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Continuous Improvement Tricks

Using Behavioral & Gaming Strategies to Evolve Team Performance & Engagement
Presented by Arlen Bankston
Innovate Virginia 2011

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Continuous Improvement Tricks

  1. 1. ContinuousImprovement Tricks Presented by Arlen Bankston Using Behavioral & Gaming Strategies to Evolve Team Performance & Engagement
  2. 2. Arlen Bankston • Managing Partner & Co-Founder of LitheSpeed, LLC • Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt • 16 years in the industry, 10 doing Agile • Coached Agile game development teams • Played and occasionally built games on [very lengthy list of] platforms Who Am I? 2
  3. 3. Our Agenda for the Hour 3 • Motivation in General • Motivation in Agile Today • Motivation in Games • Applying Gaming Tricks • An Example Agile Game • Wrap-up & Questions
  4. 4. As ScrumMasters, coaches and managers, we must motivate our teams to keep improving. Perhaps we can learn a few tricks from game designers. This session will: • Examine the behavioral levers that game designers use to craft compelling experiences • Show some examples of how these systems at scale can align teams better against organizational goals • Explore some practical ways to use these levers to engage our team members and make work fun Motivating Ongoing Improvement 4
  5. 5. MotivationinGeneral
  6. 6. Are Performance Reviews Motivating? 6 Most performance reviews are infrequent and stressful. “In practice, annual ratings are a disease, annihilating long-term planning, demobilizing teamwork, nourishing rivalry and politics, leaving people bitter, crushed, bruised, battered, desolate, despondent, unfit for work for weeks after receipt of rating, unable to comprehend why they are inferior…” W. Edwards Deming
  7. 7. Sources of Motivation Extrinsic Motivation Your Results. What have we achieved? How has the market judged us? Intrinsic Motivation Your Journey. What are we passionate about doing? How and when do we work? What do we want to build? Are our rewards just? 7
  8. 8. The eight elements of flow: 1. Clear goals 2. Direct, immediate feedback 3. Balance between skills and challenges 4. Deep concentration on task at hand 5. Complete involvement in the present 6. A strong sense of control 7. An altered sense of time 8. A loss of self/ego Motivation through Flow 8 People are in the most happy when they’re in a state of flow. - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi During flow, focus maximizes performance and enjoyment. Image Source: Flow in Games by Jenova Chen, Communications of the ACM April 2007
  9. 9. MotivationinAgile Today
  10. 10. How do we engage and motivate our Agile teams today? • Timeboxing – Sprints, Daily standups, Spikes… • Peer pressure – Colocation, Daily standups… • Autonomy – Shared Backlogs, Retrospectives… • Transparency – Demos, Daily standups, Burndowns… • Shared goals – Sprint goals, Crossfunctional teams, Visions… 10 Motivational Factors in Agile Today Many of us employ these tactics without really grasping the mechanisms that describe why and how they work. Can understanding help us do even better?
  11. 11. Most existing “Agile games” act as workshop facilitation frameworks or training aids. Example: Luke Hohmann’s Innovation Games have garnered significant traction. They leverage game theory to: o Assist in market research o Facilitate collaboration o Make touchy subjects neutral o Make onerous work fun Agile Games Today 11
  12. 12. Agility is about adaptation, not compliance. • However, decisions drain us • Intelligent rules can constrain our decisions, lowering stress levels • We can use game-like process frameworks to consciously balance intensity and relaxation, keeping improvement from becoming a chore Let’s look at how games work… Balancing Freedom & Constraint 12
  13. 13. MotivationinGames
  14. 14. How games drive happiness: • Eustress – When we choose our hard work, we enjoy the stimulation and activation. Games as Happiness Engines 14 Adapted from Reality is Broken by Jane McGonagal • Fiero – Emotional rush, craving for challenges we can overcome, battles we can win. • Flow – Intensely focused, highly motivated, creatively charged, working at the limits of our abilities. Uncharted 3, Naughty Dog Studios
  15. 15. At its essence, any game has: • A Clear Goal – a specific outcome that players achieve • Rules – place limitations on how players achieve the goal • A Feedback System – tells players how close they are to achieving the goal • Voluntary Participation – players willingly accept the goal, rules and feedback Essential Traits of Games 15 Adapted from Reality is Broken by Jane McGonagal Journey, That Game Company
  16. 16. Microsoft’s racing game Forza Motorsport 4 lets players: • Paint their cars, allowing artists to market their talent and show their individuality. • Rewind without penalty, allowing players to experiment without risk. Game Tricks – Forza Motorsport 4 16 • Race common challenges against ghosts of others, allowing racers to play when and with whom they like.
  17. 17. Taking cues from Forza, we might: • Let our team members brand themselves – We take titles away in service of the team, but individuality is worthwhile, and people like to pick their own roles. • Visibly celebrate small failures – When teams stop failing, they’ve stopped taking risks and innovating. • Offer Challenges for public recognition – A sponsor could challenge a team to bring a project or feature in within certain constraints and quality levels, with consequent rewards. Applying the Principles 17
  18. 18. Sony’s game-building toolbox LittleBigPlanet 2 lets players customize their characters, create their own levels, share them, and rate them. Game Tricks – LittleBigPlanet 2 18
  19. 19. Taking cues from LittleBigPlanet, we might: • Create an improvement marketplace – Share good ideas, and reap benefits when others like them. • Challenge teams to enhance processes – Experiment with different structures, tools and cadences for meetings and workshops. Share the results with other teams. • Let Customers score you – Customer and end user satisfaction is rarely made explicit; make ratings visible and make achieving them like a game. Applying the Principles 19
  20. 20. We might also: • Visualize intangible improvements – Velocity is only part of the picture; what about customer satisfaction, learning, better organizational integration, morale? • Let teams create badges – Often silly when externally imposed, these can reward a team’s behavioral preferences tangibly when custom crafted. A Few Other Tricks 20
  21. 21. ApplyingGamingTricks
  22. 22. Exercise – Gamify Scrum Let’s try something simple: 1. Roll the dice to choose a Game Mechanism. 2. Pick a Standard Scrum Ceremony: o Daily Scrum o Sprint Planning o Sprint Review/Demo o Sprint Retrospective 3. Use your mechanism to enhance the ceremony. 22
  23. 23. AnExampleAgileGame
  24. 24. • The Goal: Fast Throughput of Valuable Key Goals with High Quality. • Simple, outcome-based framework for team self-management • Leverages both competition and cooperation to focus team on value • Easily integrates with Scrum 24 Agile Game Overview KEY CHALLENGES THE AGILE GAME’S SOLUTIONS Shared vision in large teams Individuals cannot win, only Teams Objective definition and validation of value Customers/Product Owners define “Value” End users validate “Value” Team energy & accountability Teams are measured together Team-based performance management Funds for winning are built into project buffers Active & continuous process adaptation Incremental improvement is rewarded Formulation and adoption of best practices Innovative tactics are encouraged by measuring the end, not the means Customer focus and participation Customers are rewarded in tandem with their Teams Quality assessed by real users Points are awarded based upon evaluation with real users, not just internal measures of success
  25. 25. 25 Scoring Algorithms Team Score = Σ (Key Goal Value Points * Quality Points) / (Time in Process) Key Goal Value Points = Benefit / Cost Benefit • Extra High (e.g. key differentiator) = 200 • High (e.g. commodity feature) = 100 • Medium (e.g. cost reducer) = 50 • Low (e.g. bug fix) = 10 Cost • Extra High = 4 • High = 3 • Medium = 2 • Low = 1 Key Goal Quality Points = [Sum of below] • Key Goal Rating (+200 points for 100% rating, +100 for 50% etc.) (See Defining & Testing Key Goals for details) • % Automated Regression Test Coverage (-50 for <75%, +25 for 76- 90%, +50 for 91-100%) • Build Stability (-20 for 2 or more build failures, +30 for 1 or less) Time in Process = Iteration length in days
  26. 26. Release Points = Σ (Scores over time) Bonus Point Opportunities: • Implemented Retrospective Action Item = +30 • Win Sprint Game Competition = +100 for Team events, +25 for individual events • Each 1% Improvement in Sprint Points = +10 • Custom Opportunities defined by Product Owner 26 Release & Bonus Points
  27. 27. • Key Experiences will exist for each possible development Release • Key Experiences will be represented by Key Goals and accompanying Test Questions o Key Goals will represent major features • Include Justification relative to Key Experience target for project • Test Questions encapsulate Justification in a form that will be tested with representatives from target market • Key Goals can be suggested by anyone, but will be approved and prioritized by the Chief Product Owner and their advisory Product Owners o Test Questions and specific ways to test them are suggested by functional Product Owners and their respective Teams • Key Goal testing (Monthly): Do our Key Goals meet target baselines (represented by Test Questions) when tested with Target Audience? o Hybrid testing model constructed by Team for each Key Goal o E.g. concept illustrations + Release description + interactive demo + comparison with reference products, brief anonymous Kano survey with Test Questions (see Example below) o Record for Team review at each Sprint o Provide model for long-term engagement by viable volunteers o Align with marketing campaigns (e.g. viral) 27 Defining & Testing Key Goals
  28. 28. Key Experience Gamers will travel through a near future world in imminent danger of annihilation by an alien force of unknown origin. They will be fighting alongside a resistance force composed of compelling individuals, and the world will feel alive through deep environmental interactivity and meaningful story branches driven by player actions. Key Goal A Gamer will manipulate her environment and solve puzzles intuitively by using a “gravity gun.” Justification This will give players an intuitive, precise and dramatic way to feel that they are a part of a real environment in which they can exert deep control. Test Questions (rated numerically, relative weightings, contribute to percentage of Value score) Intuitive Will the target market’s familiarity with FPS conventions lets them view “guns” as a natural extension of the player character? Does the current control scheme come naturally to players, with minimal instruction? Precise Will a fixed cursor allow for easy selection of objects within the player’s frame of view? Is the current default level of sensitivity adequate for the test puzzles? Dramatic Will the ability to throw objects long distances and slightly exaggerated collision physics excite the player? Does this ability seem novel relative to familiar FPS conventions? Real Environment Does the environment seem natural and realistic? Deep Control How interactive does the environment feel? Standard Questions Kano How would you feel if this feature was included in the game? How would you feel if this feature was not included in the game? Feature Promoter How likely would you be to recommend trying this feature to your gamer friends? Differentiator How does this feature compare to similar features in games you’ve enjoyed previously? Suggestions What would you change about this feature? Collaborator Would you be willing to provide feedback and suggestions in future test sessions? 28 Key Experience Testing Example
  29. 29. Wrap-up&Questions
  30. 30. So, to conclude our story: • Performance management is, at its heart, about motivating people to do their jobs better, but it often fails at this task. • Agile is about adaptation, not compliance. • Forcing behavior is unsustainable at best, so we need ways to incent people to engage on their own. • Games and the psychology behind them can help us motivate our teams sustainably, and make work more fun while we’re at it. Summary 30
  31. 31. Some good follow up books include: • Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal • Total Engagement: Using Games and Virtual Worlds to Change the Way People Work and Businesses Compete by Byron Reeves and J. Leighton Read • The Complete Guide to Simulations and Serious Games: How the Most Valuable Content Will be Created in the Age Beyond Gutenberg to Google by Clark Aldrich References 31
  32. 32. 32 Contact Us for Further Information Arlen Bankston Executive Vice President LitheSpeed, LLC On the Web: "I only wish I had read this book when I started my career in software product management, or even better yet, when I was given my first project to manage. In addition to providing an excellent handbook for managing with agile software development methodologies, Managing Agile Projects offers a guide to more effective project management in many business settings." John P. Barnes, former Vice President of Product Management at Emergis, Inc.