An evaluation run

I’ve sent five copies of the game to some global intranet colleagues whose expert judgement I trust. I hope they will test and like the game idea!

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Skärmavbild 2019-02-11 kl. 07.56.11

Second version of the cards

Based on input from some tests I have redesigned all cards. Now the cards are used in three steps instead of five, and it is also more obvious what step each card belongs to.

The cards have also gotten double classes, both “activity” type and “product part” of the intranet.

I’ve also had the cards made at a professional studio instead of printing and cutting every card myself. Decks for ten games exists today, enough for further tests and sending a few games to colleagues for evaluation.


First live test

I’ve had the opportunity to test the game in a workshop with eight participants. We had a great workshop and I got a lot of excellent feedback.

Based on this input I will build a second beta version!


Game is ready for test run

Finally! I’ve made five copies of the game. I’m soo bored of making cards (600 of them) with a pair of scissors.

Now I’m ready for a test with some friends! Hopefully the participants will like the game.


The right game boards

After some experimenting with the game boards I’m now confident that I have the right solution. I must have been to the stationery shop at least ten times. Funny, I thought I would never need to buy paper in a shop again, this being digital times. But it is something special, building a real, physical game.

Below are the game boards placed for a test run of the game.


More card sorting, checking the logic of the game. This time on the floor since all tables was too small for the exercise.



Finding the right paper and plastic sleeves

Making a board game confronts you with a lot of new questions. What should the game board be made of? How thick can the paper be for the cards? (note: check the manual for the home printer) Maybe the cards should be in plastic sleeves of some kind? (WHERE can I find such sleeves?)

I’m going to present the game in a conference in November, so now I need to make FIVE identical games, not just one. 600 hand-cut cards 5×5 game boards… I’m working late in the nights.


Cards, cards, cards

After a big round of collecting work tasks from different places, including my own 15 years as intranet manager and team leader, it is time to put tasks on cards – and try to bring some order to them. I realise tasks can be sorted in at least three different ways (team member they belong to, maintenance vs development and a lot of sub classes, and “product component” e.g. “decision”, CMS, or “support”) and the cards need so signal this so all teams can feel at home. At the same time one set of cards in one row need to harmonise with the cards in another row…

The kitchen table is full of cards. I’m already into my third deck and need to iterate at least two more times.


An idea

IMG_3795It’s the middle of summer, an unusually long, dry, warm summer in Sweden. I have four weeks vacation, but on and off intranets are in my thoughts—on the beach, when we hike in the Norwegian mountains, when I mow the lawn.

This is normal, being me. I’ve worked on and thought about intranets for 15 years. And I love the product, the possible services it can contain and the impact a good intranet can have in an organisation. Sometimes at nights I even dream about intranets—but don’t say this to anyone. I know you understand me, but others, not in the intranet business, could think I’m a bit crazy.

All this time I’ve dealt with issues around intranets. Often it’s tangible things: Search isn’t working the right way. The menu shows too much and the user is confused. H1 headlines ought to be larger. Easy things to fix.

But when you’re an intranet manager there are also other, more abstract things getting in the way: How can we in the team get the budget we need when the line manager doesn’t have any money? Who’s really approving the intranet development plan? All those different stakeholders, how should we handle them when they all seem to think they alone decide about the intranet? How can we get the intranet owner to really understad what we have to do? How can the team get the education-and-support activities done when no-one in the team is keen on doing it? You know, the underlying things that so often put a spanner in the works.

These things have been nagging me for a long time. I like to think I’m good at speaking about intranets and what needs to be done, but when you manage an intranet abstract issues are often hard to describe and even harder to solve. Sometimes you are actually fighting a war against the organisation’s inherent dysfunctions.

This summer a new idea starts forming in my head: What if I could use some of the techniques we already apply in the daily intranet work for putting the spotlight on the abstract needs?

Take card sorting, tree testing, the Microsoft reaction cards, a RACI matrix, general intranet team role descriptions, some ideas from a really good book about product leadership, the card game Old Maid and Harry S Truman’s Desk sign—what could this be if I could pull it all together? (Yeah, I know, I think about many things.)

Suddenly I’m starting to see every intranet task and responsibility as cards in my hand.