Your Next Move!
Feb/Mar 2014
San Jose Residents at 4th Annual Budget Games
San JosÚ, CA, residents use Surface Tablets provided by Microsoft to play Knowsy« at the 4th Annual Budget Games at San JosÚ City Hall.
4th Annual Budget Games: Results!


In January 2014, San JosÚ, CA residents had a chance to influence their city's forthcoming budget by playing games. Representatives from San JosÚ Neighborhood Associations and the Neighborhoods Commission and Youth Commission joined 100s of their fellow residents to share their perspectives and opinions regarding budgeting priorities for the City of San JosÚ. This year's event was the fourth annual Budget Games, produced by Conteneo for the City of San JosÚ, and included, for the first time, online games to expand game play to 100s more San JosÚ residents. (And was supported by Microsoft through its donation of 100+ Surface Tablets for the event.)


Putting the Fun in Participatory Budgeting

The goal for Budget Games is the same as other participatory budgeting initiatives -- provide citizens with the ability to participate in their government's budgeting process and provide city officials with actionable insight as they make the difficult decisions about city resources.

In This Issue

Portfolio Management Wins through Collaboration Games
New ebook offers scalable, adaptable game plans to transform portfolio prioritization
In our decades of work with the Fortune 500, we've met many senior leaders looking for a way to create better business results when prioritizing a project portfolio, portfolio managers frustrated by the limits of ROI analysis, and many senior executive who feel that current approaches to picking the best projects just aren't working. Traditional methods of portfolio management aren't producing epic wins -- often, they are epic fails. 
Verisign's Story
This playbook was written for these individuals. It's for people like Sallee Peterson, a Senior VP Global Customer Support at Verisign, who faced a seemingly intractable problem: She had asked her global team of nearly 200 support representatives to submit ideas on how to improve customer service. She was pleased -- but overwhelmed -- with the results.
After culling through the submissions, she and her leadership team identified 46 innovative projects. Unfortunately, they could only afford about six to 10 projects. As Sallee explained, the traditional process would have been to simply have her leadership team pick the projects, explaining the selections to employees through a series of management briefings. But Sallee wanted wanted to engage her global team in selecting the best possible projects. She used a game plan from this project prioritization playbook, enabling her team to collaboratively identify the top seven of the 46 projects. 
And that's not all they achieved. The incredibly high degree of employee engagement in the process and their support of the resulting choices led Sallee to estimate that Verisign saved more than three months of implementation time -- a truly Epic Win. 
Download your free copy of How to Prioritize Your Project Portfolio Using Conteneo Collaboration Games and find out how you can get your own Epic Win in portfolio management.

Innovation Games at Work: Building Better Broadband 
CCA Karen Spencer is putting Conteneo's game platforms to work bringing better Internet Service to her community.

When it comes to using games to collaborate, Karen Favazza Spencer, an Agile Coach

Gloucester, MA residents use Innovation Games to provide feedback on their city's broadband needs.

living in Gloucester, MA, has a longer history than most. Although she's been in the business world for more than 20 years, she started her professional career as a kindergarten teacher. "Using collaborative games is like Innovation Games is coming home for me. I taught school using similar techniques and now I am using collaborative approaches with adults."

How did you discover Innovation Games«?

At an Agile Boston Event in 2011. When I first saw the Innovation Game« Speed Boat, I immediately recognized its application as a data-gathering exercise for Risk Assessments or FMEA (Failure Mode and Effect Analysis). Since then, I've used it many times, as well as taught it to others. 


You're tackling the problem of Broadband connectivity in your community. Can you tell us about that?

In Gloucester, MA, many residents have only one option for Internet service. We're on an island, and because of our geography, some residents experience fluctuating service levels and very slow upload data transfer speeds, particularly at certain times of day. We also have challenges with our wireless reception due to granite outcroppings, but our biggest concern is economic development. Our fishing industry is struggling, and our unemployment level is higher than the state average. We want to ensure that new businesses interested in establishing themselves in Gloucester have the broadband environment that they need to flourish.


Read More

Cyberspace Round-up 
Field reports from the front lines

Buy a Feature ... er ... Buy a Framework to Learn Scrum  
We've known for a long time that our Budget Game (a.k.a. Buy a Feature) is applicable for prioritization in lots of different situations. One of the first communities to adopt Buy a Feature collaboration games for doing work was the agile community. And it continues. Carlton Nettleton, a long-time supporter of Innovation Games and Scrum expert, has written a great post detailing how he uses our prioritization game to teach Scrum. 

Carlton writes, "In my experiences teaching, unless I introduce all the pieces of Scrum within the first twenty minutes, the learners tend to get anxious and drive their questions towards a description of Scrum. For a while, I struggled with this since while Scrum is generally considered easy to understand, it is a complex and subtle framework." That is until Carlton struck upon the idea to use Buy a Feature to teach Scrum. You can read more about how the exercise works, and download Carlton's handout on his website.

Case Study: Innovation Games for New Product Development

Our games are commonly used in new product development (NPD), at the fuzzy front end, to help organizations understand "what" they should build. The game mechanics encourage engagement, creativity and innovative thinking, allowing stakeholders to uncover previously unknown benefits, flaws, features, etc. -- and circumvent many of the common complaints about meeting culture.   

Product Boxes & Biz Model Canvas
Product Boxes and corresponding Business Model Canvases from the SINTEF workshop


But just because it's commonly used doesn't mean we aren't delighted to hear another story about how the community is putting Conteneo's collaboration games to work for NPD. Take this great post from SINTEF, the largest independent research organization in Scandinavia. Researchers in SINTEF's Information and Communication Technology unit needed to create the product vision and consumer product concepts for a new research project called CoSSMic on renewable energy production in private homes.


SlNTEF researcher Babak Farshchian and his colleagues had been exposed to Innovation Games and Gamestorming techniques in an independent study innovation course, and had started using the games in their meetings. Their success led to planning a two-day workshop using Innovation Games (and related techniques) to develop CoSSMic's product vision and product concepts.




Innovation Games Windows Phone App

Got a Windows Phone? Check out the Innovation Game App 

We love our community. Long time Innovation Games supporter Oluf Nissen has just published (with our blessing) a great Innovation Games« app for the Windows Phone. The app covers the core Innovation Games first published in Luke Hohmann's book -- plus My Worst Nightmare -- and allows you to find the right game for you based on the Ideas to Action™ framework or common requirements (open-ended, physical space required, etc.) The app also reminds you of the timeline and steps necessary to put on a successful Serious Play session and the roles you need on the team.


It's available for $1.99 (no ads). Check it out here


Upcoming Events & Certification Courses
Meet face-to-face with the Conteneo Community

Innovation Games for Customer Understanding*Raphael Goumot7-8 April 2014Paris, France
Innovation Games for Customer Understanding*Luke Hohmann
28-29 April 2014London, UK
Introduction to the Practice of Innovation Games*Raphael Goumot6 May 2014Paris, France
Main stage presentation at Lean Kanban North AmericaLuke Hohmann7 May 2014; 3:30 PMSan Francisco, CA
Innovation Games for Customer Understanding*Luke Hohmann8-9 May 2014Mountain View, CA
Innovation Games for Agile Teams*Don McGreal13 May 2014Dallas, TX
Innovation Games for Customer Understanding*Tom Grant29-30 May 2014Washington, DC
Work = Play Conference 2014Jurgen de Smet et al.13 June 2014
Innovation Games for Customer Understanding*Jurgen de Smet23-24 June 2014Affligem, Belgium

*Certification courses. Completion designates participant as a Certified Collaboration Architect.

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Say good-bye to Zombie Projects, ROI Lies and Sacred Cows and transform Portfolio Management Fails to Epic Wins. This how-to book gives you the same game plans used by, Verisign, HP, Cisco and more.
Offer Expires 04/30/2014.