So, in a remote company, I do believe you have to work,
perhaps, harder at having amazing relationships and growing
everyone professionally. In an office, you must be intentional. I
think in a remote ecosystem, you have to be much more
How do you define success
for your virtual teams?
How do you know if your virtual team is effective?
Do you measure
What results do
Do you know how
you can improve?
Negative results can illustrate team challenges
Negative results… …can indicate that team challenges.
• Missed deadlines
• Spending over budget
• Poor product quality
• Investing in features that aren’t usable or
• Missing team and corporate targets
• Missing revenue targets
• Communication challenges
• Poor leadership
• Interpersonal relationships and dynamics
• Team not aligned to goals
• Unclear and poorly communicated goals and
We provide a way to determine how effective
your virtual team is
Help you define success for
your virtual team and
Qualitative and Quantitative
• Include multiple method for tracking
for checks and balances
• Metrics identify and clarify problems
Game becomes a diagnostic
and track results
Why this Game?
We’ve created a simulation of what it’s like to work on a virtual team.
Employees can learn about themselves alongside colleagues in a fun,
safe, stimulating environment.
Does your virtual team have these questions?
How do we avoid
improve our communication?
How do we build trust when
we aren’t in the same
How can we be productive
when people are out of reach
How can we build better
How may your team be feeling?
Here’s a challenge that surprised me: on the same day, I had a
remote employee vent about feeling lonely, while someone at
the office complained about the office being too noisy.
Empathy occurs much less naturally, even with
lots of video chat and long phone conversations.
This is a double edged sword; decisions are less charged by
emotion, but it can also be easier to become unreasonably
angry and frustrated at someone who you don’t grab a meal
with very often, and you can become a bit too distant.
Virtual teams are here to stay
Despite these challenges, companies are hiring remote workers in record
Improving the work culture for remote employees improves it for everyone!
79% of knowledge workers
said they work from home
-- Recent global survey by PGI
In 2015 23% of employees
reported doing some of their
work remotely, up from 19
percent in 2003.*
-- Bureau of Labor Statistics
Telecommuting made up
2.6% of the American
workforce or 3.2 million
workers in 2014. Today, it is
-The New York Times
Every culture works differently - be effective
The approach that worked for one company may not
work for you.
How do you know?
Play our game and find out!
Empathy Exercises: Virtual Team Edition
Team members learn how to
quickly fit into a team and get
Team members develop
empathy for non-colocated
team members to counteract
Managers, facilitators, and
product designers can design
better experiences for remote
Managers and facilitators can
awareness to strengthen Agile
We bring these supplies to setup the game
• Blindfolds & earplugs
• Laminated Activity Cards & dry erase pens
• Stickie notes & ballpoint pens
• Role cards outline rules and objectives from various perspectives
• Timezone cards simulate challenges to connect in real time
• Various checklists dependent on the game players’ roles distributed
to the teams
Game Design can be Customized
• The game objective or mission will be customized to be most
impactful for your company and teams.
• Roles, activities, numbers of timezones, etc. incorporate scenarios
that are familiar and relevant for your employees.
• Preparatory meetings, checklists and run-throughs ensure that all
Create an online Store
Players get 11-12 activity cards that outline
tasks to complete during the game
• Everyone but the Project Manager starts with blindfolds ON
• At least one person at each table has to wear a blindfold at all times
• Project Manager decides who wears the earplugs (min of 2/table)
• Project Manager can change who wears blindfolds & earplugs
• Product Owner can override the Product Manager’s decisions about
blindfolds & earplugs
• All activities must be approved by the Product Owner
• We must validate that the event card action was completed
Sample Game Roles
Title What to do
Project Manager - 1 • The only person who can see at all times
• Monitor team standards & complete the standards list
• Note: There is a UX person there if you need them.
Product Owner - 1 • Manages, prioritizes, approves activities
• 100% visibility as to what's going on
• Note: There is a UX person there if you need them.
Developers - 2 • Follow special instructions
QA - 1 • Determine product health.
• Defines when a task is complete.
UX - 1 • Move your chair 3 ft. from the table
• Follow special instructions
Event cards make play fun & rewarding
• Random announcements or twists to the game
• Your server is crashing and you don’t know why.
• Developers need to pitch a solution to the product owner for a thumbs up
• Trade your UX person with another team.
• Sick developer! One developer sits out for the rest of iteration
• Product Owner goes to Product Owner corner for 2 minutes
• Prep for sales meets
• Talk funder off the ledge
• Rescue an exploding partnership
• 90 - 120 min game includes at least 3 rounds
• 90+ min for reflection and creating an improvement plan
• How far did you get in each timeboxed round?
• What did you learn?
• What would you do differently next time?
Finding what works for you!
• We will work with you to design an experience that is just right for
your employees, teams and/or colleagues
• Every game is professionally co-facilitated
• If desired, we will provide our observations / recommendations
about your work culture as follow-up