The idea for Playing Lean was born back in 2014. when Simen set up a Kanban workshop for a customer using the getKanban board game. The workshop was a great success because the lessons seemed to stick afterwards. At the same time holding workshops and classroom training didn't seem to have the same effect. The customers weren't as engaged and didn't seem to be drawing lessons as fast as they would have from a game. After searching the web for a game that teaches Lean Startup and realizing there isn't one, he decided to make one himself.
Together with Tore, they applied the Lean startup approach to develop Playing Lean. After numerous iterations they decided to run a crowdfunding experiment, but it failed. Around that time Holger Nils Pohl joined, contributing to the visual clarity of the game. Several iterations and an USA tour later, a new crowdfunding experiment was ready and it was a smashing success. Playing Lean was funded in just 10 hours! Then Bruno, a passionate Lean practitioner, joined and together we trained over a hundred facilitators creating a strong community spanning from Oslo to Sydney. We've seen Playing Lean used in corporate training programs, universities, accelerators, and by numerous independent consultants.
By late 2017 Playing Lean was sold out.
Instead of just ordering a reprint we decided to gather all our learning from the previous two years and come up with an even better and more valuable iteration. We partnered up with the main creator of Business Model Generation and Value Proposition Design, Alexander Osterwalder, and created Playing Lean 2. A new Kickstarter campaign was launched and it was an even bigger success than the previous one. Over 230 games were sold just in the campaign, with new orders coming in daily. As the community grew bigger and stronger, we needed someone to nurture the growing numbers so Dora joined as our community manager.
The team behind Playing Lean has changed over the years as has the game, with everyone bringing something new to the table. Also, the ever-growing support of the Playing Lean community has helped us grow and make Playing Lean what it is today.
Simen Fure Jørgensen
Simen came up with the idea for Playing Lean back in 2014, on a client engagement for Iterate, a consultancy he co-founded and managed. With a background from Computer Science, he has gone on to found several successful companies.
Besides Iterate, now a well established player in Oslo and Playing Lean, Simen has also co-founded Otovo, Europe's leading startup in residential solar.
Bruno is an industrial engineer with ten years of experience with lean management, product development, corporate innovation and strategy from defence, manufacturing, and financial industries.
As a co-founder of Norwegian Lean Startup Circle; program manager at Founder Institute, world’s best idea-stage accelerator; and global startup mentor for GAN; Bruno is an active contributor in the startup community.
He holds a master's degree in industrial engineering and management from UNIZG, specialization in production and quality engineering from NTNU, specialization in strategy from Ashridge, and has been trained by Toyota in corporate value creation and innovation.
Holger Nils Pohl
Holger is an internationally active Visual Strategyst. He works through complexities in reasonable, absorbable units. He is the founder of the WorkVisual Institute, CEO of the Visual Manufactory GmbH and Creator of the WorkVisual App and a certified ScrumMaster. He’s lecturing at the University of Arts Berlin and the Hochschule Macromedia, University of applied sciences.
He is the author of „Creating Innovation“ a book about breaking new creative methods for innovation and strategy processes. He Co-Authored the soon to be launched Visual Facilitation Field Guide.