Every now and then in my workshops in ‘practice in project management’, we play with lego :p
Yea, I know what your thinking right now, what kind of workshop is this? – Rest assured, there is a meaning be hide this…
In this week’s workshop, lean project management techniques/principles was the focus. And lego was the way our workshop facilitators chose to drill this into our heads. The game we played was called;
“The Lean Production.” – A time boxed event (last for 30 minutes/or longer). With up-to 4+ sprints/iterations consisting of 2 or more teams.
Challenge? – Simulate an production line, with three roles (fetcher, builder & tester/analyst). Work as a unit to manufacture items (built with lego) based on a prototype given by the customer (product owner).
- Points awarded when items produced identically match the prototype.
- Points deducted for any waste lego blocks (lego not used).
- Points deducted for items manufactured that don’t look identical to the prototype.
After each interaction, units/teams MUST conduct an production review. Why? – Next interaction = work smarter, faster as a unit/team to manufacture more completed items.
Point of exercise? – work within a unit/team to …
- co-ordinate team objectives.
- refine processes/tools used within production.
- reduce waste.
- become efficient.
- work smarter & faster.
Goal: become a lean, mean production machine!!
My Takeaway from this workshop: Lego is the best and only way of learning 😉
On a serious note. I’ve learnt to always consider how as a team, you can improve the way you go about doing things. Especially for software projects. Always “Review” your road to production processes. And think about ways to make your life easier.
Illustrative “summary” of the game…
Started with a massive pile of lego, like this image below.
After 30 minutes, with 4 sprints/iterations. End up with something like this…
… Many copies of your original prototype. Pretty simple in context, harder in practice.
You should try this out for yourself. This <http://www.slideshare.net/dtsato/lean-lego-game> slide deck can help explain the rules of the game 🙂