Diggers™  is our Agile/Lean work-and-management simulation workshop, providing an immersive experiential learning environment for 10-20 people.

Would you like to run Diggers with your team in New Zealand, Australia, or Asia/Pacific? Contact us. If you are further afield, let us know you are interested and we will try to help.

Would you like to use Diggers in your own coaching and consulting? We’re sorry but Diggers is only used by Teal Unicorn. We may make it available in future so let us know you are interested.

Would you like to download Diggers? We are sorry but Diggers is not public domain – it’s ours.

Why Diggers?

The context of the workshop simulation is a digger (excavator, backhoe) factory. The experience is relate-able whether you work in government, manufacturing, retail, HR, sales, or technology, in any sector.

Learning is far more effective when you touch and interact with a system instead of just hearing theory.

Very few Agile/Lean learning simulations give you the opportunity to see how management changes as well as the work, but this one does!!

And even fewer game experiences are actually an agile workshop experience themselves. We walk the walk:

  • the day is iterative and incremental, working to a cadence, with regular time for reflection and replanning.
  • the simulation “story” is different every time as the facilitator responds to the learning experience and ideas of the participants, so that we collaboratively explore the ideas of Agile, Lean, Devops, and other New Ways Of Working.
  • every workshop is an experiment, where the facilitator and participants invent new aspects of the game as we go.

The result is an intense, immersive, accelerated, fun learning experience; the most powerful day of training you will ever have on the New Ways Of Working And Managing.

Other games we provide include:
The Phoenix Project
We have approaching
a hundred games
to choose from!

Benefits for you:

  • understand what serious-play learning looks like: simulation games
  • learn about new ways of working: Agile, Lean, Devops…
  • learn about new ways of managing (I’m not aware of any other training that does this)
  • take away insights you can use at work



and now:

The Message

The Message is a game of self-organisation.

Diggers teaches us how 15-25 people can change the ways of working by increasing flow in a system, with help from experts.

The Message teaches us how 25-100 people self organise to do creative work, with light coaching.

See it here




What is Diggers?

We try not to call Diggers a game, although it certainly involves serious play for learning. And it uses toy bricks.

But a better term is a simulation. Diggers is not a game with a fixed set of rules and structure, it is a coaching event with work simulation tools built around a factory making diggers (excavators).

It is a simulation tool to support a lean/agile coach in taking 12-20 people on a journey of work improvement, exploring new ways of working and of managing work.

Diggers is always an experiment. We tailor the scenarios according to what the organisation wants to learn: customer value, product vs project, lean flow, organisation, creativity, servant leadership, governance controls etc… There are (currently) 30 modules to be played at will.

Then every time will be different, as we follow the team on their learnings by choosing which components of the simulation to invoke. We don’t know where it will end, only that it will be better. Just like real life.

There is no script to it, not even a fixed number of rounds. It could easily roll for days although we typically run it in one day. If we run out of parts we cannibalise built diggers, so there is an infinite supply. We could even roll new people in. It simulates a workplace learning new ways of working.

What’s more, the simulation tool itself changes as we learn from the students. We are adding components and variations all the time. The facilitator will try new things, stimulated by attendee ideas.

What do we learn?

The simulation is constantly growing, but basically it involves New Ways Of Working:

  • multiple modes of working: project vs product, factory vs development
  • fluidity of work: pull, get out of the way, skills not roles, maximise work not done
  • it’s about the system: value, value stream, visualise work, remove waste, optimise
  • empower people: trust, respect, design the work, shift left, reward failure
  • new ways of management: servant leader, go to gemba, autonomy and purpose
  • continual improvement: failure, reflection, measurement, learning, fast feedback, defects over new
  • theory of work: complex systems, antifragile, Agile, Lean, DevOps

Where is it available?

We only run Diggers on demand. if there is enough demand we may run a public session, but in general we run it for a specific team. We can run it on your premises or arrange a venue.
All you need is a large-ish meeting room with whiteboard and some tables and chairs.

What does it cost?

About the same as similar one day workshops for 12-20 people. it depends on location, numbers, duration and so on. Ask us.


  • The physical, practical element of making the diggers from Lego® parts added an additional benefit. Being a high tactile person that made things “more real” for me.
  • After 7 years working [here], this is the first and only training course which gets me that excited.
  • The investment of time and people is well outweighed by the growth and development from the day. Having enthusiastic conversations with other participants since the day is another great indicator of value. Collateral growth in enthusiasm and engagement is intangible but still real!
  • It was a brilliant simulation and one that I would recommend as many people go on as possible!
  • I cannot over-emphasise how much better learning by doing is!
  • Great course, wish it was longer
  • It gives me greater confidence that what I have read is correct and a better way to work.
  • I received value from greater understanding of the concepts, I prefer experiential opportunities and to be indulged in that was awesome. I particularly appreciated the ability to observe some of my team members, colleagues and peers operating out of their comfort zone and it helps me to understand best approaches for future interactions with them.
  • The insights it provided in a non-threatening environment about how different roles in a process see the world, but how it takes a collaborative approach to working that leads to improvement. In the game you get to collaborate and improve the process, but the realisation was that if you didn’t get to do that, the pressure and the stress would build and build. This gave me insight into it not being good enough to have one part of your operation become agile if another part is left behind.
  • This so closely mirrored the situation I am in in real life it was scary.
  • The pride the team got in developing a better process was evident. Even though it was a simulation there was a genuine feeling of accomplishment that the process was improved and the team worked well together.
  • The game made it easy for me to make the connections with real world – reinforced that the right approach is the one taken in the game where people are empowered to make a difference.
  • The energy in the room was brilliant and the results in the final round were way better than I would have thought we could have achieved.
  • Provided a useful validation of some things I believe in and got me to rethink some of the process/system issues and how they impact us all if we don’t collaborate to do something about them. There was a lot more and the insights into how some roles are in effect “set up” for stress was useful but how it is in not leaving them behind that the improvement is achieved.
  • It felt more like a real situation, perhaps because I started out in the hot seat but more I think because it was a good simulation of real life (and I know will get better as Rob applies feedback to it).
  • Seriously, business owners can feel comfortable operating their business right after studying this course without having to touch their business activities. The reason is that business owners change their perception rightly:
    – Before this workshop I thought as long as I have a plan, I’ll do it right. Then if things go wrong, I consider we failed and disappointed about myself and irritated with the staff. Now knowing that the plan will always need adjustment, it is more secure.
    – Before the workshop, I expected my staff to get it right the first time. Now I know that one needs at least to do it 3 times, so I will have a suitable plan.
    – Before this, I thought a boss knows more than the staff and the boss embraces the decision making. As a result, the boss is “carry monkeys on his back” and increasingly stressful ..
  • For the first time in my life I studied and l liked it :)) literally means “learn from experience”
    Thank you, Cherry Vu and Mr. Rob.
  • Amazing workshop thanks to Diggers game! There is no need to explain many principles that we have learned 3 days ago. Playing this game, we unpacked all of them.
  • The workshop reflects exactly the chaotic operational situation of companies, except that the curtains are removed for everyone to see, using agile knowledge to solve problems quickly. Many problems have been revealed and many solutions are evoked in just one day. Very valuable.
  • Really good and valuable day and I will encourage people to do this.
  • Learn by doing – it really works for me. Obviously making diggers out of Lego® parts is pretty cool too 🙂
  • I liked how doing something easy such as making a Lego® digger becomes complex when you create processes around it. It feels like a good analogy for what most of us do at work.
  • The game was fun and it really didn’t feel like work, but the takeaways were valuable and there was so much that I felt could be applied to our ways of working.
  • Great course – I reckon everyone should do it.
  • I got to take a Lego® digger home 🙂