Okaloa Flowlab: Learning About Flow through Fun Simulations
A deeper insight in how and why agile works is the pre-requisite for business agility and the agile organization. Flow thinking has proven to be foundational. But the concept of flow is not an easy concept to master for people that have not experienced it. Rational explanations of flow only go so far. Without intuitive understanding based on experience it may not be easy to mobilize a team or organization into action. By visualizing work, reducing multi-tasking, and removing obstacles, lead times may be drastically reduced leading to better outcomes.
Introducing the Okaloa Flowlab board game-- an exciting new approach to learning how to think about flow through practice and simulation. With Okaloa Flowlab we will perform a series of experiments through board-play style simulations that reflect real work environments. This session provides a quick introduction into what is typically a three-hour interactive class. In order to fit into the 45-minute timeframe, we will provide a “before” vs “after” game play rather than introducing agile policies incrementally, but the end result will be the same.
We first simulate a conventional work environment that reflects a “mechanistic” mindset characterized by a focus on resource efficiency, command and control, and specialist workers, so that participants will viscerally experience which roadblocks need to be overcome. We will then implement a number of agile policies and practices (including pull of work, peer collaboration and limiting the amount of work in process) and observe the results.
This learning session enables attendees to experience first-hand the effect of adopting agile processes in a safe-to-fail simulated environment.
Each team consists of 3-5 people seated around a table with the board (ideally 4 people and 1 person taking up the role of project coordinator).
Participants will discover the power of visualization, limiting work in process and collaboration, and understand the fundamental difference between resource efficiency and flow efficiency.
Come check out this exciting and innovative new way to learn about agility!
Outline/structure of the Session
- Game Introduction
- Resource Efficiency-based Simulation
- Flow Efficiency-based Simulation
- Wrap Up, Class Observations and Q&A
- Understand flow thinking, how flow is measured and why it is important
- Understand the difference between focus on resource efficiency versus flow efficiency
- identify several possible strategies for improving flow efficiencies and reducing lead times on my project
All: stakeholders, managers, team members, executives