Last week we, as the guild of agile coaches from Ordina, tried and tested the Agile Leadership Game developed by the Agile Consortium called ‘How Agile Are You?’. In this blog post, we will provide you with some more information about the game.
- 2-6 players (even though more is possible)
- Intended audience is management
- Takes 1.5 hours (on average)
- Needs a skilled facilitator
This game has been designed to get discussions on agile leadership going and to ensure that people start observing behaviour that belongs (or does not belong) to an agile organisation. It is specifically intended for management teams. The game is focused on agile mindset and agile leadership: what do people and organisations need from management when engaged in an agile transformation?
Participants are asked to very rapidly (! ten seconds per card on average :) !) divide fourty-two cards with ‘characteristics’ of organisations, over one of the quadrants on the board. As a participant you are to decide how the characteristic manifests itself in your organisation at this moment. The game board consists of the quadrants “LET GO, IGNORE, CREATE and KEEP” as you can see in the image below.
If the characteristic on the card is behaviour that the organisation DOES HAVE at that time but that you DON’T WANT, the card gets sorted in the quadrant “LET GO”. If the participant perceives the characteristic on the card as a behaviour the organisation DOES HAVE and that you DO WANT, it ends up at “KEEP” and so on. An example of a characteristic is “management spends a lot of time putting out fires”.
There is no right or wrong: the game provides insight in the current state of affairs. The characteristics are labelled in types of behaviour belonging to types of organisations. So you could end up with lots of characteristics belonging to agile organisations in the “CREATE” quadrant. :)
After the time box for sorting the cards ends, the participants will discuss the characteristics that seem most relevant to them and their organisation. Each participant gets the chance to enter at least one card/characteristic into the discussion. This needs to be (well) facilitated by an experienced coach/agile master. You can take as long as you like for the discussion and could do several discussion rounds, but we would recommend not to have it last for too long (1.5 hours max).
After the discussion round it is useful to add an extra step in the game as to make the outcome more actionable: the participants prioritise the top three of characteristics/topics they would like to let go or create. These are the topics they can start working with the very next day! This way you also prevent the session being perceived as just fun, irrelevant and/or without consequences. Because there are fourty-two cards in the game and you won’t discuss them all, the game is most suitable to be played again at a later time – it won’t lose its value.
- Participants need some time to figure out how to play the game and how to work with the quadrants on the board.
- An ice breaker to start with and a small warm up round increases effectiveness and actionable outcome of the game.
- Making sure the topics in the discussion round are precisely those that matter most to the organisation and the participants, adds greatly to the usefulness of the session.
- You need a skilled facilitator.
- Very nice game to play, offering lots of insight and actionable openings to start your transformation at leadership level.
- The game doesn’t take too long, can easily be played several times over time and can easily be fitted into a leadership programme, workshop, curriculum or “heidag”.
- It’s a perfect self-assessment game for management teams that are wondering how agile they actually are as a team. :)
If you would like to try this game but don’t yet have an experienced facilitator available, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’d love to help!
More information about the game can be found here.