At last! Featureban 3.0 and Changeban 1.2

As long promised, there is now an official 3.0 version of Featureban that incorporates the best of Changeban, making it easier to facilitate and more fun to play. Changeban itself has a new version 1.2 after some weeks in beta.

For the uninitiated, Featureban is (and I quote) our simple, fun, and highly customisable kanban simulation game. Since its creation in 2014 it has been used by trainers and coaches in Lean, Agile and Kanban-related events the world over. Changeban was derived from Featureban and retains many similarities, which is how improvements to Changeban have ultimately benefited Featureban too.

Which to use?

  • Featureban if you’re teaching Kanban in a development context and/or want to teach Kanban metrics
  • Changeban for most other purposes

I don’t go out of my way to advertise Kanban training. No big drama there but I have other priorities now and there’s no shortage of people who can do it. However, being the author of a recommended book has its privileges and I do get asked from time to time! In accordance with my experience before explanation” mantra I always start any training with Featureban. I get to use Changeban rather more often these days – it’s a fixture at Advanced Agendashift workshops (see public workshop listings at the end of this announcement).

Key changes:

  • For Changeban, version 1.0 represented the completion of a transition from the use of coins as the source of variation to the use of cards instead (more on those in a moment). Featureban 3.0 does the same, with a transitional (coins or cards) version 2.3 and a classic 2.2 version (coins only) still available for old times’ sake in the Dropbox.
  • Affecting Featureban only, its biggest source of confusion has been eliminated. There is now no mention of pairing and gone are the well-intentioned but non-obvious restrictions that went with that; instead players may “help someone” (anyone!) if they’re out of other options. There is a small price to pay and it’s the reason for my hesitation to address the frustration: the flow efficiency calculation in the spreadsheet is now merely an estimate.
  • Changes to the slides to make both games quicker and easier to introduce. Changeban has improved in this regard even since the recent video! Thank you (once again) to Steven Mackenzie for the nudge and for your own experiments.
  • For practical reasons, it was a mistake on my part to distribute Featureban by sharing links to individual files. There’s now a single combined Dropbox folder with all the files (original sources, PDFs, and translations) for both games. Once you’re subscribed, you’ll always have access to the latest.

Cards:

Coins are not only less ubiquitous than once they were (it’s amazing how times change), they’re fiddly to handle, and they lack the replayability of cards. Trust me, once you’ve made the switch, you won’t want to go back!

Regular playing cards work well enough but I prefer to use these printed cards with the colour-specific rules on them:

These 65mm square cards were done by Moo (advertised as square business cards). We’re very happy with the results from testing but will continue to experiment with other formats. One small niggle here: the accept/reject rule shown here at the bottom of each card applies only to Changeban; this is made clearer in the most recent sources.

Open!

Featureban was one of my earliest experiments in Creative Commons licensing, and never a moment’s regret! Both games are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/.

Check out blog posts tagged open for more on our commitments in this area.

Subscribe! Collaborate!

Go to either Featureban or Changeban and request your combined Dropbox invite there. It’s not essential that you subscribe to the two individually – the folder is the same but feel free if you want to signal your interest in both.

And if you haven’t already, I would strongly recommend joining the #featureban and #changeban channels in the Agendashift Slack.


Upcoming Agendashift workshops
(Online, Stockholm, Athens, London, Istanbul, Berlin)


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Needs-based, outcome-oriented, continuous, open

(Updated May 30th with new home page copy)

It’s the week of the Open Leadership Symposium (I landed in Boston yesterday). To celebrate, a quick refresh of the Agendshift home and about pages, both starting with an updated banner:

agendashift-banner-2019-05-07

The ‘open’ is new. A short explanation (the about page has more):

Screenshot 2019-05-30 16.24.53

That’s all! See you tomorrow/Wednesday at the symposium? I’ll expand further on themes of Open, Engagement Models, and Organisation Development – see last week’s post for a taste of that last one. Or Thursday/Friday at the masterclass – still time to book a place?


Upcoming workshops – Boston and Berlin

Watch this space for Greece, Turkey, London, the Benelux region and Scandinavia in the autumn.


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We are champions and enablers of outcome-oriented change and continuous transformation. Building from agreement on outcomes, Agendashift facilitates rapid, experiment-based emergence of process, practice, and organisation. Instead of Lean and Agile by imposition – contradictory and ultimately self-defeating – we help you keep your business vision and transformation strategy aligned with and energised by a culture of meaningful participation. More…

More ‘Open’, and my first online workshops

I’m getting ready for a busy couple of weeks mid May:

Partly in preparation and partly as housekeeping, I’ve updated the generic workshop description page Advanced Agendashift: Coaching and Leading Continuous Transformation as follows:

  1. Very much in the Open spirit of the Boston symposium, it now has a Creative Commons 4.0 CC-BY-SA license. That’s not quite the big deal that it might sound since the Overview pages that describe all Agendashift-based workshops have long had one, but it’s good to get that sorted.
  2. Its structure now tallies with recent improvements. Day 1 is Learning the language of outcomes. Day 2 is Organising for impact, and it reflects the “rejigging” described in last week’s Notes from the April 2019 Advanced Agendashift workshop, London. I’ve updated the abovementioned Overview pages also.

As a spinoff from Boston (there’ll be discounts for attendees), from June I’ll be offering an online workshop, also titled Learning the language of outcomes. Presented as two 2-hour sessions on consecutive days it will be a great way to get up to speed quickly with outcome-orientation and Clean Language, getting some real practice in applying the latter to the former. At a minimum we’ll cover:

Officially, we launch these at the Symposium, but for a sneak preview (and early bird prices):

In person or online, I hope to see you soon!


Upcoming workshops – Boston, Berlin, Oslo, and Stockholm

Watch this space for Greece, Turkey, London, and the Benelux region in the autumn.

workshop-2x1


Blog: Monthly roundups | Classic posts
Links: Home | About | Partners | Resources | Contact | Mike
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We are champions and enablers of outcome-oriented change and continuous transformation. Building from agreement on outcomes, Agendashift facilitates rapid, experiment-based emergence of process, practice, and organisation. Instead of Lean and Agile by imposition – contradictory and ultimately self-defeating – we help you keep your business vision and transformation strategy aligned with and energised by a culture of meaningful participation. More…

 

Why the Open Leadership Symposium is a big deal

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I’ll be speaking and facilitating at the Open Leadership Symposium in Boston on May 14th-15th and leading a masterclass (a 2-day Agendashift workshop) afterwards. If you’re wondering what the fuss is all about, here’s my personal take on something very exciting that is still in the process of emerging, for which the conference represents an important milestone.

Behind the scenes, the conference organisers and some like-minded contributors have been going back to basics, challenging even what we mean by “Open”, let alone the “Open Leadership” after which the conference is named. Along the way, Niels Pflaeging dropped in the the term “Open Social Technologies” and it got me wondering:

  1. What that might term mean for Agendashift and similar frameworks, and
  2. How that differentiates us from the less open (and non-open) incumbents

So, with inspiration from Niels, Heidi Araya, Daniel Mezick, and others, here’s my take, very lightly adapted from a passage I’ve already included in the draft of my forthcoming book [1]:

[Relative to the branded Agile process frameworks, the term] Open Social Technologies represents a much broader, more diverse, and still complementary array of frameworks that address a range of organisational concerns in ways that the process frameworks simply cannot.

They’re open in multiple ways:

  1. Not only are they well documented, they share substantial parts through open source, Creative Commons, and similar mechanisms (including release into the public domain), to the extent that a suitably-experienced practitioner could with effort reproduce and even improve on it, without necessarily licencing whatever conveniences might be available to them on a commercial basis.
  2. They’re open not just to extension (a natural property of any framework) but also to modification and replacement, something that many branded frameworks actively discourage. To be truly open, there must be no mandated practices; instead an attitude of “core or better” [2] prevails, enabling both local adaptation and community-driven innovation.
  3. They are non-exclusive; they combine in multiple, interesting, and exciting ways, the composition often greater than the sum of the parts
  4. They are highly sensitive to context, portable from one social or organisational context to another, producing perhaps radically different outputs according to the situation. To achieve this, they’re generative, such that outputs are generated, organised, prioritised, and developed by participants – predetermined neither by the framework nor the facilitator.

As social tools, they help people to work together, empowering them with decision-making authority, building social capital up, down, and across the organisation and beyond its four walls. This describes both how they work when they’re being used deliberately and the kind of organisational legacy they tend to leave behind. For the engagement models in particular, this internal consistency is an explicit design goal, one that contrasts sharply with the dissonance and disengagement too easily triggered by traditional approaches to change.

A small selection of relevant frameworks that demonstrate all of these properties:

  • The engagement models [3] Agendashift [4] and OpenSpace Agility [5]
  • Clean Language [6], which via Agendashift or on its own is valued by parts of the Lean-Agile community as a coaching protocol. Its heritage however is in psychotherapy – a powerful demonstration of the portability and sensitivity to context described in point 3 above!
  • The large-scale collaboration framework Open Space Technology [7]

The conference brings representatives of these frameworks (and more) under one roof for the first time, and that is surely cause for excitement. We have a programme not just of talks but hands-on workshops also, not to mention the pre- and post-conference masterclasses of which mine is just one. Who knows what might happen? To be honest, I don’t think anyone can be sure, which makes it an event not to be missed.

Further information about the conference can be found here; sign up to the masterclasses here. See you there!

References

[1] Right to Left: The digital leader’s guide to Lean and Agile (due by midsummer 2019)
[2] See the blog post “Core or better”
[3] See agendashift.com/engagement-model
[4] See the site agendashift.com and the book Agendashift: Outcome-oriented change and continuous transformation (New Generation Press, 2018)
engagement model
[5] See the site openspaceagility.com and the The OpenSpace Agility Handbook, Daniel Mezick, Mark Sheffield, Deborah Pontes, Harold Shinsato, Louise Kold-Taylor, and Mark Sheffield (Freestanding Press, edition 2.2, 2015)
[6] See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_Language and for Agendashift’s application of it, the coaching game 15-minute FOTO
[7] Open Space Technology: A User’s Guide, Harrison Owen (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 3rd edition, 2008)

open_leadership_symposium_speaker_burrows


Upcoming Agendashift workshops

See also the recent blog post: Agendashift workshops in Seattle, London, Boston, and Berlin, which includes a detailed description of the 2-day workshop. Workshops facilitated by Mike Burrows (yours truly) unless otherwise indicated:


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We are champions and enablers of outcome-oriented change and continuous transformation. Building from agreement on outcomes, Agendashift facilitates rapid, experiment-based emergence of process, practice, and organisation. Instead of Lean and Agile by imposition – contradictory and ultimately self-defeating – we help you keep your business vision and transformation strategy aligned with and energised by a culture of meaningful participation. More…

Open sourcing our Discovery exercise, Celebration-5W

Here’s how chapter 1 of the Agendashift book opens:

Picture the scene: It’s some months from now, and you’re celebrating! Isn’t it wonderful to see everyone together like this? And you deserve it: over this period, you, your teams, and your entire organisation have achieved far more than anyone would have thought possible. You dared to aim high, and still you smashed it!

What makes this celebration so special? We’re going to explore that via some time travel and the classic journalistic questions of Who, What, When, Where, and Why, otherwise known as the five W’s.

Most Agendashift workshops kick off with this simple time-travelling and context-setting exercise – the first of four Discovery exercises – and now we’ve open-sourced it. Head over to the Celebration-5W page for more information, including a preview of the slides, a video, download information, and related tools and exercises.

The small print:

Celebration-5W is copyright © 2018-2018 Agendashift (a trading name of Positive Incline Ltd). Celebration-5W by Mike Burrows of Positive Incline Ltd is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/.

We warmly encourage customisations, adaptations, translations, etc to be made and shared. It seems however that not everyone gets how Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (aka CC-BY-SA) is meant to work, so I’ve added a guidance slide to the deck.

If you have questions, drop me a line or (better) go to channel #workshops in the Agendashift Slack. There are several people there who have facilitated this exercise before. I have used it dozens of times.

Enjoy Celebration-5W!

Screenshot 2018-12-11 13.40.42.png


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Agendashift-cover-thumbBlog: Monthly roundups | Classic posts
Links: Home | About | Partners | Resources | Contact | Mike
Community: Slack | LinkedIn group | Twitter

We are champions and enablers of outcome-oriented change and continuous transformation. Building from agreement on outcomes, Agendashift facilitates rapid, experiment-based emergence of process, practice, and organisation. Instead of Lean and Agile by imposition – contradictory and ultimately self-defeating – we help you keep your business vision and transformation strategy aligned with and energised by a culture of meaningful participation. More…