In 2000 we built Tactec, a game about the tactics of electronic
trade. We have created a frame game with which you can develop a global implementation plan. It can be applied at the tactical level of electronic commerce, but also in many other situations.
When Tactec was built, eCommerce has undergone rapid development. We wanted to be able to quickly adjust the game. That is why we have separated the game mechanism from the game content. Tactec became a so-called frame game. The content of the game may vary and was no longer limited to eCommerce alone.
We now use Tactec as an exercise with which groups can develop a global implementation plan for organizational change, a new service, a new ICT system, etc. We make a new case description and the game is ready to be played. The case is also very concrete and fits the target group at that time.
The participants go through the following steps in half a day:
- Stakeholder Inventory – During a Tactec session, participants first generate a long list of stakeholders involved in the process. Once they have more than 20, the facilitator asks them to reduce this number to the seven most important ones. This usually results in an interesting discussion that leads to a common frame of reference and a shared vision on main issues and side issues. We continue to focus on the seven remaining stakeholders.
- Dissemination of roles – The participants are divided into seven different roles. Each role ensures one of the stakeholders. They must guarantee that the perspective of the stakeholders is recognized. Note that they do not “play” the stakeholder.
- Current situation – Each role summarizes the current situation from the perspective of the relevant stakeholder. This results in seven short descriptions (a few keywords are sufficient). The group will assess them for completeness and consistency. Results are written on colored stickers and glued on the game board (a large poster, see photo).
- Desired situation – The previous step is repeated for the desired situation; that is, the desired result of the implementation process from the perspective of the stakeholder.
- Scenario – The roles then formulate a plausible way to switch from the current situation to the desired situation in about four steps. This yields seven scenarios that also come with stickers on the game board. The group will reassess them on internal horizontal consistency.
- Cross check – finally, the group checks the whole for vertical consistency and completeness. Perhaps activities on one line should be postponed until certain activities are completed on another line.
The original conference article about Tactec can be downloaded for free from http://bit.ly/00pvdh-tactec.