"Boredroom" games and how to play them SMARTER
- Are your strategy workshops held in a boredroom, instead of a boardroom?
- Does your workshop format inject new techniques to keep things interesting?
- Have you considered that you might be introducing too many new concepts? Rather than meeting your attendees where they are?
We see something interesting happening in the world of Agile facilitation. Techniques created many years ago are deemed to be “old-fashioned” or "traditional”! And unfortunately, this way of thinking could be alienating people that have relied on these techniques for many years. The same people who we so badly need to adopt a different way of thinking - Executives!
It’s time to re-think the way we look at “old-fashioned” techniques – and find a way to reconnect with why they were created in the first place.
In this session, we take you through how we help Executives make SMART goals smart, by playing a board game. The outcome of the game is a clearly stated goal that can be converted into metrics against which a team can track their success. We also provide you with all the resource to run your own SMARTER boardgame back at the office.
Join us as we create SMARTER team metrics, by asking the rights questions – and having some fun along the way.
Outline/Structure of the Workshop
This is a practical session where teams will have the opportunity to play the SMRT board game while working through actual goal statements. We created this board game based on the thinking behind our SMARTER canvas https://www.smartercanvas.org/. We make goal-setting fun through points, rules and wildcards to encourage out-the-box thinking.
SMARTER Goals Introduction: 20 min
- We’ll start the workshop with a brief overview of SMARTER Goals. S - Specific M - Measurable A - Achievable R - Relevant T - Timebound ER - Evaluate & Rethink: Bringing the concept of Inspect and Adapt thinking into the age-old technique.
- We touch on the importance of evaluating your goal after an agreed timeframe and adjusting this goal or re-setting.
- We give teams a brief overview of the SMRT board game and how to play it. Each team will also have a list of instructions just in case they forget.
Teams Play the Goaldo Board Game: 50 min
The benefit in this session is experiencing playing the game. Each team will have a board game set up (which will cater for 8-10 players per table - although we only need 4 players at a table to play the game). This game is loosely based on commonly known board games (such as Cluedo and Monopoly), making it simple and easy to learn.
- The team starts the game by being given a (poorly worded) Initial Goal Statement. This is a high-level, one-liner that will kick-off the game. For the purpose of the workshop, teams will be given examples that are relatable to all - i.e. Increase blog traffic, or Increase foot traffic in our new restaurant. Once they have their initial statement they will start to play the game…
- The board is set out as a square and divided into 5 main sections aligned to the sections within SMART. The letters S, M, R, and T are placed around edges of the board, with A at the center. Each player/ pair will “own” a letter in one of the corners - they are the scribe for the conversations that happen in each round and will be given a sheet to capture the information for that letter.
- Each player will roll a dice with different colors on each side. The color will indicate which section they have landed on (e.g. S = Green, M = Red, R = Purple or T = Orange). Once on the section, they will draw a question card related to that section. The card will have tips and a suggested time box for the conversation. These questions will prompt a conversation for with that section. E.g. for Specific, a question could be “Who are the right people to be involved in this?”. The team will then discuss the detail associated with their initial goal statement, with the section owner capturing the information on their Player sheet.
- Once the round is complete, the team will indicate (with tokens) that they have completed one round of that section. Each section requires at least 4 rounds for the game to end.
- To make the game more exciting and bring different ways of thinking, there will also be "Wild Cards". This will be indicated on the dice. If somebody roles a Wild Card, they will pick up a card from the Wild Card Deck. These cards are specifically designed to get people thinking from a completely different perspective. The cards may say things like: “How would you tackle this goal if you were a Gardner?” or “How would you think about this goal if you had all the money in the world?”. They assume that role for the next round - bringing in some crazy wisdom into the game
- At the end of the game, section owners will all reveal their note sheets and the team will consolidate their discussions into a Revised Goal Statement.
- The entire game has a "Game Master" who will ensure that all the rules are adhered to.
Feedback: 10 min
Not all teams will finish this game in the allocated time. We will break to discuss feedback, learning, and suggestions for application in their own teams.
Evaluate and Rethink / Re-do: 5 min
To end the workshop, we will discuss how the goals can be evaluated after an agreed timeframe. Teams can re-play this game with a new goal, or take a previous goal and revise it.
Questions & Closing: 5 min
- How to use the SMARTER boardgame back at the office
- Apply SMARTER thinking - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timebound, Evaluate, Re-Think - to your own goal creation
- Learn prompting questions to guide setting goals and metrics
Anyone who is looking to improve the quality of goals and metrics in a team
Prerequisites for Attendees
A basic understanding of Agile values and principles is beneficial, but not essential.