Slightly interrupting the Agile 2009 sequence (I'll come back to it later). I presented the Lean Lego Game at Encontro Ágil 2009 on Saturday (10/10/2009) with Mariana.
Our slides (in Portuguese) are here. You can check a few pictures of the event (including our workshop) from Daniel Cukier from his Flickr account. The session was a success. We had the room filled and people really looked like they enjoyed it.
Our results were pretty good. For the pull system hands on, our production line only managed to deliver one house with a total of 300 bricks on stock.
On the push system hands on, we got much better and managed to deliver 4 houses and the stock was around 250 bricks.
And during the Yatai session, we delivered 8 perfect houses and 1 with a slight defect and had all bricks on tables (about 350 bricks). One nice thing that happened was that attendees actually noticed it and complained about it which lead me straight to Kaizen in a great fluent transition.
As planned, we finished in around 1h30 which left us with some 20 minutes for questions. Since attendees were a bit shy, it ended up being a story telling session where I shared the story Kenji Hiranabe showed at Agile 2008 about the transition of one of Sanyo's cell phone factories to Lean principles. Too bad the video is not public.
We also mentioned the story about a tooth paste factory that hired engineers to build a huge expensive machine that would separate empty boxes from filled ones. Since it would take some time to build the machine, the manager had one of the employees remove the empty boxes from the line while the machine wasn't ready. After a month, he came back to the factory and was surprised to find a pile of empty boxes on the ground and the employee he had assigned to select the boxes doing something else. Near the line was a fan blowing the empty boxes from the production line. When the manager asked why it was there, the employee explained that selecting the boxes manually was too boring and that he felt he would be more useful somewhere else. So he put the fan there and came by at the end of each day to collect the empty boxes and add them back to the stock therefore accomplishing the task that the huge expensive machine engineers were building.
That story is a great example of why Gemba is so important in Lean. People that actually do the work are usually more suited to find simple solutions to problems they have.
I hope to receive more feedback from those who attended and plan to present this workshop more often. Any questions or critics are very welcome.