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Gamified Simulations

Experiential learning meets powerful team building.

Our award-winning simulations are at the leading edge of adult education providing a powerful experience that bridges the gap between theory-based learning and work-based application. 

As featured in AIPM Magazine, they offer a fun, memorable, social learning experience, gamified simulations enable a layered approach to learning, allowing people to practice new ways of working in a safe, controlled environment.

Perfect for team building events, project kick-offs, off-sites, and professional learning days.  

The Pitch 

Duration: 2-3 hours

A prelude to Mencken Madness, this short 2-3 hour simulation is set in the world of Mad Men in the 1960s New York Advertising sector. The project – delivered through a traditional predictive (waterfall) methodology – involves developing a product (the perfect flipchart) for an internal sponsor (Don Draper) in a mid-tier advertising agency in the heart of New York City.

 

It can either end in success (Don is happy, case closed) or it can end in a cliffhanger that segways into Mencken Madness (Don is happy, client is not, Don is fired). Participants then look forward to pitching directly to the client in the sequel to this simulation, Mencken Madness. 

A group of adults in fancy dress doing team building activities

Mencken Madness 

Duration: 4 hours

This 4-6 hour simulation is delivered with or without The Pitch as its prelude. Like The Pitch, it is set in the world of Mad Men and involves teams competing as rival advertising agencies to win a new client, represented by Rachel Mencken – played by the facilitator. Winning the Mencken Account will require engaging with the client to understand her needs and interests, then presenting a 3-minute pitch on centre stage.

 

The sim follows the lifecycle of a predictive project (Initiate, Plan, Deliver, Close) with teams required to produce key project management documents (Project Charter, Project Plan, Status Report, PIR) which their project sponsor Bob – also played by the facilitator – must approve in order for them to progress through each phase gate. As well as helpful advice (and sometimes not so helpful), Bob provides a budget which they may use to procure a range of resources to zhuzh up their pitch. Success will require teamwork and the skillful balancing of time, cost, quality, and stakeholder engagement.  

The Battle 

Duration: 4-6 hours

This epic simulation takes in project and program management, with the relationship between delivery team and project sponsor in the spotlight. Drones, nerf guns and catapults are sure to get hearts and minds racing. Set 100 years in the future, in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by climate change, participants work in teams within two opposing armies, in a race to build a catapult and claim territory from the opposing army.

 

Generals, as project sponsors, approve passage through phase gates in accordance with a predictive project lifecycle (Initiate > Plan > Deliver > Close). Captains, as project managers, must demonstrate leadership and foster collaboration within the team, harnessing the special abilities of team members, such as the Communication Officer (able to talk to other teams and deliver reports to the General), Procurement Officer (able to procure components and ammo from the armoury), and Engineer (able to assemble the components into the catapult).

Game of Moans 

Duration: 4-6 hours

Set in the world of the hit TV show Game of Thrones, this simulation is based on hybrid project management, combining elements of traditional (predictive) project management with adaptive (Agile) product development. As with all soft, complex, people-focused projects, stakeholder engagement, politics, and change management are centre-stage.

 

Participants work in teams as the Small Council of the newly throned Dragon Queen. Together they must devise a strategy for introducing her fire-breathing dragons to the realm without destabilising the throne, or worse, triggering a mutinous revolt from one of the five Great Houses. They’ll leverage intel from The Spy, procure services from The Market, engage with key stakeholders including the House Heads, and present their strategy in two iterations of public consultation. ​With a choose-your-own-adventure-style ending, teams may find themselves victorious, exiled, or dragon-food, depending on how well they've managed those all-important stakeholders.  

Le Brouhaha 

Duration: 4-6 hours

Set in the French Revolution, this Agile simulation develops knowledge and skills in Agile product development, leadership and communication. From two opposing camps – Royalists vs Revolutionaries – participants must collaborate, adapt, and problem-solve their way through three Agile sprints (iterations) to emerge victorious.

 

It's a high-impact simulation involving Agile practices such as adaptive-incremental development, minimum viable product, sprint planning, and the use of retrospectives to identify and act on lessons learned.

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Seriously fun

The value of gamified simulations

Delivered by an experienced facilitator, our multi-award-winning simulations are used for various purposes, including:

  • Learning and professional development

  • Embedding internal methodology / ways of working

  • Change management

  • Team building and culture shaping.

 

Simulations are about curating a shared, team-based experience. They provide a fun and psychologically safe space for people to meet new colleagues and deepen existing relationships, learn new technical skills, challenge existing behaviours, adopt a growth mindset, practice systems thinking, gain a new perspective, and develop crucial interpersonal and leadership skills.

Team building

Education

As participants laugh and learn together in a gamified environment, they deepen their relationships with colleagues and broaden their internal networks with a positive first impression. This helps to breaks down horizontal and vertical silos within the organisation so people are more likely to share information, offer a dissenting view, and reach out to others for advice, support, or a second opinion – behaviours that can have a dramatic impact on projects at critical moments. In other words, the sims are designed to build trust, the bedrock of collaborative, high-performing teams.

Self-reflection 

Giving each simulation a gamified backdrop is not just about creating a fun experience. It serves a deeper purpose of making participants’ technical expertise irrelevant. People can’t fall back on technical know-how; they need to connect, collaborate, and lead. In conventional training and in the workplace, technical work often blends together with project management and leadership practices. Replacing that technical skillset (e.g. engineering) with something absurd, such as the French Revolution, an apocalyptic futurscape, or a scene from Mad Men, brings project management and leadership skills into stark focus so people can observe them (their behaviours, reactions, habits) and reflect on the effectiveness of them. At the end of each sim, the facilitator leads a plenary discussion to draw out key lessons learned that were observed in the simulation and connect them to real-world projects.

Each simulation is underpinned by best practice project management methodology in line with industry standards including AIPM and PMBoK. It may be aligned with the lifecycle of a predictive (waterfall) project, an Agile (iterative) project, or soft, people-based project such as community consultation, change management, or business transformation. The simulations include governance structures, tools and techniques, and common issues (traps we set deliberately) to make the experience reflect real-world workplace situations, only gamified. 

Culture shaping

The psychological safety of a gamified simulation also means people are more likely to step outside their comfort zone, experiment, and be open to other ways of doing things. The habits of the workplace don’t exist in a sim, so they are easier to highlight and reshape. We make this explicit by calling out desired behaviours (such as sharing information, escalating early, and innovating) which attract bonus points; and undesirable behaviours (such as watermelon reporting and competing with internal teams) for which teams are yellow-carded. The psychological safety of gamified learning also enables people to embrace challenges and failure as an opportunity to learn, rather than something to deny, excuse, or deflect. This is because in a gamified simulation, failure is fun and funny, while in the workplace, it can be stressful, embarrassing, and career-limiting.

And the winner is...

There's a reason gamified simulations are at the forefront of adult learning.

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  • Best Training and Mentorship Program of the Year l BSB50820 Diploma of Project Management - featuring Mencken Madness | 2020 Australian Defence Industry Awards (Finalist)

  • Innovation in Learning | Le Brouhaha & Game of Moans | 2020 LPI Learning Awards

  • Best 70/20/10 Learning Model | Le Brouhaha & Game of Moans | 2020 LearnX Impact Awards

  • Best Blended Learning Model | Le Brouhaha & Game of Moans | 2020 LearnX Impact Awards

  • Best Unique and Innovative Talent Acquisition Strategy | The Pitch | 2020 Brandon Hall Excellence Awards

  • Best Unique or Innovative Leadership Program | Le Brouhaha & Game of Moans | 2020 Brandon Hall Excellence Awards

  • Best Team Development Program | Le Brouhaha & Game of Moans | 2020 Brandon Hall Excellence Awards

  • Best Use of Gamification and Simulations for Learning | The Battle | 2019 Brandon Hall Excellence Awards

  • Best Learning Program Supporting a Change Transformation Strategy | Le Brouhaha & Game of Moans | 2019 Brandon Hall Excellence Awards

  • Best Change Management Strategy | Le Brouhaha & Game of Moans | 2019 LearnX Impact Awards

  • Best Team Building Strategy | Le Brouhaha & Game of Moans | 2019 LearnX Impact Awards

  • External Learning Solution of the Year | Le Brouhaha & Game of Moans | 2019 LPI Learning Awards (Finalist)

  • Best Use of Gamification and Simulations for Learning | The Battle | 2018 l AITD Training Excellence Awards (Highly Commended)

  • Best Leadership Program | Le Brouhaha & Game of Moans | 2018 l AITD Training Excellence Awards

  • Best Team Building Project | The Battle | 2017  | LearnX Impact Awards

  • Best Use of Gamification and Simulations for Learning | The Battle | 2016 l AITD Training Excellence Awards

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