Faced with a process that isn’t working, teams are empowered to change it - then test it - then measure the level of improvement.
For 5 teams (with 2 or 3 people per team)
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Teams are split into five ‘departments’ – Sales, Production Control, Production 1 & 2, Packaging. They communicate with one another via a series of in-trays and work through ‘Day 1’ to see how many customer orders they can get out of the door. ‘Day 1’ lasts 30 minutes. The average orders fulfilled is 0 or 1.
The groups then split into new teams and discuss the problems and issues that were highlighted. Some departments were overworked; some were overstaffed; communications were slow. Teams are empowered to change whatever they like and prepare for ‘Day 2’. ‘Day 2’ lasts 30 minutes. Average orders fulfilled is 9 or 10.
Change can work!
Full guidance is provided in the Trainer’s Notes and the PowerPoint presentation.
I used 'Improve that Process!' with a group from a manufacturing industry. It was a great game, with lots of learning points about the benefits of Process v. Departmentalised working – and it was easy to use.
S. Brown, Developing People Ltd
It was truly amazing! Everyone felt the exercise was extremely valuable and powerful. You could see what happens in an organisation with poor processes. Issues that surface slowly over a period of time within an organisation were simulated in just half an hour!
J. L. Vogel, Lehmann Vogel & Partner, Germany
Used on a training course to demonstrate change and continuous improvement with a group of 12 junior managers. It translated theory into practice very well. The best learning points included: planning, change, working smartly and process management. A good activity – very useful and active. Ideal for my course.
Sue Martin, Westland Helicopters
Used on our corporate training programme that promotes “systems” thinking. It highlighted how we unconsciously try to make bureaucratic, hierarchical, naff systems work – rather than radically design them. Delegates realise that activity and customer focussed outputs are two different things. A highly participative exercise that very quickly demonstrates how systems that aren’t designed to meet demand de-moralise willing workers and fail to meet customer needs.
J. Lee, Cheshire County Council
A highly immersive, engaging and fun activity, which delivers some profound lessons about process improvement, communication and teamwork. There are a number of valuable learning outcomes which can be related back to the workplace. It's important to spend time getting to know the activity and setting up in advance, however, once it's up and running it works brilliantly. It is also a joy to observe.
Stuart Warner, Finance Trainer, Financial Fluency