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"What the Heck is EA?" is a game to help illustrate the difference between a technology driven solution and an architected solution.  The game walks through two scenarios:  Technology Driven vs. Architecture Driven.  You want to play the Technology Driven scenario first.   This is an opportunity to call out the risks and issues with Technology Driven architectures.  That is, architectures which are built by acquiring one technology after another.   Then play the Architecture driven scenario second and use it to highlight the advantages of having decisions that are tied to the strategy and where you have done the analysis of impacts up front.   This is a tool to have a discussion in a fun and neutral way.

To use the tool:

There are three PDFs in the archive (see the link at the bottom of the page).   

  • EAGame Score Sheets - this is the score sheet for people to fill out.  Print two sided, one per player or team playing.
  • ITANA What is EA Architecture 55x85 Booklet - this is the booklet for the Architecture Driven Scenario.  Print one per player or table.  They are folded in half and center stapled.
  • ITANA What is EA TEchnology 55x85 Booklet - this is the booklet for the Technology Driven Scenario.   Print one per player or table.  They are folded in half and center stapled
IMPORTANT:  You will need to provide 6 sided dice or die simulator for each player.
Things to remember:
  • This is really a chance for you to talk about the issues with each step in the technology driven scenario (e.g.  You picked bad technology because it is "what your peers use" leads to problems with migrating users because the UI is bad and it is hard to implement because the technology is old).  
  • You want to think through your "stories" for each scenario.  How will you talk about the roles for each step?  What would you like to highlight?  Are there examples you can use?  
  • Ask the players for example cases if they have them.  Make the game and stories come alive.
  • There are 5 Expert Points that people can use in each scenario.  Bring those points to life.  Remind them that they could use a consultant to help along the way.  Remind them that the unused points count in the overall score because you saved money or time of your experts along the way.
  • The scoring is a bit complex.  Make sure you understand how to score and can explain it well.   I'm looking at redesigning the score sheet to make the score flow more obvious.
  • Have fun.  It is a game.
Here is the archive of the PDFs as a zip file:

Please provide feedback via the ITANA email list.  Let us know what works and doesn't work.  Let us know when you play the game.

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