You have likely heard a lot of people use the term “Agile,” including us. When you attended your training, you may even have studied with people who introduced themselves as Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters, or Product Owners. In their conversations, they may have used terms like Sprints, MVP, Project Testing, Kanban Boards, etc.
Spoiler Alert, you might also know we have a new course under development in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methods for Agile and Lean. All these buzzwords might have you asking, “What are these people talking about?”
If you are not living in this fast-paced and often software-centered world of Agile, you might be wondering what is so great about this approach and why do the people at Strategic Play® care so much?
In the most basic terms, Agile is an approach to work that differs greatly from the old waterfall approach of project management. Agile not only makes work more fun, more responsive, and more collaborative, but it is highly efficient and effective due to its visual, flexible, and adaptable nature. Agile originated in the software industry as some very smart people realized the old school rigid processes that are applied in a step-by-step approach where not only tedious with heavy documentation but created roadblocks that caused huge delays and slowed down time to market. Speed to market is everything!
Any product owner—this is the client or the person who has asked for the work to be performed—will tell you, Agile is way more responsive and allows developers to meet the real-time demands. Instead of asking a set of standard and mostly irrelevant questions at the front end of a project—heads down designing in isolation in the middle—and delivering at the end only to discover the end product is not really what the product owner needs or wants, Agile Practitioners work in sprints and get real-time feedback from the product owner to ensure they are on the right track. They work on Minimal Viable Products (MVPs) to ensure what they are doing actually fits the requirements as understood by the product owner. This approach allows the product owner to test out the application in the market without jumping into the deep end.
At Strategic Play, we learned the hard and expensive way that some software developers are still not using Agile – Yikes! But that’s a story for another time.
So what does Agile have to do with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®? Software developers were the first to realize waterfall doesn’t work, and now so many other industries are realizing this too. Everyone from product to service design is moving away from the old school project management approach and over to an iterative process, with feedback loops where corrections can be made in real time without costly delays. Some of our non-software clients around the globe include: Hospitals, Municipalities, Packaged Goods Companies, Investment Companies, and even Accounting Firms. Many are still learning how this can be applied appropriately within their setting, and they all agree the old way doesn’t work.
LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® fits right into an Agile approach and mindset because it’s perfectly aligned with not only the philosophy but it enhances the approach.
LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is also highly visual where people, including the product owner, can see prototypes in 3D.
LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is adaptable. If things change, they can be illustrated in the model quickly and effectively.
LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is collaborative. All project team members can come together to build and explain their ideas so teams are aligned.
LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is iterative and can be used in multiple stages within a project while feedback is given and applied.
LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is based in real-time testing of scenarios and can be perfect when the delivery of a finished product needs to be tested for risk management.
LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is fun because everyone has a chance to build, tell their story, ask questions, reflect, build, connect, and share in brainstorming ideas within this playful approach to work.
If you are still curious, we have a new course coming: Strategic Play® Advanced Facilitator Training for Agile with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Methods.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your name on the waiting list to hold your spot.