012

We’re thrilled that attendees at PDMA’s Product Innovation Management Annual Global Conference in Orlando, FL, will be playing Innovation Games on Oct. 23 & 24 to improve the PDMA and the conference experience. We’re no strangers to using Innovation Games to get better attendee feedback and engagement, along with providing a better attendee experience. There are no boring booths with Innovation Games in play.

The games will be played in the PDMA booth during the Innovation Pavilion, and include Conference Benefits Tree (a specially adapted version of Prune the Product Tree) and Putting Results Into Action! (a variation of Remember the Future.) The attendees will also receive a post-conference report compiled from games results; the report will be designed to help attendees apply their conference-related learning and experience to their work.

Announcing The Innovation Games Summit!

Collaborate, Create, Succeed. Celebrating 10 years of doing real work with games.

For 10 years, we’ve been changing the way the world does work, helping organizations large and small put their ideas into action through Innovation Games. People work better together. And the results are even better when that work is a game.

Join us on January 24-25, 2013 for an exploration of how Innovation Games® are changing the world.

  1. We’ll explore the diverse uses of Innovation Games and serious games.
  2. Celebrate practice and real-world applications of Innovation Games.
  3. Promote skill through the launch of the Innovation Games® Certification program.
  4. Have fun, learning with like-minded people.
  5. Support the 2013 Budget Games on Jan. 26, 2013 through facilitation. (We’re recruiting facilitators for the 2000+ person game event.)
  6. Celebrate 10 years of Innovation Gaming!

We’re pleased to announce that Author, Speaker, and Advisor on Business Model Innovation Alexander Osterwalder has agreed to present a keynote address at the Innovation Games Summit.

Innovation Games Founder and CEO Luke Hohmann will also keynote. Stay tuned for more details and additional keynote speakers to be announced in the coming weeks.


Call for Papers Open!

We invite you to submit a session proposal for the Innovation Games Summit and help us reveal how Innovation Games are changing the world of work. Proposed tracks are:


  • Sales: Games for Fun and Profit
  • Strategy: Unleash Internal Teams
  • Market Insight: Understand Your Customer
  • Agile: Breakthrough Products and Services
  • Government: Games for Good
  • Grab Bag
Join us!

Check out the Summit website for registration, speaker updates and more.

IGQI Jonathan Clark is speaking at the Society for Scholarly Publishing on September 30th.

Jonathan Clark will be facilitating the session on the evening of September 30th, entitled “Shifting Sands: Thriving through Sustainable Innovation”.  It will be held at the Waterview Conference Center in Arlington, VA. Get more details about the speakers and register here.

IGQI Jason Tanner speaking at VersionOne’s Agilepalooza in San Jose

IGQI (and Enthiosys President) Jason Tanner will be speaking at VersionOne’s Agilepalooza “Advanced Track”. This one day event on September 14th in San Jose at the Santa Clara Marriott will feature two tracks- Beginner and Advanced. Jason’s talk is called “De-stressing and Improving the Lives of Product Owners” and will be from 10:30-11:15AM. To read more about our integration with VersionOne- click here. For more details and to sign up, click here.