GetKanban Game Teaches More Than Kanban Alone

In 2015  Cheryl Hammond introduced me to the GetKanban game. The game is an awesome way for the participants to experience the impact of queues and the decisions you need to make using the Kanban framework. The players simulate 2-3 weeks of development with daily standups where the team decides prioritization and who should work on what. Life is not fair and neither is the game. But we learn through our struggles and this is only a game.

A couple of years ago I used the game to introduce two teams to Kanban at SRS Health. The course was a great success. One team adopted Kanban and lowered the customer wait time by an order of magnitude. The other team decided to stick with scrum but applied the WIP lessons to their sprints.

I recently used the kanban game to show the impact of queues and WIP at a company where most teams use scrum. These ideas are universal and not limited to Kanban. We also swapped the roles of the players in the game versus their normal work responsibilities. This created better appreciation and new found respect for other team members

The game takes a lot of time (about 3-4 hours). Everyone is always busy and it was hard to convince people to participate. Those who did, enjoyed the exercise and told me they learned a lot. I can strongly recommend the getkanban game to allow people to learn agile principles themselves with.

You can find the game at https://getkanban.com/. Cheryl has made some improvement to the game you can find at https://www.agilealliance.org/resources/sessions/hacking-getkanban-v2-0-advanced-game-mechanics-to-illuminate-lean-create-real-change/

The opinions represented in this blog are my own, and not that of my employer or the  organizations that I work with.

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