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Save 20% on Training
IG at Work
From the Blog
White House Game Czar
SxSW 2012
Game Spotlight
Cyberspace Roundup
Quick Links
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Save 20% on Innovation Games Training  

IG Book
Register and save an additional 20% our March Practitioner class! Join IGQI Deb Colden for a two-day Innovation Games class in Mountain View, CA on March 22-23. The class will teach you how to plan, play & post-process online and in-person Innovation Games, in addition to covering facilitation skills.  


Mar. 22-23, 2012

Mountain View, CA 

Register here

Cost: $716*  


*(Your Next Move Discount plus Early Bird Discount; offer ends Mar 3, 2012) 

Innovation Games Training from Bevill Edge

Scotty Bevill, CEO and Founder of Bevill Edge, has added a series of Innovation Games for Customer Understanding courses to Bevill Edge's training offerings. The two-day classes are 1 across the Midwest.


Chicago, IL, Mar. 8-9, 2012


Indianapolis, IN, March 15-16, 2012

Innovation Games Training in Munich

John Matthesen will be teaching a one-day Innovation Games workshop in Munich, Germany on March 9, 2012. The interactive workshop will focus on enabling participants to use the games to spark innovation by better understanding their customers desires and wants. 


Date: 3 March 2012

Venue: Munich Network

Munich, Germany

Cost: 280.00 Euros

More information & Registration here.

Innovation Games at SxSW

Don't miss the two Innovation Games sessions at SxSW Interactive this year. 


CEO and Founder Luke Hohmann all be presenting on our latest round of Budget Games for the City of San Jose, CA, on Sunday, March 13 at 9:30 AM.


Mei Lin Fung, Michael Dinneen and Ahmed Calvo will be talking about how the Military Health Service put Innovation Games to work to tackle better Health Outcomes in their panel discussion on Tuesday, March 13 at 9:30 AM.


Scandinavian Developers Conference 2012

Luke Hohmann, founder and CEO of the The Innovation Games Company will be speaking on Innovation Games and Product Roadmapping at SDC2012 in Göteborg, Sweden on April 15 and 16. The 2-day conference is one of the leading developer events in Scandinavia. For complete details and registration, click here.

Innovation Games Training in Stockholm

Join Luke Hohmann for a 2-day Innovation Games for Customer
 Understanding course
on April 18-19 in Stockholm, Sweden. Hosted by Crisp.se, one of the leading agile training and consulting organizations in Scandinavia, this in-depth and interactive course includes instruction on all phases of both online and in-person games. 


April 18-19, 2012  

Stockholm, Sweden 

Cost: 14,000 SEK Early Bird  

More information & Registration here.


21apps Brings Innovation Games to Share 2012

If you're heading to Share 2012 in Atlanta, GA, check out Ant Clay's SharePoint Innovation Games Workshop for Requirements
Ant's in-depth workshop will explore how techniques like Innovation Games can help Sharepoint implementation succeed by making sure you truly understand user requirements. 


Share 2012

April 23-26, 2012

Atlanta, GA


Mark Your Calendar: Innovation Games in London

Luke Hohmann will be teaching a two-day Innovation Games class on May 16-17, 2012 in London. This in-depth and interactive course prepares participants to put Innovation Games to use as soon as they return to work--and includes instruction on the online games, Knowsy and game facilitation and post-processing of results.


May 16-17, 2012

London, UK

Cost: 995 Pounds Sterling (Early Bird ends April 20.)


More Info &
Registration here.


Innovation Games Comes to Vienna

Maarten Volders will be teaching an Innovation Games + Gamestorming
class on May 7-8, 2012 in Vienna, Austria.  Hosted by Die Projektur GmbH, one of the leading agile an innovation training and consulting organizations in Scandinavia, this in-depth and interactive course prepares participants to put Innovation Games and the tenets of Gamestorming to use as soon as they return to work. 


May 7-8, 2012  

Vienna, Austria

Cost: 1,095 Euros Early Bird  

More Info &


IG Training Coming to the Big Apple

We're teaming up with Gearstream to offer a two-day public Innovation Games of Customer Understanding course in Manhattan on May 2-3, 2012. 


May 2-3, 2012  

New York, NY

Cost: $895 Early Bird; $1195 General Admission 

More info &




Welcome to latest issue of Your Next Move!, our monthly newsletter covering the latest news, events and announcements from the Innovation Games®

IG at Work

Shaping Future Features with Prune the Product Tree


Monica Zinchiak of Z. Research Services recently wrote to tell us about how she used Prune the Product Tree, while facilitating a series of focus groups for a client. 

The client was developing a new website focused on the academic market; they had the concept and features,

but needed input from their target audience to know 

Playing Shape the Tree
Teachers play Prune the Product Tree during a focus group about a new website resource.

which features to implement right away, which to postpone and which ones to abandon. 


She writes, "I just used my second collaborative game, Prune the Product Tree from Innovation Games® and it was a huge success. Slight modification of the game gave me the stand-out features, along with input on the not-so-appealing features, for a client's in-development website."


When I read "modification", I knew I had to find out more, and Monica graciously agreed to tell us about the project. 


Tell us about how you used Prune the Product Tree?

My client is building a new website aimed at teachers. It's a new product for them, and they were really looking for a way to understand what features they needed to start to develop and which ones they didn't need to spend time on. Despite having a list of 18 possible features for the website, they had no idea which ones would be most valuable. They really needed a process to prioritize them.


Click here to read more.

From the Blog

San José Citizens Use Innovation Games® to Make Tough Budget Choices    

Luke Hohmann
Luke photo 


On January 21, 2012, a diverse and highly motivated group of community leaders and engaged citizens from the City of San José, CA, played a specially designed Innovation Game®, Budget Games, to provide feedback regarding their budget priorities to the Mayor and City Council. With the involvement of the City of San José Neighborhood and Youth Planning Commissions, this budget prioritization event, which was based on a similar event held on January 29, 2011, enabled citizens to collaboratively tackle complex issues and through the mechanics of serious games develop solutions to very complex problems. Eleven games were played by 87 residents. Each game was played at a table with 7-9 players, along with two volunteers from the Innovation Games® community who acted as game facilitator and observer for each table.


The Budget Games, along with other Innovation Games events for nonprofit and civic organizations, demonstrate that serious games generate unprecedented levels of citizen engagement and help our elected officials make tough choices. And the results are nothing more than astonishing, with more than 10 out of 11 citizen groups voting to raise taxes in which eight of 11 citizen groups choosing to spend this tax revenue on improving critical transportation infrastructure (detailed results can be found here). 


In past surveys by the city, respondents had also advocated tax increases, but the prevailing opinion was that support would erode as the issue was put out for public debate. The Budget Games, with their emphasis on collaboration and discussion, actually revealed that public sentiment remains strong in the face of debate. Also, while taxes were raised, and corresponding monies spent in this serious game, fiscal restraint ruled the day, as 10 out of 11 citizen groups chose not to spend all available money.


How is it then, that "games" can generate such amazing results?


Click here to

More Games for Gov

Gaming the White House 


Earlier this month, it was reported that Game Scholar Constance Steinkuehler had accepted a position on the White House Staff as senior policy analyst in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Steinkuehler, on leave from her professorship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a well-known expert on gaming andWhite House education, studying in particular how massive multiplayer online games can be used to affect interest-driven learning. Dubbed the White House's Game Czar in several media sources, she'll be helping the administration design games to affect positive change in health, education, civic engagement and the environment, among other areas.

Games for Good Isn't a Fad

A Game Czar in the White House is just another sign that serious games aren't a fad, but are becoming an integral part of how governments and businesses solve complex problems. (Something we've been helping organizations like HP, Cisco, Reed Elsevier, Rackspace and others do for years.) 


We're encouraged by the development, but hope the White House and the Office of Science and Technology Policy will look beyond the type of "Big, Save the World" video games that  USA Today reports Steinkuehler has been tasked with developing. Instead, the White House should investigate the work done on the local level by the City of San Jose, CA, to improve citizen engagement in the budgeting process. By using Innovation Games, the city was able to get real, actionable input from citizens, as seen in the report we presented to the City of San Jose in February. 


IG Face-to-Face

Come See Us at SxSW Interactive! 


SxSW Interactive is just around the corner, and if you're going to be in Austin, you should stop by one of the two sessions featuring Innovation Games and say hello. 


On Sunday, March 11 at 9:30 AM, CEO and Founder Luke Hohmann will be talking about Budget Games, our adaption of Buy a Feature for governments wanting input from citizens on the budget process. The talk, "Fixing Broke(n) Governments through Serious Games," will cover our 2011 and 2012 Budget Games for the city of San Jose, CA, along with giving participants a chance to see how they can use Budget Games in their communities.


On Tuesday, March 13, at 9:30 AM, Mei Lin Fung, Michael Dinneen, Ahmed Calvo and Col. Brian Masterson will be on a panel entitled "Health as a Team Sport,"which will cover how the Military Health System used Innovation Games Online to promote Health and improved Health Outcomes through collaboration and teamwork. 


Hope to see you there!

Game Spotlight

Remember the Future: What does "great" look like?


We all want success, but defining it is often a challenge. Ask each member of a team what a successful product launch looks like and you may get very different answers. The Innovation Game Remember the Future enables you to understand others definition of success and create a common goal getting there. Alex Adamopoulos provides a thorough overview of Remember the Future and how it is used in this post on the Project Management Hut.Remember the Future


What Does Great Look Like? 

If you were asked this question today by someone regarding your management team, your business, your clients, your products or services ... how would you answer?


I've heard this question asked time and time again over the last few years, specifically in corporate IT environments where the discussion was centered around product development. I don't know the origin of this question; whether it stems from the world of IT or from one of the many process methodologies we use today in our world (Agile, Lean, etc.).


I do know that it is quite a useful question. In fact, its simplicity is what strikes me most. Considering all the questions we ask when trying to perform our work, run our projects, manage our people and strive for excellence; there are just some questions we forget to ask and take the time to ponder. This is one of those questions.


The value of this question is that it can applied to nearly every area of our work and professional development. We often hear about reverse engineering and how we need to understand what we are trying to get to and then backtrack into what it will take to get us there. While this is a very good way to engage on any given activity, it still doesn't answer the question we are asking here; What does great look like?


Click here to read more. 

Cyberspace Roundup
Speed Boat's Force Field, the Future's History, Brazilian Product Boxes and more.

Innovation Games continue to help people around the world and in different industries get real work done. Read on to see how designers, product managers, Scrum adherents, management consultants and more are putting Innovation Games into practice.

Force Field A.K.A. Speed Boat in India
Thoughtworks's Sumeet Moghe writes about his use of Speed Boat in this blog post on retrospectives. Moghe calls the exercise "Force Field", but it's definitely Speed Boat in action. He writes, "Sometimes retrospectives lose their effectiveness when they become tooForce Field Speed Boat repetitive. I like to mix things up and enjoy keeping distinct themes around the retrospective, such as gauging mood, generating insights, setting goals and closures. Today I tried a forcefield exercise. I like the metaphor of a speed boat or hot air balloon and I used that instead of a plain jane force field." He continues, "We ended up with a very focused discussion. It was a reasonable deviation from the retrospective starfish that we use commonly and yet doesn't lose on effectiveness because of the strong metaphor depicted." Click here to read the complete post.


Speed Boat Take Two: The ScrumDesk Edition

Speed Boat is also being used to liven up retrospectives in Eastern Europe. ScrumDesk, a Slovakian consulting company, recently posted an article about how using Speed Boat really did bring about improvement. The teams produced several boats during their retrospectives, focusing on what was slowing them down and what they could do to speed up development and improve quality." People presented a lot of ideas without any hassles and freely promoted possible/expected solutions that were immediately changed into action items for directors," ScrumDesk reports. "The Speed Boat game allows not just open minds, but efficiently provides a strategy for solving your problems." Couldn't have said it better myself. Click here to read the entire post.

BA Mentor Remembers the FutureCrystal Ball

Pete Cohen got to experience the magic of Remember the Future first hand in a game facilitated by Joan Davis. Cohen and BA Mentor blog founder Alex Papworth played the game as a long-term customer and founder, respectively and discovered how psychology of Remember the Future leads participants to insights that you wouldn't be able to surface any other way.  Cohen writes, "It took some moments to initially get into the flow, but once the headspace is established it is quite inspiring and even a bit surreal. There is a lot of freedom in being able to imagine a fictional past, rather trying to articulate an ideal future."  To read his full post, click here.


Product Box in Brazil
Fernando Garrido Vaz writes about the challenge of creating and sharing a unique vision in his post, "Creating a Product Vision -- Product Box." It's no secret that each stakeholder will have their own vision of how a product or service should be implemented. It's an argument occurring in board rooms, coffee shops, class rooms, you name it, around the world. Fernando writes that a well-defined product vision that is shared by all stakeholders will produce a more-focused product, in part because it also speeds decision making. Fernando goes on to explore how the Innovation Game Product Box can help teams reach that magical consensus. Click here to read the entire post [Portuguese]. 

Have any news about the Innovation Games® community?  Email us at info@innovationgames.com.


Can't wait for the next newsletter? Do you have to know what's new with Innovation Games®, right now? Find out what's happening with us at Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and our blog.    



Tami's signature

Tami Carter
VP, Marketing
The Innovation Games® Company
Two Months Free!   
Sign up for any Innovation Games Online subscription  and get the first two months free with the promo code YNM0212. The subscriptions include access to all the games, including Design Your Own visual collaboration game and Buy a Feature, public and private games, advanced analytics and more. This coupon is transferable and is good for upgrades. Please share it with interested parties.
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