Le Brouhaha

An agile simulation showcased at a Sydney project management meetup
21 Nov 2017

Le Brouhaha

An Agile project management simulation set in 18th Century revolutionary France.

The French term “brouhaha” has the following translations according to the English Collins dictionary:  hubbub; commotion; a babel of noise; a babble of voices; cross talk. Sounds like projects to us!

A glorious din of collaboration, competition and merriment was just what our project management simulation ‘Le Brouhaha’ created at the popular project management meetup group ‘Delivering Value – Shaping the Future’ on 9 November in Sydney. Here Elemental Projects delivered our new Agile simulation to showcase the power of gamified simulations for building project management competence, teaching Agile PM principles, and team building in a project context.

Royalists and Revolutionaries competed for land and victory in this super fun simulation incorporating Agile sprints, planning sessions and retrospectives, quality control, and of course French generals, drones and Nerf guns.

Generals – Le Brouhaha

Learnings Galore

As well as being a lot of fun, the retrospectives at the end of each sprint, and the facilitated debrief at the end of Le Brouhaha, proved to be potent devices for maximising learning, skill development and team building for all. This was demonstrated by the reflections offered by participants in the final debrief:

  • “We became much more effective as an army when we collaborated and learnt from our own mistakes and the mistakes of other teams”
  • “The mini retrospectives after each sprint were a valuable mechanism to improve practice and inform strategy for the next sprint”
  • “More direction from the Captains [Scrum Masters], would have helped the team”
  • “When roles and strategy were clear we were more effective”
  • “We needed a different approach to get a different result – to find the enemy’s weak spot”
  • “We were more productive in target making when we started to apply the concept of Minimum Viable Product”
  • “Following the rules were important – we dominated the war games but yellow cards cost us victory in the end”.

Prior to the main event, Elemental Projects and Sydney Water co-presented a case study on how project simulations were used to embed a change and ‘nudge’ culture for Sydney Water’s Delivery Management Group with the multi award-winning simulation, The Battle, in 2016. Brendan Hill (Capability Manager, Sydney Water) explained that “putting a fun spin on change was a powerful way to engage and unite people and drive transformation – and this translated into measurable business outcomes for Sydney Water”.

The session concluded with a behind-the-curtain look at gamification techniques and how project leaders and managers can use these tools to design relevant team building events and project simulations for their project communities and organisations at a time when ‘transformation’ is the norm.

The best quote of the night from a happy participant summed up the value of simulations in a nutshell: “Thanks for reminding us about the forgotten practice of having fun while collaborating. Lots of smiles and laughter, increased interaction and ice breaking between attendees”. 

Contact Elemental Projects for more information on the use of project simulations, such as Le Brouhaha, Game of MoansThe Battle, Mad About Projects and The Pitch, to ignite change, learning and capability uplift within your organisation.