Experiencing Flow of Work with the Ping-pong game

What do you need to play?

  • 4-6 Team members
  • 1 Manager
  • 1 Facilitator
  • 20-40 Ping-pong balls
  • A bowl

Rules

Everyone must touch the ball with both hands and pass it on to the next team member to finish a feature.

Round 1 -3

The game facilitatior start by giving the team a ball
The ball is passed through all team members.
The ball is put in the bowl by the last team member that touches the ball with both hands.
Repeat 3x (start with different team members each round)

Pause – The facilitator pauses the game (everyone freeze)
The manager walks in and watches the team and walks out again

Play – The facilitator starts the game again and everyone continues passing the ball

Pause – The facilitator pauses the game (everyone freeze)
The manager walks in again, and sees “this”
5 team members idle and 1 team member working!
What a waste of resources!! Everyone should be 100% Utilized!!

Solution – The team now gets a manager that will ensure everyone is 100% utilized and keep everyone busy at all times!

Round 4

Facilitator hands out work to everyone ensuring everyone has one ball in each hand at all times

Pause – The facilitator pauses the game (everyone freeze)
The manager walks in again, and sees “this”

All team members are 100% utilizwed everyone is kept busy

The manager is happy
Now we get value for our money, everyone is busy working really hard!!

Except 1 problem
The customer wonders, where is my stuff?
The bowl with delivered features is empty!

What happened?

Resource
Utilization
Flow TimeThroughput
(Velocity)
10-15% 5 sec 12 balls/min
100% Infinite 0
30% 5 sec24 balls/min

Round 5

Show the first round of PUSH
Offer work to be PULLED

Press Pause: Explain

Optimize resource utilization without sacrificing flow

Lean approach

100% Resource Utilization = 0% Flow

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