In our regular “Products team coffee” meeting, we did a team building game named “Snowflake simulation”. Below you will find some insights from the game.
Our Products team was divided in three smaller teams :Team Venus, Team Jupiter and Team Neptune. These three teams where expected to run a profitable snowflake manufacturing business and compete with one another.
The Co-Head of products team, Judith, was the client, but she did not give real requirements. The teams where obliged to use their own creativity and the given materials.
The materials available for the team:
In 7 sessions of 3 minute simulations each, the teams had to create snowflakes. Before starting they got 10 euro budget to buy the first materials.
After each session, each team had 1 minute to talk to the costumer and try to sell the snowflakes they have prepared.
The customer could offer up to 5 euros for a snowflake and could also refuse the snowflakes.
During the game
At the beginning of the game each team decided on the first materials they wanted to have in order to begin producing snowflakes.
In the first iteration the teams seemed worried about the characteristics of the product they were producing as there was no acceptance criteria.
After the first iteration each team produced a minimum viable product ready to show to the client.
The first talk with the client was very helpful because the teams had the opportunity to understand the needs of the client, what the client likes and dislikes and for what the client is willing to pay more.
In the second iteration the teams seem to be more focused in finding a team structure (who can do what?). They were struggling on finding a good process that could help them produce the ‘proper’ snowflakes and as much snowflakes as possible.
They were a bit worried about the delivery time and the pressure they had to create something good for the client in only three minutes.
Some challenges of the different teams were:
- How much other materials are needed ?
- On which materials should we spent more money?
- Should they use one sheet of paper and create big snowflakes or use one paper twice and have more quantity ?
- Which is the best working process to follow in the team in order to optimize the development ?
Iteration by iteration the teams became more consolidated and learned the best way to work together. They also learned more and more about the product that makes the client happy.
Something else I noted was that each team had the opportunity to learn from the other teams. Having a look on the best sold snowflakes of the other teams , each team had the opportunity to learn and improve their product.
After the last iteration we had a discussion all together about the lessons learned from the snowflakes simulation experience:
- The cooperation in the team is very important in order to find the proper process that optimizes the development of the product
- The time delivery pressure makes the team lose focus, so the team should work on improving in this direction too
- Talk to the customer in order to find out for what customers are willing to pay for and optimize your product according to costumers needs
- Customers time is limited, so use it to understand better his needs
- Find the best balance between quality and quantity
- You can learn a lot from the market (learning from other teams product)