Games to illustrate DMAIC

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    I am looking to conduct some six sigma training and I was hoping to spice up the training by the use of some simple and interactives games and excercise……
    Any ideas and leads would be most welcome


    Mike Archer

    In my training we did a gage R&R by blowing up balloons and measuring them, and by inspecting the “m” on m&m’s (let the participants determine the characteristic they inspect).  We had to lean a lego race car assembly plant.  We also had to tell a joke if we were late.


    Simar BB Singh

    I use the following games.
    1. I get the class to create 10 Paper Planes (different shapes and sizes.. let em use their creative juices… )… on person flies them… and 2 operators measure the flight time…. we do this for Gage R & R… collect data.. and then run the stats on Minitab… it is fun.
    2. We had a sampling game.. where we had 90 good pieces with DXCBVS 90089123 written.. and 10 pieces with some error or the other.. give them 10 pieces each as sample and report out the propotion defectives…
    3. Another game used is to ask a group of people to create a plane… then document the steps followed ona piece of paper.. without mentioning the plane. then ask an unsuspecting person to follow instructions on the piece pof paper. normally never comes out as a plane.



    A good one for illustrating variation due to operational definitions is to ask the group to count how many people in the room have brown hair and then plot people’s answers on a frequency plot (by hand).
    I have used the paper aeroplane one, but instead of a plane created a helicopter. Highlight what are the critical x’s for making a great paper helicopter (thickness of paper, width of base, width of winds, paperclip, cellotape, etc), then set the different teams the task of making the best helicopter that meets the customers flight time requirements of x seconds by running the experiment and plotting the results in Minitab.
    I am sure I have more but I cannot recall just now!!



    Neither of these demonstrate DMAIC. It does however demonstrate variation.


    Six Sigma Saviour

    Hello,Good question – I’m interested in the responses as well.  Our company is looking to undertake yellow belt training some time in the next two months.  We do have a general plan at the moment for how we will conduct the training and what we want communicated.  A large part of what we want to communicate is, of course, the DMAIC process.  The idea we have is to pick a reasonably simple part we make in house and run assembly to record PPOH and possibly PPM. We would then use this as our baseline(s)/.  From here the training would walk this example through the various tools and phases.  We plan on having several obvious things to improve on and having a solution on hand to ‘implement’ – then re-run production to see what has happened to our metrics.Any feedback on this concept?Thank you – and good luck with your training!



    I have one that I use as a review at the end of training.  It’s based on Jeopardy and I built in powerpoint with hyperlinks.  Pick 8 general topics, ie “deliverables”, “tools”, “basic stats”, “normal what?” … and then design answers and questions.  Separate the class into two groups, get a score keeper let them go.  …  They seem to have a good time with it and it also reminds some just what they don’t know..  good luck and have fun.



    I would do a skit with a few coworkers and come up with a funny scenario and use the DMAIC phases to demonstrate problem solving.  Everyone has mentioned fun ways to use measurement tools and one that we did was to pass around a box of chocolate chip cookies from a local quick stop.  Everyone took one cookie and counted the number of chips.  Then we collected the results and did a histogram which of course took us to the discussion on normal distribution.



    I would have to agree with Ron. If you want to demonstrate DMAIC, you should first come up with a process which you would like to improve. This would involve some forethought from you as to which tools you would like to demonstrate/teach to your class, from each phase of DMAIC. Whether you’re building a paper airplane or checking the consistency of the “m’s” on M & M’s, by thinking it through ahead of time, you should be able to come up with a teaching plan that will keep your students interested.



    The questions we asked when developing our Yellow Belt training were:
    1) What is their role going to be? ( Project team members)
    2) What do we want them to walk away with?(Basic understanding of the project flow, what tools will they be using)
    We ran every employee thru an overview of DMAIC.
    We described it as the Green Belt will drive the DMAIC of each project and each of the Yellow Belt may have different areas where they will be involved durning the project.
    I did find that if you use one project as an example through out the entire training it makes more since to them.
     We covered in detial Flow Chart/Process Map, C&E Matrix, Data Collection, Control Plan. Four tools in every project, four tools that the Yellow Belt will be mostly involved with.
    We had several slides to cover the language(DPMO,CTQ etc…)
    The approach we took to the training was that they the operators are the “Process Experts” they walk it and talk it everyday. They need to identify possible defects within their process. They are challenged with creating flow charts, collecting data, inputs with the C&E, and also are the eyes and ears to monitor the process after a fix has been implemented.
    I close the training with a written assessment. The last question is : If you could only fix one thing within your process, What would that be?
    This build our New Project Hopper and so far we have gotten lots of good responses.



    One of my favorites is done at the very end of the training as the last exercise/game.  The class is divided into 5 teams and then each team randomly draws one slip of paper from a hat.  In the hat are five slips of paper – each with one letter of DMAIC.  The teams are then instructucted to sell their phase of DMAIC as the most important phase.  We give them about 20 minutes to come up with some sort of sales pitch on why their phase is better than every other phase and then they have to present their skit to the rest of the class.  Most groups use flip charts or whiteboards to draw, some have done talkshows or even sang songs.  It is always lots of fun.
    The best part is the students end up giving a great review of the entire DMAIC process and pick out the key reasons why each step must be followed (you will even see them using their books).  All the students participate and enjoy listening to the other phases so I feel the learning is reinforced and that it is a good use of time.
    If the groups are good, (they aren’t always creative and fun) this is the highlight of the training and the part that most people remember.
    Good Luck With Your Training



    Hello Paul
     I recommend that you get a Catapult to use in your training. The catapult will be the process you will use in the classroom exercises to try and get a fundamental understanding of how sixsigma works.
    Depends on how many people in the class, have teams of 4 people per team. Teach team will have their toy (catapult) and use it to collect data through out the process (DMAIC). You will find it very interesting and educational when it is time for the Analyze and Improve phase. The students will see the power of screening DOEs the confirming DOEs
     Good luck



    As mentioned above, many of these suggestions sound good but do not specifically relate to DMAIC. In my experience, there is no substitute for a live simulation running alongside DMAIC training to enhance the learning and make the experience more enjoyable. There are a few in the market. GE’s Capital Courier was the pioneer of these. Rath & Strong offers Move It. Venturehaus offers several and works with clients to develop these simulations – bespoke to a client’s industry – but focuses primarily on Service and Transaction Processing, rather than Manufacturing Processes.



    I’ve used the M&M and the catapult (for DOE).
    Another is having people toss 10 pennies from behind a line toward a target line and measure distance each is from that line. Use that to figure out how to reduce the variation.
    The “Six Sigma Way Team Fieldbook” is also good for training.


    Mahesh Natarajan

    Hi. We have used multiple such games including ink balls at a target (even for Gage R&R), catapult, coin tosses, helicopter (for DOE) etc.
    However, ours being a software services company, these games are perceived as not too relevant or not reflective of the work scenarios.
    Any specific experience with respect to BB training at software services companies?
    – Mahesh



    You can use the catapult in the entire DMAIC. You can use it as an exercise for : Process Mapping, Gage R&R, Capability Study and Variation Study, DOE, and Control Charting.
    It’s very effective as students can relate all exercise and be able to appreciate the DMAIC process.



    Mr. Mohammed
    Can you please give more detail info. how to use catapult in your suggessted game?



    Ted,  Any chance of you sharing your powerpoint Jeopardy?  I’m conducting a training class and would love to use it!  I don’t have enough time to create one.  I’ll note your “credit” in the creation and will not share without your permission.  Thanks in advance for your consideration in sharing this great idea!

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