The Gamestorming Cheat Sheet

The book  http://amzn.to/GamestormingBook

The “cheat sheet”  by @brynn  |  gplus.to/brynn

This document: http://j.mp/gamestorming-cheatsheet

Table of Contents

  1. Games for a communicating core concepts
  2. Games for ideation
  3. Games for a different perspective
  4. Games for making a decision
  5. Other games
  6. Games from Google I/O

Games for a communicating core concepts


Games for finding the essence of an idea


Poster Session  p.114    Communicating ideas with images in a poster format

Draw the problem  p.90    Short drawing exercise to make clear what the “problem” is

Storyboard  p.71    Players use a storyboard format to tell a story about an experience, how to solve a problem, etc.

Cover Story  p.87    To think expansively around an ideal future state; exercise in visioning

Design the Box  p.161    Teams imagine the package for an idea in order to make decisions about important features & other aspects of their vision that are difficult to articulate

Elevator Pitch  p.166    Uses madlibs to come up with a short, compelling description of the problem you’re trying to solve

The Pitch  p.192    Players imagine that they’re entrepreneurs and need to sell their ideas to rich venture capitalists (VCs)


Games for envisioning the future


Make a World  p.184    Purpose is to make a 3D model of a desired future state

Poster Session  p.114    Communicate ideas with images in a poster format

Cover Story  p.87    To think expansively around an ideal future state; exercise in visioning

Mood Board  p.186    Create a poster or collage that captures the overall “feel” of an idea


Games for building consensus (among members of a team):


Draw the Problem  p.90    Short drawing exercise to make clear what the “problem” is

Elevator Pitch  p.166    Uses madlibs to come up with a short, compelling description of the problem you’re trying to solve

Fishbowl  p.92    Key listening exercise; inner circle discusses problem, outer circle listens

Show and Tell  p.119    To elicit stakeholders views, have them bring an object that that captures their perspective

Spectrum Mapping  p.127    Designed to reveal the diversity of perspectives and options around any given topic and to organize them into a meaningful spectrum

Bodystorming  p.59    Using improv or “play acting” to feel out what might work a problem

Visual Glossary  p.225    Group starts a meeting by defining their terms visually (everyone starts on the same page = works faster & more effectively later)

Post the Path    Will help develop a better understanding of a group’s current process to uncover areas of confusion or misunderstanding


Games for early kickoff meetings:


The 7Ps Framework  p.54      Used before a meeting to plan out an agenda, goals

Affinity Map  p.56    Group creates an “affinity diagram” to find categories within a cluster of ideas (to see which ideas are most common within a group, etc.)

Pre-Mortem  p.117    Be up front about risks

The 5 Whys  p.141  —  Helps discover the root cause of a problem

Elevator Pitch  p.166  —  Uses madlibs to come up with a short, compelling description of the problem you’re trying to solve

Storyboard  p.71    Players use a storyboard format to tell a story about an experience, how to solve a problem, etc.

Context Map  p.84    Shows the effect of context

Cover Story  p.87    To think expansively around an ideal future state; exercise in visioning

Draw the Problem  p.90    Short drawing exercise to make clear what the “problem” is

Poster Session  p.114    Communicate ideas with images in a poster format

Stakeholder Analysis  p.124    Identify stakeholders and how to engage them

Make a World  p.184   Purpose is to make a 3D model of a desired future state

Start, Stop, Continue  p.249    Used to spell out what aspects of an issue/product you want to discontinue, introduce, or continue (based on what’s going well)


Games for logo design (or developing a How-it-works Video):


Graphic Jam  p.96    Visualize abstract concepts, absorb complexity

Cover Story  p.87    To think expansively around an ideal future state; exercise in visioning

Elevator Pitch  p.166    Uses madlibs to come up with a short, compelling description of the problem you’re trying to solve

The Pitch  p.192    Players imagine that they’re entrepreneurs and need to sell their ideas to rich venture capitalists (VCs)

Mood Board  p.186    Create a poster or collage that captures the overall “feel” of an idea

Show Me Your Values  p.121    To understand people’s deep-seated impressions of something

Design the Box  p.161    Teams imagine the package for an idea in order to make decisions about important features & other aspects of their vision that are difficult to articulate

Heart, Hand, Mind  p.179    Goal is to examine an issue from another perspective, and find significance in an issue.

Product Pinocchio  p.194    Players personify a product to better identify what features will resonate with and be more valuable for the end user

Games for ideation


Games for generating lots of ideas:


Brainwriting  p.82    Includes everyone in evolving an idea (silent brainstorming, followed by collaborative building on ideas), all done in silence

6-8-5s    Fast way to get initial ideas down, and to iterate through many ideas

Post-Ups  p.19, 69    To generate a lot of ideas

3-12-3 Brainstorm  p.78    Good for generating & developing lots of ideas in only 1 hour

Heuristic Ideation Technique  p.98    Generate ideas by recombining possibilities

Image-ination  p.103    Get unstuck with new ideas

Object Brainstorm  p.109    Uses objects as a starting point for association, exploration, brainstorming


Games for developing a roadmap:


Who Do p.74    Lists out who’s involved in the project & what their priorities/next steps are

Graphic Gameplan  p.38    Quickly develop an executable action plan for a project

Build the Checklist  p.151    Team creates a checklist to order, rank, and prioritize tasks

RACI Matrix  p.203    Group creates a matrix/checklist of people who are Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed — to sort out who is doing what (on a team, etc.)


Games for after you already have a prototype:


Do, Redo, Undo  p.164    Asks a group to focus on the implications of dismantling or altering their idea (in order to “mistakeproof” their idea)

Mission Impossible  p.107    Take an existing design or idea and change one foundational aspect that makes it “impossible” in function or feasibility

The Blind Side  p.149    Helps to disclose and uncover information that might affect a group’s success

Give & Take Matrix  p.177    Map out motivations & interactions among actors in a system

Product Pinocchio  p.194    Players personify a product to better identify what features will resonate with and be more valuable for the end user

Speedboat  p.206    Used to identify obstacles to your goal, things that may slow you down

The SQUID  p.208    Used to map out what’s been done & what still needs to be done; stands for Sequential Question and Insight Diagram.

Staple Something to Yourself  p.210    Used to explore or clarify a process by following an object through its “day in the life”

SWOT Analysis  p.212    Used to gauge strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to our product or future

Games for a different perspective


Games for connecting with a user base:


Empathy Map p.65    To develop a customer profile

Storyboard p.71    To imagine and create possibilities using a storytelling format

Staple Something to Yourself  p.210    Used to explore or clarify a process by following an object through its “day in the life”


Games for identifying stakeholder values:


Stakeholder Analysis p.124    Identify stakeholders and how to engage them

History Map p.100    Helps to appreciate an organization’s culture

Campfire p.156    Leverages our natural storytelling capabilities, giving people a format and a space for to share work stories


Games for seeing things from another perspective


Customer, Employee, Shareholder p.159    Imagine many possible futures from different perspectives

Challenge Cards p.158    Used to identify and think through potential challenges and pitfalls of a product

The Anti-Problem p.80    For getting unstuck on hard problems: asks people to solve the problem completely opposite to their current problem

Bodystorming p.59    Using improv or “play acting” to feel out what might work in the real world

Empathy Map p.65    To develop a customer profile

Flip it! p.171    Quick game to show people that perspectives are made, not born. Helps people see challenges as opportunities...

Give & Take Matrix p.177    Used to map out motivations & interactions among actors in a system

Heart, Hand, Mind p.179    Goal is to examine an issue from another perspective, and find significance in an issue.

Help Me Understand p.181    Helps to uncover employees lingering questions or assumptions

Pain Gain Map p.190    Used to develop an understanding of motivations & decisions

World Cafe p.228    Improves large-group discussion by borrowing concepts from the informal café conversations: round tables, cross pollinating ideas, and pursuing questions that matter.


Pro/con games


Pain Gain Map p.190    Used to develop an understanding of motivations & decisions

Challenge Cards p.158    Used to identify and think through potential challenges and pitfalls of a product

Flip it! p.171    Quick game to show people that perspectives are made, not born. Helps people see challenges as opportunities...

Plus / Delta p.246    To generate constructive feedback by focusing on what what positive or repeatable about an activity, and what you would change about the activity


Games for thinking through problems or strategies


Challenge Cards p.158    Used to identify and think through potential challenges and pitfalls of a product

The Anti-Problem p.80    For getting unstuck on hard problems: asks people to solve the problem completely opposite to their current problem

Forced Analogy p.95    Intentionally forces players to think about new concepts to break out of formal categories and help with problem solving & ideation

Mission Impossible p.107    Take an existing design or idea and change one foundational aspect that makes it “impossible” in function or feasibility

The 4 Cs p.138    Quick way to gather and organize information using 4 common key concepts (on a 2x2 matrix): Components, Characteristics, Characters, and Challenges

The 5 Whys p.141    Helps discover the root cause of a problem

Atomize p.147    Good for unpacking large, messy structures

The Blind Side p.149    Helps to disclose and uncover information that might affect a group’s success

Do, Redo, Undo p.164    Asks a group to focus on the implications of dismantling or altering their idea (in order to “mistakeproof” their idea)

Give & Take Matrix p.177    Used to map out motivations & interactions among actors in a system

Business Model Canvas p.153    Used to examine & rethink a company’s business model

SWOT Analysis p.212    Used to gauge strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to our product or future

World Cafe p.228    Improves large-group discussion by borrowing concepts from the informal “café” conversations: round tables, cross pollinating ideas, and pursuing questions that matter.

Plus / Delta p.246    To generate constructive feedback by focusing on what what positive or repeatable about an activity, and what you would change about the activity

Post the Path    Will help develop a better understanding of a group’s current process to uncover areas of confusion or misunderstanding

Games for making a decision


Games for voting on choices


Dot Voting p.63    To converge on ideas that resonate best with the group

Forced Ranking  p.25, 67    To agree on priorities (rank by impact and effort)

$100 Test p.232    Uses the concept of cash to help prioritize items in a list

20/20 Vision p.234    To agree on priorities & how to rank initiatives

Impact & Effort Matrix p.241    Possible actions are mapped out on a 2x2 grid based on: effort required to implement & potential impact of an idea

NUF Test p.244    Group rates ideas on three criteria: to what degree are they New, Useful, and Feasible?


Games for finding patterns in data


Affinity Map p.56    To discover patterns among similar categories

Card Sort    General-purpose categorization exercise

Atomize p.147    Good for unpacking large, messy structures


Also

Start, Stop, Continue p.249    Used to spell out what aspects of an issue/product you want to discontinue, introduce, or continue (based on what’s going well)

Other games


Games for managing meetings


Pie Chart Agenda p.112    Quickly agree on an agenda, then use the agenda as a timekeeping artifact during a meeting

The 7Ps Framework p.54    Used before a meeting to plan out an agenda, goals

Visual Agenda p.132    A visual agenda create excitement, people talk about it, it implies the day might be interesting

The Button p.155    Game where everyone speaks up before anyone speaks a second time

5-Fingered Consensus p.170    Quickly gauges extent of the consensus of a group

Red / Green Cards p.205    Red & green cards are used silently by audience to indicate approval or disapproval of issues being discussed in a meeting

Open Space p.188    Method for hosting an event/meeting without a prepared agenda

Talking Chips p.217    Uses “talking chips” as currency so group can make sure everyone has a chance to contribute to the conversation

The SQUID p.208    Used to map out what’s been done & what still needs to be done; stands for Sequential Question and Insight Diagram.

Who / What / When Matrix p.250    Focuses a “Next Steps” conversation at the end of a meeting on clearly defined actions that people commit to


Games for team bonding


Low-Tech Social Network p.105    Great way to get to know each other; leave nice visual behind, too

History Map p.100    Helps to appreciate an organization’s culture

Trading Cards p.130    Good icebreaker; also creates memorable visuals for later in the meeting

Welcome to My World p.134    To share our internal system map of reality

Campfire p.156    Leverages our natural story-telling capabilities, giving people a format and a space for to share work stories

Mood Board p.182    Create a poster or collage that captures the overall “feel” of an idea

Memory Wall p.242    Build a visual wall that serves to appreciate & celebrate people on a team


Games for assessing company structure/leadership:


Forcefield Analysis p.174    Helps people appreciate the forces both for and against change

Affinity Map p.56    Group creates an “affinity diagram” to find categories within a cluster of ideas (to see which ideas are most common within a group, etc.)

The 5 Whys p.141    Helps discover the root cause of a problem

Stakeholder Analysis p.124    Identify stakeholders and how to engage them

Help Me Understand p.181    Helps to uncover employees lingering questions or assumptions

Prune the Future p.247    Uses a tree as a metaphor to show can the future of anything can be shaped, one leaf at a time (rather than hoping for immediate, broad sweeping change)


Games for thinking through business models


Business Model Canvas p.153    Used to examine & rethink a company’s business model

Elevator Pitch p.166    Uses madlibs to come up with a short, compelling description of the problem you’re trying to solve

The Pitch p.192    Players imagine that they’re entrepreneurs and need to sell their ideas to rich venture capitalists (VCs)

Design the Box p.161    Teams imagine the package for an idea in order to make decisions about important features & other aspects of their vision that are difficult to articulate

Plus/Delta p.246    To generate constructive feedback by focusing on what what positive or repeatable about an activity, and what you would change about the activity


Games for understanding the feasibility of change


Forcefield Analysis p.174    Helps people appreciate the forces both for and against change

Speedboat p.206    Used to identify obstacles to your goal, things that may slow you down

Plus/Delta p.246    To generate constructive feedback by focusing on what was positive or repeatable about an activity, and what you would change about the activity

Games from Google I/O


6-8-5 Sketching


Goal: Generate 6-8 ideas in 5 minutes.

Number of Players: Can be just 1 (you) or 20+ people

Duration of Play: 5 minutes to play, 15-20 minutes to discuss

How to Play

  1. Draw or fold a piece of paper into a grid of 8 boxes for each player to use:

  1. Explain that the goal is to generate 6 to 8 ideas in 5 minutes. Sketches can and should be very rough. Set a timer, and get started!

  1. When the time runs out, each player shares their sketches with the rest of the group. The group can ask questions of each player, but this is not a time for a larger brainstorming session.

  1. If time permits, play a few more rounds. Players can develop any ideas that were presented, or can sketch new ideas that have emerged since the last round

http://www.gogamestorm.com/?p=688


Brainwriting


Goal

Brainstorm to generate ideas, share them and build on them in a group. All done in silence to allow ideas to emerge before being critiqued.

Number of Players: 5–15

Duration of Play: 30–45 minutes

How to Play

Have the moderator write the topic you want to generate ideas around and draw a picture of it

  1. Silently write 1 idea per index card related to the topic; then pass to the right

  1. Without talking, add an idea inspired by or enhancing what’s on the card. Pass to the right

  1. Keep adding ideas and passing cards to the right

  1. End when all players have reviewed each card

  1. Once finished, the moderator collects cards and tapes them to the wall around the topic and its picture

  1. Have the group come to the wall to review the ideas and draw stars next to the ones they find most compelling. Discuss.

Optional activity: Create an idea gallery in the room using flip-chart pads and stands. Ask players to write as many ideas on the sheet as they can and then wander around the room and add ideas to the other sheets. Continue this process until each sheet has a good number of ideas

http://www.gogamestorm.com/?p=363 

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