Playing Lean: the board game every entrepreneur or agile practitioner should play

Yesterday at work I had the opportunity to play a board game I had not heard about before: Playing Lean. It was one of the most entertaining days at work I’ve ever had.

Playing Lean is the “flight simulator” for lean startups that want to become great companies, which means that by playing the game, you’ll get familiar with the strategies and practices that a startup has to apply. If you want to win the game, you need to think and act like an agile startup, by getting into the virtuous circle of experimenting, building and testing.

The game is much more enjoyable if you play it in teams of two, because you can learn strategies from your teammate that you had not thought about. Most of the times these strategies help you win. The analogy would be something like pair programming, but in this case the goal is to build a successful company.

I played this game at work, which is not a startup, but instead a company that was founded in 1929 that is going through an agile transformation in its IT and digital department. All the tactics and strategies applied in the game can be transferred to an agile team or company.

We finished the game in about 3 hours with 4 teams of 2.

I recommend this game to anyone interested in agile strategies, companies and startups. You will have fun!

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