agile42

Kanban Pizza Game 


Kanban Pizza Game by agile42 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

With the Kanban Pizza Game from agile42 you can find out how Kanban feels like. While common Kanban games are usually focussing only on the flow in an existing Kanban system, our new Kanban Pizza Game shows in addition how to get from an existing process to a Kanban system.

Based on Paper and Pizza

Like with our agile42 Scrum Lego City Game we wanted to use also for the Kanban game something that everybody knows and everybody can do. Additionally we tried to stay away from it-scenarios to avoid that people think to much about the simularity to their current work environment. We think, the idea of using Paper-Pizza fits great with this.

Material

  1. Post-Its in three colors: green, yellow and rose
  2. Index Cards in yellow
  3. Red marker
  4. Tape
  5. Scissor
  6. Stop Watch
  7. Order Cards
  8. Rule Sheet
  9. Kanban Overview Sheet

 The Flow of the Game

1. Create an implicit process

Kanban starts with an existing process. Therefore we create at the beginning of the game the first implicit process just by building as much pizza slices (Hawaiian :-)) as possible.

2. Step by step to the Kanban System

During the game we introduce additional aspects like:

  1. Introduce orders (which contain more than one peace of pizza)
  2. Storage for items in production
  3. Limit the items in production
  4. Introduce a new type of pizza to adapt the process to this situation

3. From the game to a real Kanban Board

As the next step, we want to bring the game closer to the real working situation of the teams. Therefore, we transform the Pizza-Process, which was displayed with cover-tape on each table to a real Kanban Board.

This is the last step to reflect and to connect the Kanban-Flow from an independent simulation to a possibly real project board. 

4. Debriefing

Now, after the visualization in form of the Kanban board it is really easy to speak about:

  1. Visualize the workflow
  2. Limit WIP
  3. Measure and optimize lead time

Visualize the workflow

With the physical production of the Pizza the workflow is always present, and by drawing of the workflow, we reflect the current process.

Limit WIP

Through the game some bottlenecks and queues piled up. During the game we introduce work in progress (WIP) limits to make sure that we produce the right things and to avoid that we loose points for unused materials. The participants experienced that WIP-Limits are more than just intentional limitations, they change behavior. People interact more on the overall production, communicate more and help each other when needed. 

Measure and optimize the average lead time

In the game we don‘t measured the lead time, because it would make the game much more complicated. Instead we built in a point system, that triggers the same behaviour of optimizing the flow. 

In the real world we haven't such a point system. Here we use the average lead time as measurement and optimize accordingly.

Outcome of the game

What are the goals of the game from a training perspective? We expect the people to experience the following:

  • Feel and experience Kanban
  • Understand the effect of limiting your work in progress
  • Self Organize
  • Set up a Kanban Board

When and how to use the Kanban Pizza Game

  1. You are interested in agile methods
  2. You want to improve what you are doing
  3. Respect the Creative Common Licenses

You like to get professional help introducing Kanban and playing the game? Please contact us! →

We wish you fun.

The agile42 team

You can find more information in our blog!