The Ramp of Improvement 2

FIRST: Give out one deck to each team. Don’t tell them anything about the cards yet, like the total number of points or anything else. They may not touch the cards at all until the trainer says “GO”. Tell them the object is to divide the cards as evenly as possible among the team members according to point value on the face of the cards. Ace counts 1 point, 10 counts 10 points, all others count the actual number (2 counts 2, 3 counts 3, etc.). Member totals may vary by one point.

Say “GO” and stop them after 30 seconds. Did they get them all divided evenly? Probably not.
Put the cards back in the middle of each table and tell them once again that they can’t touch the cards until you say “GO”.
Go on to the plan stage.

PLAN: Briefly explain the concept of PDCA. Tell them they will now have a chance to “plan” how to divide the cards equally before actually doing it. Tell them anything they want to know about the cards now. Give them about 5-10 minutes. Be clear that they are not to touch the cards until you say “GO”. Most teams will go to great lengths to get their hands on the cards. After most of the teams have their plan together, tell them they have 2 minutes to execute their plans, say “GO”.

DO: Let them execute their plans and time them (you may want to put a grid on a flipchart to record their times). They will probably take 1.5-4 minutes here.

CHECK: Have the teams discuss at their tables how they can improve their process. Again, they may not touch the cards until you say “GO”. After 3-5 minutes, say “GO”.

ACT: Let them execute their improved plans. Many will come very close to the original 30 second time allotment. Record the new times, almost everyone will improve.

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