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Icebreakers Training Exercises

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  • #30375

    Sinnicks
    Participant

    Can anyone give me some good ideas for icebreakers or experiential learning exercises I could use for a very basic class on Quality Concepts?  Material covered is :
    Value added, definition of a defect, process mapping, & customer service.
    Any good ideas would be appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Mark

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    #79050

    Erik L
    Participant

    To highlight concepts around lean, rolled throughput yield, and cycle time there is an exercise that we put our GBs through that involves teams and decks of cards. The objective is to process 20 cards through three processing steps with the minimum time, money expended, and overall scrap. If you’re interested, I could provide a more detailed synopsis/instructor notes for conducting the exercise. I also have a pretty good exercise for highlighting the benefits of process mapping and uncovering the hidden factory. For defects/inspection, there is a pretty good exercise that involves teams creating operational definitions for what constitutes ‘defect free’ animal crackers. They count the number in their box and then the teams rotate around to a different team and utilizing their OD count # of defective animal crackers. There is usually a great difference between the numbers that come back from three/four iterations of different teams using an OD. Regards,ErikPlease Note: Erik L. has graciously submitted the following attachments. Thanks Erik! Animal Cracker RTY Download [Microsoft PowerPoint, 168 KB] Animal Cracker RTY Download [Adobe Acrobat File, 60 KB]

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    #79226

    SWagg
    Member

    Erik those are very good exercises. They were all part of my green belt training at GE. We just completed a Six Sigma overview with our managers here as we are kicking off the Six Sigma program with my new company. Part of our overview was the RTY card exercise and everyone loved it.

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    #79227

    jtucci
    Participant

    Mark,
    Here is a very simple but effective icebreaker for demonstrating the importance of effective process design:
    Paper Plane Exercise: 10 – 15 minutes
    1. Distribute an 8.5×11 sheet of paper to each participant and ask them to write their name on it.
    2. Give them 1 minute to make a paper airplane with the objective of making a plane that flys the farthest — the objective is distance.  Everyone makes their own plane.  Only rule is that it must be a winged craft — you can’t just crumple the paper into a ball.
    3. Set up a launchpoint in the room and have each participant fly their plane — track whose goes the farthest — declare a winner.
    Excercise Debrief:
    Ask the group the following questions:
    1. If you had to do the activity over again with nor restrictions what would you do differently?
    Typical answers include copy the winner’s design, conduct a test run  take more time to think through the design, try several different designs etc.
    2. If you had to build 1000 planes in an hour as a group that all met or exceeded the winner’s distance mark on the first flight — no rework, what would the process look like?  How would you ensure consistency and quality?
    Typical answers will include: Develop clear design specifications for the plane.  Provide clear instructions and training on how to build the plane.  Identify the best “builders”  and the best “flyers” and put them in the appropriate roles.  Set up process checkpoints to make sure all the folds are made within specifications.  Control for outside variables that could effect the flight — like airflow from the HVAC vent.
    3.  How many processes in the organization are set up to deliver the same kind of “first pass yield”?
    Total exercise time should be 10 – 15 minutes with a group of 10 – 20.
    Tends to be a good eye-opener for people when they realize that many organization processes are missing many of the elements that they were able to brainstorm for the “paper plane” building process in 2 -3 minutes.
    You can tailor the debrief questions and the excercise to emphasize different learning points very easily by adding different rules changing the questions etc.
    Hope this helps. Email me if you have questions [email protected]

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    #79231

    Lee Olson
    Participant

    The M&M exercise can be educational and tasty. Below is a simple explanation.
    Overview:
    Your company needs to deliver ‘high quality’ product. You want to know if your inspection process is capable. That is all you know.
    The group is divided into teams. Each team needs a minimum of 2 ‘experts’ and 3 inspectors. Optionally, you can have a team leader and a team recorder. Each team is given 30 M&Ms to inspect.
    The experts inspect each M&M and decide by consensus if it passes or fails. This is done away from the inspectors.
    Each inspector then inspects each M&M for pass or fail. They inspect the M&Ms at least twice (separate inspections.)
    Notes:
    There should be no sharing of information among the inspectors or between the inspectors and the ‘experts’.
    If possible, the order of the M&Ms should be changed between inspection runs to minimize the chance that an inspector will remember their previous sequence of pass/fail (this is rarely an issue).
    The leader of the exercise should apply time pressure and encouraging exhortations like ‘We demand perfection’ or ‘Quality comes first, but we need to ship now!’ (just like real life).
    Have a lot of fun with the exercise.
    Results:
    There are no quality guidelines, so everyone will come up with their own (just like real life). Some people will look for roundness, some for color consistency, some for the printing of the ‘M’.
    The Gage R&R will normally show less than 50% agreement among all the inspectors and experts.
    There can be good discussions about how to improve the process, how this is similar to process in your plant and in your office.
    Don’t forget to ask what the customer requirement is and did it match the requirements made up by the ‘experts’ and inspectors.
    Hope that helps. 

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    #79263

    Cheryl
    Participant

    jtucci,
    thanks for sharing this example. do you have any other icebreakers or team building exercises that you wouldn’t mind sharing?
    i really appreciate your thoughts. i passed along your post to a colleague in the training group and she loved it!
    cheryl

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    #79293

    Ulises Saldana M.
    Member

    jtucci:     Quite ingenious your proposal ! !   Your exercise could be varied to monitor a paper plane design which stayed the longest time in air.  This would be measured with a stopwatch from the moment the plane is cast  to  the moment it falls to ground.
    As a matter of fact, I imagine that your plane to reach the farthest distance would perhaps need to be streamlined designed, while a plane to stay longest time in air would have to be designed in a more butterfly fashion, with elephant-ear-like wings that would present more opposition to a fast fall to ground.
    Regards.  Ulises

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    #79303

    Robert Butler
    Participant

      Wendy asked about the M&M experiment.  There may be more than one but the version which I have used numerous times consists of the following:1. Before the talk go out and purchase an entire BOX of M&M plain.  Don’t get the party size, get the regular, at-the-check-out-counter size.  If you ask the store clerk or manager many times they will have an unopened box of these in the back.  If you have to purchase an opened box make sure that all of the packets are from the same lot (look at the lot markings on the back side of each packet).2. Have ready an overhead slide with a grid.  Label the X axis “Red M&M’s” and the Y axis “Number of Packets”.3. Make sure that everyone has a partner and then give out a packet of M&M’s to each participant.4. Tell the groups of two to open their packets, one at a time, and count the total number of M&M’s and the total number of RED M&M’s and write the count down on a piece of paper.  Emphaize that after the first count, the second member of the team must verify the total and RED M&M count.  5. Start around the room and ask each person for their RED M&M count.  When they give it to you, plot the results on the overhead slide.6. If you have about 20-30 participants and thus 20-30 opened bags, you will have a histogram that should look pretty normal.7. Pull out a couple of unopened bags from the same material lot and ask everyone to give you an estimate of the “most probable number of RED M&M’s in the mystery bags”. 8. People will shout out numbers-write them down so that everyone can see them.  Some will give ranges (which is what you want to emphasize) and some will just pick the mode of the distribution.  9. Tear open the mystery bags and plot their results, using a different pen color, on your histogram.10. You can then go back to the estimated ranges and see if the “final product” was in or out of the suggested product range.This exercise will provide a springboard for introducing most of the statistical issues of Six Sigma.  All of the concepts are present – mean, median, mode, standard deviation, customer spec limits, etc.  From time to time I’ve had enough time to prepare for this in advance and I’ve used the experiment twice.  The first time I make sure that I’ve purchased the box of M&M’s at least 6 months before I was going to give the talk.  I then run this experiment at the beginning of the discussion with the original group of M&M’s.  I keep the first histogram and then, when we are at the end of the talk I have ready a second box of M&M’s which I had purchased just hours before.  We repeat the experiment with the second lot. Many times the six month interval has seen economic changes that have significantly impacted the total number of M&M’s as well as the total number of RED M&M’s and, in addition to talking about process mean shift, I have a ready made example of the proper use of the t-test.  If a significant shift has not occurred, I use the two histograms to discuss process stability and again, I can show the value of the t-test in comparison of means.  In the cases where I have used two different lots of material the experiments are run at the beginning and at the end of a series of training periods.  You don’t have to have a series of talks to test both lots of M&M’s but if you are going to do both lots in the same presentation you will want to have a supply of large plastic coffee cups so that people will have someplace to put all of those M&M’s.  If you take some time to plan your presentation you will be suprised at how this helps everyone understand basic statistical concepts.  I’ve had great success using M&M’s to teach 3rd and 4th grade students about statistics and the t-test.

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    #79332

    Ron
    Member

    The exercises Erik referred to are quite basic to save everyonethe time of asking hewre is the premise you can figure out the rest.
    Draw a circle on the ground with tape or paper, have some one drop a card from a deck one at a time. The key here is to make sure the player is holding the card by the narrow edge and droppingit from shoulder height. Due to the air resistance the card flutters at random places within the target. ( The secret to improvement isto drop the card holding it parallel to the target they will fall straight down.)
    As the card s are dropped only when you have three in the target can you pass them off  to the next station . The next station repeats the process with a smaller target. etc. etc.
    Unless you have alot of time and very carefully monitor tis exercise the participants will cheat profusely !
    Carefully note the location ofthe drop and create a histogram of the percewnt on target.
    The bad thing about this exercise is that if you don’t give carefully p[laced hints about how to succeed 99 5 of the people involved just stand their and the room goes quickly into chaos.
     

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    #79338

    jtucci
    Participant

    Cheryl,
    Glad you liked the “Paper Plane” exercise.  I dig up one or two more in the next week and post.
    Ulisses,
    Great idea on changing the spec to “flight time” lots of good/simple variations on this exercise are possible to illustrate different learning points.  The flight time variation would make a good one to demonstrate data gathering and statistics kind of like a “poor man’s” statapult excercise.

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    #79382

    Ian Shakespeare
    Participant

    Hi Erik,
    Thanks for the exercise on RTY, could you please provide the detailed synopsis / instructor notes as I’m sure it will prove invaluable as we develop our GB’s
    Could you also send the other exercises mensioned.
    I believe any exercise / game that people can get involved in helps to bring home the message
    Thanks in advance
    Rgds
    Ian

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    #79385

    Nandakumar
    Participant

    Thanks for the exercise.

    Could you also please send the other exercises mentioned.
    Thank you,
    Nanda
    [email protected]
    .

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    #79386

    Howe
    Participant

    Erik -Really appreciate your posting the Operational Definition & RTY ice breakers! At the risk of being greedy, I’d also like to see the “exercise for highlighting the benefits of process mapping and uncovering the hidden factory” if possible!
    Thanks again – Marion 

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    #79388

    John Reid
    Participant

    Erik, I would appreciate the detailed synopsis/ instructor notes for the card exercise.
    The process mapping and hidden factory exercise would also be helpful if you are happy to provide it
    John

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    #79403

    Ford
    Participant

    Greetings Erik:
    If I may repeat John’s request:
    I would appreciate the detailed synopsis/ instructor notes for the card exercise.
    The process mapping and hidden factory exercise would also be helpful if you are happy to provide it
    I am conducting a Mapping & Toolss workshop next week and I will be using your card exercise. I rushed to find a deck of cards after reading your post, tried the activity on three guinea pigs and all agreed this is a winner.
    I look forward to seeing what you have up your sleeve for mapping.
    Thanks, Ford

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    #79420

    Mae A.
    Participant

    Hi Erik,
    It’s nice of you to share this exercises with all who log-in to this website. As mentioned in your message, I appreciate if you could share with me the materials for the mapping as well as the tranning exercises that was not attached together.
    Hope to get a reply from you.
    Thanks and Regards
    Mae A.

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    #79706

    Anonymous
    Participant

    Erik,
    Can you also share your good exercise for highlighting the benefits of process mapping and uncovering the hidden factory. If you would like a variation to your animal cracker exercise, we do something similar accept we us a bag of M&M candies… How many defects can you find based on the OD of an acceptable M&M.

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    #80054

    Sofian
    Member

    I am looking for exercises that are service related. I am in banking. The exercises I am looking for relate to Define, Measure Tools, and Analyze Tools.
    Anyone interested in sharing best practices?
    Please let me know.
    Thanx,
    Sofian

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    #80115

    Sweat
    Member

    Eric,
    Could you please hook me up! I would like to see the details of the card excercise also. I seems so easy that people would relate to the excercise quickly…Thanks! Ken

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    #97640

    David Redden
    Participant

    I was looking specifically an icebreaker/game crowd awakener that focuses on the Improvement stage only. 
    Any suggestions or examples?

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    #97757

    Terry
    Member

    Some additional information for the M & M experiment.   If you goto the M & M website, you can download the companies statistics for distribution for the bag contents ie what percentage of colours per package.   This is available for all types including chocolate, peanut, and crispies.
    It is interesting to take this data into the class and show when the results are tallied for each bag.   You can then look at reasons why the distribution is incorrect etc.   I have used it for serval courses now and how found that some people get passionate enough to contact the manufactorer to show their product is not meeting their promoted stats.   The result is a letter and a number of sample products from the company (well in Australia anyway).
    Terry

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    #97769

    Darth
    Participant

    Didn’t see anyone mention the use of M&Ms or Animal Crackers for a demo of MSA.  That is how we use it.  Pretty much the same process except each “operator” does 2 trials of  good or bad and then use Minitab to do an Attribute Gage R&R.

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    #97781

    mman
    Participant

    I used M&Ms for the demo of Pareto Diagram,it was successful…….kind regards.       MMAN

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    #99137

    ahmed
    Participant

    Does anyone have any “lean” exercises that you can use with “novelle” users.  Also, we are a healthcare industry?  Ideas… are appreciated.
    Also, would someone send me the instructions and facilitator notes for the deck of cards game.  Thank you
    Amy

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    #100001

    Brien Ott
    Participant

    Could you send me the instructor notes on how to do the card exercise?  I’m looking to work this exercise with a team attached to my six sigma project and Lean will be a big part of my Improve phase.
    Thanks

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    #114041

    Tony Delmonte
    Member

    Erik…I’d very much appreciate seeing the exercise you use for RTY.  We are looking for an exercise to replace the one we are currently using for our management training course.
    Thanks,
    Tony
     

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    #157320

    Alejandro Mata
    Participant

    Does anyone knows about a good trainign excercise to practoce some lean concepts such as line balancing, waste elimination and process mapping? Any help will be appreciated.
     
    Thanks

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    #185637

    Chrissy Keeton
    Participant

    Terry – I’m having trouble locating the M&M product specifications on their website.  Can you please send a link?
     

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    #185640

    Lee
    Participant

    I could not find the data either, at least not through the time I got tired of searching.  I considered that the data was likely removed on some update of their web site.
    I considered just getting a large bag and giving it to my grandsons to sort by color.  Certainly that is sampling, but a sample of one large bag is better than ignorance (especially when we think we know the colors are not evenly distributed).

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    #187398

    Bogorodskiy
    Participant

    HI guys,
    Thanks for the greta ideas on how to keep 6 Singma training live and fun for people new to it.
    I have a quick request, does anybody know a quick and easy eye opening to process mapping, I ahve done some simple ones with Green Belts for coffe production etc but wnated something a little more interactive.
    Do you have any ideas?
    V

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