Cynefin Games

What is the Cynefin game

The Cynefin A&E Simulation Game (working title) is a new game that’s under development.

Based on the Cynefin Framework, the game is based on a fictitious Accident & Emergency ward (aka Medical Emergency Room). The players are presented with different scenarios where patients arrive in different medical conditions and states of distress. The players need to know which Cynefin domain to place the patients, and be aware of the dynamics between the domains. This is challenging because there isn’t often a full understanding of each patient’s condition and the constraints in the emergency ward.

The game and framework are designed to encourage participants to make better assessment of the complexity of different real-world situations, and to make use of a structured decision model to treat each situation with appropriate care and consideration.

Where it’s been played

It’s been well received by the Telegraph (2015), Financial Times (2016), UK Government’s Cabinet Office (2016), several events such as Adventures with Agile (2016) and at the London Agile Coaching Network (2016).

In 2017, with Tomasz Kropiewnicki, the game was adapted to be based on a sci-fi scenarios (working title HMS Cynefin). This version has been run at a few events such as with the London Management 3.0 Meetup group.

In October 2017, Adroc Consulting used the game at a major financial institution to provide the leadership team with a framework for them to use to manage the variety of scenarios that present themselves.

Also in October 2017, at a talk at Agile Tour London, the game wasn’t played, but some the game’s scenarios were discussed. Here’s the Cynefin talk slide deck.

Credit goes to Dave Snowden

The Cynefin framework has been developed by the esteemed academic and consultant Dave Snowden. It’s part of his Cogntive Edge consultancy.

Rights to Cognitive Edge techniques and tools

Rights to use Cognitive Edge techniques and tools commercially have been obtained. If you choose to use their techniques and tools commercially ensure you’ve obtained the rights.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons License
Cynefin A&E Simulation Game by Dean Latchana is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on the work at

Why the game and material is available for everyone, for free

The game and the material has been added to the Creative Commons because I’d like many people to play the game. I hope this will promote the many ways the Cynefin framework can help individuals, teams, organisations and society. I believe the framework can help us understand and improve the world.

The only thing I’d ask is for people to mention me, Dean Latchana, as the creator of the game, and give credit to Dave Snowden as the thought-leader and originator of the framework.

At the moment the material is raw. It hasn’t been developed into something you can simply pick-up and start playing with your team. Therefore I recommend you contact me ( to learn more about it, and perhaps find out if I can facilitate a session with you and your team.

Finally, since the game is in development, please give me feedback (

Game material

Presentation slides (June 2016)

Guidance for Gamemasters (June 2016)

Scenario cards (June 2016)

Board for the game (2016)