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    8 Monkeys in a Cage – a Mura Learning Game

    March 20th, 2013

    Timing: 20 minutes


    Mura is one of three fundamental Lean principles. In short, it’s about unnecessary variations. It states that people are more productive when not dealing with unnecessary variations. Playing this game should help people to feel a situation when variation is unproductive.

    Learning Points:

    Ask some of participants how they felt during the first session (with different monkeys) and how they felt during a second session (with only one monkey). What was faster? Which session was more stressful?

    After this, let them understand that a task was to draw 8 monkeys, not to draw 8 different monkeys. So it means these variations were unnecessary. Also, it is important to say that a real reason why they were faster during a second session was because they learned how to deal with this monkey.

    Help participants to correlate this situation to a real world examples:

    • one of the worst situation are unnecessary variations in product backlog. It generates stress and makes us less self-confident during estimations. That’s why we need a balanced flow
    • it is relatively often that people implement multiple, slightly different implementations for a same problem. We don’t need such variations. In that case, we should use “a same monkey” – a component
    • ask participants to add more real world examples of unnecessary variations

    Link to Game:

    VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
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    Rating: 1.0/5 (3 votes cast)



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