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Accelerating Agile Adoption with Serious Gaming at Unilever


This is an Experience Story by Angela Mejia, Global Marketing Director Unilever, using Serious Gaming to accelerate change and make it more fun!

The Unilever Marketing team for Amora-Maille strives to exceed customer expectations by quickly responding to market trends, which requires the team to stay at the forefront of innovation. "To bring global and local execution closer together and focus on the future with each other, we needed a new way of working and a new shared mindset," says Angela Mejia, Global Marketing Director at Unilever.

To accelerate this process, Unilever partook in Xebia's innovative online 'Accelerate Simulation.' A serious game, developed by Rik de Groot and Marianne Pot, both Agile Consultants at Xebia. The simulation allows people to explore boundaries, experiment, change strategies and make mistakes without directly affecting real life. During the game, people practice skills and become familiar with new behavior, which increases their confidence to bring it into practice. The team looks back on a successful and insightful day and share their experiences with building a virtual theme park the Agile way!

Making a critical shift
Before the team decided to take the Agile route, marketing was primarily local. To move to a 'glocal' and more efficient way of working, the team started working Agile. Mejia explains: "By introducing Agile, we are making a crucial shift to team responsibility and prioritization, enabling us to balance the workload, accelerate valuable results and ensure that speed and resources align with the value we generate for our business."

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Serious Gaming as part of Transformation
Xebia's Acceleration Simulation was part of the transformation. However, the team had some doubts, as it was December, which is a busy time for most businesses. But, after playing, they were impressed by how the game enables people to bring theory into action without risking deliverables. Mejia adds: “One of the barriers to implementing a new way of working is, what if it doesn’t work and we can’t deliver what we are supposed to? The simulation helps overcome this by allowing teams to experience Agile in practice. It helps identify potential challenges, opportunities and create a common ground to leap into execution. It was nice to see that we adapted so fast, and I think the game played a great part in that.” 

Accelerate Simulation Unilever
Angela Mejia, Global Marketing Director Unilever

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