The Kanban Pizza Game our new Game to experience principles behind Kanban
I am a true believer in agile, lean and yoga. Sometimes a prophet, sometimes a pirat.
I'm an agile42 coach. Sometimes I'm excited and sometimes I feel more like Marvin ;-) Follow me @ralfhh
Most effective trainings are interactive! Therefore we invented the Kanban Pizza Game(TM) for our Kanban Training. We put it under the Creative Commons License, so you can use it for free just mention agile42 :-)
From the existing process to a Kanban System
While common Kanban games are usually focussing only on the flow in an existing Kanban system, our new Kanban Pizza Game shows in addition how to get from an existing process to a Kanban system.
Based on Paper and Pizza
Like with our agile42 Scrum Lego City Game we wanted to use also for the Kanban game something that everybody knows and everybody can Do. Additionally we tried to stay away from it-szenarios to avoid that the people think to much about the simularity to their current working environment. We find, that the idea of using Paper-Pizza fits great with this.
The Flow of the Game
1. Create an implicit process
Kanban starts with an existing process. Therefore we create at the beginning of the game the first implicit process by just building as much pizza slices (Hawaian :-)) as possible.
2. Step by step to the Kanban System
During the game we introduce additional aspects like:
- Introduce orders (which contain more than one peace of pizza)
- Storage for items in production
- Limit the items in production
- Introduce a new type of pizza to adapt the process to this situation
3. From the game to a real Kanban Board
As the next step we want to bring the game closer to the real working situation of the teams. Therefor we transform the Pizza-Process, which was displayed with cover-tape on each table to a real KanBan Board.
This was the last step to reflect and to connect the experienced Kanban-flow from an indipendent simulation to a possibly real project board.
Now, after the visualization in form of the Kanban board it is really easy to speak about:
- Visualize the workflow
- Limit WIP
- Measure and optimize lead time
Visualize the workflow
With the physical production of the Pizza the workflow was always pretty present, and with the drawing of the workflow we could reflect the current process.
Through the game some kind of bottlenecks and queues piled up. During the game we introduced work in progress limits to make sure that we produce the right things and to avoid that we loose points for unused materials. The participants experienced that WIP-Limits are more than just intentional limitations but forcing also to change behavior. People interact more on the overall production, communicate more and help eachother more when needed.
Measure and optimize lead time
In the game we didn't measured the lead time, because it would make the game more complicated. Instead we build in a point system, that triggers the same behaviour of optimizing the flow.
In the real world we haven't such a point system. Here we use the average lead time as measurement and optimize accordingly.
First Time Played @ Tampere Goes Agile
In Tampere we played it the first time on a larger scale with 30 people. We got a lot of positive feedback and it looks like that the game has a lot of potential.
Here are some impressions of the session:
Feedback from the Session at Tampere goes agile (14 green (+), 4 yellow(~) and one red(-))