Lean game


I wunder if there is somebody who have a good "lean exercises" for classroom training, or maybe a simple lean game, and somebody who is willing to share this information with me. I will use it for student trainings...

/best regards/sweden

You can find a lean exercise on http://www.implement-lean-manufacturing.com

I have used the lego airplane from visionary products for over eight years and love it. It is fun, highly interactive, and everyone I've trained using this product has liked it (200+). Please email me if you need any additional information. [email protected]

I have used a simple Tennis Ball Exercise. You use 3 tennis balls and 7 to 10 people with two or more groups (ideal). The object is to have everyone touch each ball in order (repeatable process) while lifting restrictions each round.
I have attached files. Hope it works for you.

Bob Forder

Tennis Ball Exercise - Deloro.ppt

Tennis Ball Spreadsheet.xls

I need a 'long lean simulation' that can run over 3-5 days as a stand along training, covering various aspects/ tools of lean through several rounds.

Any ideas/ leads?

Something off the shelf is ok but not too expensive. Preferrably if I can get some instructions/ design or flow that can be used with lego blocks or something just as handy.



I have used several trainings for the past 15 years to drive home and implement the lean principles. They are highly interactive and incorporate many of the typical concepts but simplifies the learning, which I've found the participants enjoy and learn more from. I have these available if you are interested. It's a set of 3 individual trainings (process flow/mapping, 1 piece flow, and line balancing). They are not free because they contain many components along with a CD of the presentation including detailed presenter notes. Each set comes complete and you can also get them as stand alone sessions. You can email me at [email protected] if you want more information on these.

I use the simulations found here.theleanman.com

he has a 9 loop simulation that could last a long time for value stream mapping. I love it.

Good Luck.

You may want to consider the following Lean & Six Sigma Integration Simulation. It creates an understanding of how ALL the pieces of Lean/Sigma fit together to increase flow; reduce costs and generate revenue plus the order that they should be integrated into the change process.

The simulation covers the following:
. Focused layouts (Cell design)
. 5s and visual management of inventory
. Inventory control
. Supplier control
. Overtime - how to use it effectively
. Increased yield potential
. Reduced variation in the processes
. Kanban systems in a pull environment
. Pull systems and their effectiveness over push
. Reduction of inventory

The simulation is run on a module by module basis and each module is compared to a forecast built at the beginning. Through this process it is proven graphically that Lean/Sigma is much more effective overall than any other operating process.

The attachment will show you how the simulation and forecast works as different Lean and Six Sigma Tools are introduced into the process.

You can download Module 7 'Reduction of Variation & Higher Yield Potential' from the Home Page by clicking the Lean & Six Sigma Integration Simulation link:


Lean Sigma Simulation Overview.pdf

I just checked out your games and they are very simple and very effective. Thank you for posting those, I will use them next time I do a training!

I too have used the lego airplane training game. I have found it to be very easy to use/implement, very effective in cementing LEAN concepts into the employees mind (much better than just trying to explain). I still use it today, and even with the same group of people when retraining is needed. I would highly recommend this to anyone. When I first found about this simulation the idea or concept was free and I just had to purchase the individual pieces from LEGO's (they sold me the quantity of the individual pieces that I needed and it was very inexpensive). I understand it there are several good vendors that will sell the individual pieces and instructions for a reasonable price. If anyone has any questions, shoot me an email ([email protected])

I have also been frustrated in finding tools/games that are fun for people to understand Lean. Attached is something that we have found that has worked great for us in our 5S initiatives. We usually do this at the very beginning to try and make things fun from the start.




The information about your 5s game it´s good. Thanks for sharing your games
in this forum, I played already with a coworker your activity and it was fun.


Thank you for a simple and fun approach to the teaching and learning concepts of 5S. It is one of the best yet simple examples I have seen. I will be using this one with all my teams.

I use a tool called "The 5S Numbers Game" when I am training groups in 5S. This is a fun and very effective excercise.I can send you the link if you like. My email address is [email protected].

I use a tool called "The 5S Numbers Game" when I am training groups in 5S. This is a fun and very effective excercise.I can send you the link if you like. My email address is [email protected].

Dear Bob,

Challenged by your tennisball game, I tried to play this in a small group. However we did not know how.
Could you send me some more info how to play this game in practice?

one is starting with three balls: he gives one to the right, that one gives also this ball to the right, than the starting person takes the second ball and gives it to the right etc.??
what do we do wrong, because I think this is not the idea of the game...

thanks in advance.

The idea of this game is to show how Continuous Improvement can be done over and over when you think you have improved something as far as you can. It also shows the ability of teams to overcome obstacles.
You start with a group standing in a circle. The start person holds all three balls and starts passing them to the person to their right one ball at a time. You put restrictions on them for a reason, because that is how we tend to do it in the real world. Each person can only touch one ball at a time and they have to pass it to the next person, not throw it. This establishes a reapeatable process that has to be documented so that the repeatablity is verifiable. A dropped ball is a defect and the process has to be restarted. When the team has practiced this enough that they feel they are good at it they ask for a "Run at Rate" or for the Facilitator (Customer) to time them and their time is recorded on the time sheet. You then run this 4 or more times, each time loosening up the restriction while still keeping to a "QA" requirement of the same rotation or the same persons touching the ball at the same time every time. That is the repeatable that holds to a "Standard Practice" that customers want to see to put quality into their parts. Each round is timed to show how it is possible to improve, also it is better with more than one group to create that compitition that exists in the real world between companies competing for contacts based on performance and price.

I will include the files to follow again. I hope this helps.


Tennis Ball Exercise - Deloro.ppt

Tennis Ball Spreadsheet.xls

Sidcoda- Could you provide more information on your lego airplane training?

do you have any sample solutions to the exercise? and props that might help teams to be creative?

Hi Bob

I'm struggling a little bit with the ball game. I'm wondering what kind of improvements can be created in order to reduce the leadtime and number of defets.
please give me some hints so i can facilitate this game.

thanks , Eveline

Hi All,

I have three lean games listed on my site and they are not expensive. I've had nothing but good feedback on these so far.


Email me if you have any questions and have fun!


do you have any sample solutions to the exercise? and props that might help teams to be creative?

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