Theory of Constraints Dice Game

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Timing: 10-15 mins


  • 100+ Toothpicks (or something similar)
  • At least one Die


Participants line up in a row with a collection of toothpicks (or something similar) placed with the first participant. The first participant rolls a die to determine how many toothpicks to pass to the next participant. Each participant then takes turns rolling the die and passing the corresponding amount of toothpicks to the next player. The final player creates a stack of toothpicks based on his/her roll and then passes the die back to the first participant to continue with the next round. Play until it is obvious where the stacks are forming.

Learning Points:

  • Even though all participants have the same odds, inventory still piles up. Tie this in to Value Streams and software.
  • In software, requirements are your inventory. It is wasteful to process them all up front.

CREDIT: The Goal, Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt, 1984

Posted by Mike

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