Lean Innovation Games


Dr. Mariya Breyter, Agile Practice Lead, Goldman Sachs, Morganville, NJ, USA


Management, Innovation, Leadership, Lean, Quality, Agile, Scrum, Gamification, Lean Games


Financial Services



There are people who think that all Lean Six Sigma is about involves a lot of statistics and advanced mathematics. This scares them away from the most important concepts that change the way we think about delivering quality work with predictable results.

In my interactive and engaging presentation, I will gamify the key concepts of lean and will discuss and demonstrate several games that show the impact of these games on delivery across the value chain. I hope this will change some perceptions of the value that Lean thinking brings across the enterprise in all areas of knowledge work, not just in manufacturing.

The concepts that I am going to cover include:

1. Value stream delivery and WIP limits with a "coin game".

2. Kanban and inventory reduction in a value chain with a "chocolate factory" game.

3. Effects on variation in processes and its effects on cycle time with Goldratt's dice game.

As an example, in the Chocolate Factory game, the players manage a supply chain of candy production and distribution, namely the retailer, wholesaler, distributor and factory. Only the retailer knows the customer demand and this is determined by randomly flipping up cards. The lack of communication through the supply chain and fluctuation in demand creates a bullwhip effect amongst the players, until they figure out how to maintain good inventory levels using kanban.

In the second part of the presentation, I am going to link Agile and Scrum delivery to Lean and discuss how the Scrum framework enhances Lean system thinking and value delivery concepts with a pizza game.

As a result, participants will have a hands-on demonstration of lean operating model, as well as a solid understanding of how Lean and Agile work together in maximizing value and reducing variability.