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How to maximise learning from Playing Lean workshops

If you finish your Playing Lean workshop when one of the teams reaches the red tile you are missing a big learning opportunity!

Recollection and synthesis are an important part of an effective learning process. That's why we always suggest you create opportunities for them in your Playing Lean workshops. 

How can you do that?

First, during the game ask participants questions that force them to think about your introduction (which should cover basic Lean Startup principles), and experiments his or her team executed so far as well as experiments executed by other teams.

Let's say the teams pulls Word of Mouth experiment card:

 After you've explained the experiment and connected it with a real world example, you can follow up with an open question:

How does this relate to the concept of network effect that we've spoken about earlier?

This forces them to retrieve past information and think how they can use it in new context which results in more learning. 

All that from a quick question!

Second, make sure to include a retrospection session at the end of your Playing Lean workshop, no matter how short it is. (Side note: if it is shorter than 90 minutes than you are playing a game and not holding an educational workshop, so no such session is needed.) We suggest you use one of these two set-ups:

Short one-to-one discussions. Break up all the teams and ask individuals to find a discussion partner they haven't played with. Ask them to discuss team actions and decisions, and how they relate to concepts you've been speaking about. One discussion round shouldn't be longer than 5 minutes. You can repeat several rounds if you'd like. Finish with either asking few individuals to sum up or asking questions related to Lean Startup.

Guided discussion. Alternative is more guided with specific question areas. You can leave teams as they are or arrange them however you like. Then go through following Lean Startup concepts they should've learned more about: build-measure-learn loop, pivots, getting out of the building, minimum viable product, innovation accounting, technical debt, problem/solution and product/market fit, scaling and crossing the chasm, lean startup methodology as a whole. For this approach you'll need at least 18 minutes, and we suggest budgeting 30 minutes.

Having a retrospection session at the end of your Playing Lean workshop allows you to maximize the learning potential of your session, as well as adding a nice pop to the whole experience, versus finishing with one team won and all others lost!

What we suggest here works best for Playing Lean workshops, but there are a multitude of retrospection set-ups available out there - so make sure to experiment until you find what works best for you.

The Playing Lean Facilitator Training includes instructions and templates for running effective retrospection sessions for Playing Lean workshops.

Word of Mouth is one of the experiment cards in our Ride Sharing scenario.

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