Thursday, September 24, 2015

Marshmallow challenge - an effective Lean Operations game ...


Marshmallow challenge is a great LEAN game where despite limited supplies of raw materials and against all odds, the team should build the highest free standing structure ( value) incurring least waste in a fixed time of 18 minutes !!

Even though it is mostly featured as a design game, leadership game etc, I think it can be put up as a lean game too as it tells us how to use the limited resources of material and time without wasting, to generate maximum value for the customer (free standing tallest tower) .Here is a TED talk on the same .,.

Objective : Building the tallest free standing structure that can support a marshmallow sweet (or a jelly sweet) from limited resources in 18 minutes.

Items needed : 20 plastic straws, one metre thread and one metre cellophane tape ..

Learning :  is multifaceted
1. generate low waste,
2. foster innovation
3. creative thinking and
4. provide maximum value to customer in the given time.
5. importance of planning
6. fosters leadership
7. tells the importance of prototyping in final model building

Stress is on reducing waste and improving value to the customer (building the tallest free standing structure) that supports a marshmallow sweet. It is a great game that stresses on bonding between team members

It is a great challenge to foster innovation, teamwork and importance of team building. Invariably it is observed that kids do better in this than college MBA kids.. The world record is about 36 inches ..

All it takes is 18 minutes, 20 plastic straws for each team, one metre of packing tape, one metre of thread (easily breakable), and a marshmallow sweet ( or any soft sweet) to keep on the top of the tallest structure.

The team (usually of 4 members) which builds the tallest structure that supports the marshmallow is the winner. 

Instructions on how to do it..

Planning to do it in the class.

Watch this ppt

george.

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