(English) The Kanban Donut Game!

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Objectives of the game: To gain insights into the essential Kanban principles using the  Donut makings activity!

  • Visualize the workflow
  • Limit the work in progress (WIP)
  •  Measure and manage the process
  • Make Process Policies Explicit
  • Continuously optimize process (recognize opportunities)
  •  Feedback Loops


- Recommended size for each team: 8 members, one of them would be a quality Stud/Scorer.
- Participants to self-organize and form teams: Each team to come up with a team name and write
down their team name on the chart, and put it up on the wall

Materials required:

Donut making steps:

  1. 1st step: cut the Chart paper/white paper into a round shape, participants can use the CD disk to cut out the round shape. Colour it uniformly.
  2. 2nd step: Make donut toppings using eco-friendly play dough, it is absolutely safe to use it! Make Apricot, Badam and Cashew toppings using the play dough. Each Donut should have 2 Badam, 3 Cashew and 5 Apricot toppings.
  3. Arrange the toppings on the Donut base.

Round #1

Duration: 7 ½ minutes
Teams can make as many donuts as they can!
Quality Stud to score the donuts. Incomplete Donuts get - 5 points and completed donuts
 get +5 points

Inspect Round #1
1. Look at the process of making donut, in terms of visualization of workflow.
2. Look at the amount of undone work.


Round #2

Duration: 7 ½ minutes
  • Teams start making as many donuts as possible
  • Visualize the flow for creating your Donuts, depict the workflow on the charts provided.Label the stations,personal at each station.
  • Quality Stud to score the donuts. Incomplete Donuts get – 5 points and completed donuts get +5 points, each extra unused topping gets -2 points.
  • Quality Stud makes a note of time it takes for each Donut to get done as they arrive.

Inspect the Round #2
1. Scoring by the Quality Stud. Incomplete Donuts get -5 points and completed donuts get +5 point,
each extra unused topping gets -2 points.
2. Look at how the work was distributed
3. Are materials piling up at the end of the round? Was any station overloaded and why?
4. Check the cycle time and Net Score of each team.

Round #2 Learning
The first step in any Kanban implementation is to visualize the workflow. It helps to see how
 the work items flow through various stages during development without which making any changes
 or improvement would be difficult.

Round #3

 In Round 3, ask the teams to concentrate on how to effectively distribute the workflow, to ensure that 

work is not pilling up at one stage try limiting the work in progress at each stage.
 Duration: 7 ½ minutes
  •  Visualize the flow for creating your Donuts, depict the workflow on the charts provided.
  •  Limit the work in progress at each stage
  • As the donuts get produced, they would be scored.
  • Completed Donuts get +5 points , Incomplete Donuts get – 5 points, each extra topping gets -2 points.
  •  Quality Stud makes a note of time it takes for each Donut to get done as they arrive

Inspect the Round #3
i. Observe the cycle time. Was there any improvement from previous cycle, How did WIP limits help???
ii. Look for the quality of donuts, talk about what can be done to inspect the quality and
 avoid rework.
 How can one improve the quality and have a common understanding of when an item can move
from one stage to another stage, so that problems are detected earlier rather than
 at the later stages.

Round #3 Learning
We have introduced WIP limits at each stage and this is nothing but Kanban Principle No#2.

• Establishing the WIP Limits, prevents clogging of work in any particular stage thus allowing
a smooth flow of work  through the Kanban stages.

Kanban Principle #2: LIMIT WORK IN PROGRESS: Establishing the WIP Limits prevents clogging
 of work in any  particular stage thus allowing a smooth flow of work through the Kanban stages.

-To manage the flow, you must first visualize it and then measure it. The only good measure of
 flow is throughput, (i.e. how many work items have been completed).
-To help identify patterns in flow, so you can manage it better, you can monitor several key “time”
metrics like Lead Time and Cycle Time.


Round #4

This round would focus on improving the quality aspect that was identified as an improvement
 area in the previous round.
Duration: 7 ½ minutes
  •  Visualize the flow for creating your Donuts, depict the workflow on the charts provided.
  •  Introduce the WIP limits
  •  Have explicit exit criteria for each stage.
  •  To ensure that all have a common agreement on the quality aspect, let us have an agreement on what done for every stage as below:

i. Exit Criteria for Base:

  • Base, both outer and inner circle both are perfect round
  • Uniformly colored, without any white gaps seen.

ii. Exit Criteria for Cashew:

  • Shape should uniform half moon
  •  2 cm in length.

iii. Exit Criteria for Badam:

  •  Should have 6 strands
  •  2 cm in length

iv. Exit Criteria for Apricot:

  • Should have 10 strands
  • 2 cm in length
  • Should have a whole in between.

As the donuts get produced, they would be tested by the Quality Stud and scored.
a. Completed Donuts get +5 points
b. Incomplete Donuts get - 5 points
c. Donuts that fail the quality test get -10 points.

Inspect the Round #4
Ask the teams about how did the exit criteria help you? Was it useful and if yes how?
Round #4 Learning
What we have actually done in this round is nothing but, it is one of the principles of Kanban,
 called as  “Making Process Policies Explicit”.
Kanban Principle #4: Make Process Policies Explicit

Make process policies explicit— With explicit policies, you can start to have discussions around
 your process that are  based on objective data instead of on what you think, feel,
and have anecdotal evidence for.
Implement feedback loops— This practice puts a focus on getting feedback from your process:
 for example,in what is called an operations review, which is a kind of
 retrospective for the process itself.

Kanban Principle #5: Continuous Improvement: Continuous improvement based upon objective data
and empirical evidence.

Kanban Principle # 6: Feedback Loops


Round #5

Duration: 7 ½ minutes
 -Business Need: The Nutri-Donut factory entered into partnership with a Nutri-Jelly Fruity-Donuts
 firm  that places  urgent orders in case of a sudden demand for Donuts for teeth less kids who
 can eat only  very soft donuts.
-In this round the team starts making donut s as usual, but suddenly when there is a demand for a
 Nutri Jelly Donut, an order would be placed on a table, and when they get this order, they
need to deliver this fruit jelly donut.

Recipe for the fruity Jelly Donut
  • Fruity Donuts Recipe: Instead of normal crust, teams have to make the base using litchi, blue berry, and use soft fruit toppings as kids do not have teeth.
  • Add 3 fruit toppings
  • Add 3 saffron flowers to attract kids to eat.
As the teams start making their Nutri-Donuts, the Nutri-Fruity-Donut agent places sudden order
 based on demand.** The quality Studs to note down the time it takes from the point where the Jelly
 donut order got placed to the time it takes for the donut to get done**

Inspect the Round #5
How fast was the team able to cater to the need of the urgent order of donuts for toothless kids?
What can be done to resolve this?

Round #5 Learning : Expedite lane
One way of resolving this is to have an Expedite lane on your Kanban Board.

• A Kanban board, with Expedite lane for high-priority tickets, is an effective tool that can help
a team stay on top  of support work
• When a team needs to deal with an emergency or critical work that suspends other cards, and
 expedite process may be  used.
• When an expedited card is on the board, the team may ignore WIP limits until the card work
 is complete.


Round #6 

-Looking at the awesomeness of the Nutri-Donut factory, many new customers started partnering with
 them, demand  increased, they started getting orders for making donuts of different shapes to
 attract kids .

-Teams start making their normal fruit Donuts, along with this they would have to pull some work
for making the donuts  of different shapes as they see them in the backlog.

-Use the fruit molds to make the donuts of different shapes along with the normal donuts.

Inspect the Round #6
Inspect on how did the team pull donuts from the backlog
Talk about few common smells like taking the easier ones first and so on. Talk about why is
 prioritization important  and how is it done in Kanban?


Summary: Team learns the principles as they go through the different stages in the simulation. 

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One Response to "(English) The Kanban Donut Game!"
  • Kanban Donuts Game! | Madhavi Ledalla's %d 10UTC %B 10UTC %Y a las %H:%M 10Tue, 10 Apr 2018 10:32:31 +000031.

    [...] Kanban Donut Game was posted by Ledalla Madhavi on October 3rd, 2017 at TaksyCupcakes.org Share this:TwitterFacebookGoogleLike this:Like [...]

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