MagicBallsExer 600

This team-oriented problem solving exercise is highly interactive and can be run in 30 minutes in relatively small spaces. Visuals required are a list of the 8 Wastes and a list of the 5 rules for the exercise/game. 

A team starts off in a circle with a ball and the goal is for everyone to touch the ball once in order. Once the team masters the basic exercise, additional balls are added to the exercise. This way the instructor makes the point that solutions or countermeasures that worked when you had one ball don’t work as conditions change, like when the team uses 3 balls.

This exercise demonstrates teaming, problem solving, and logical thinking as participants are encouraged to think of solutions that don’t violate the rules of the game.

This exercise kit includes the exercise balls and a 5 page writeup on how to run the exercise and variations, depending on what learning points the instructor wants to emphasize with the group. By using a Socratic approach of guided inquiry, teams brainstorm answers immediately while in the exercise.

The learning cycles are short and immediate feedback on what works or what did not work in the exercise helps modify the exercise. One metric is quality, in terms of people must touch the ball in order without the ball hitting the floor. The other metric is time with a typical team of 12 starting at 30-40 seconds and ending up around 2 or 2.5 seconds to accomplish the same task.

The team learns to go back to customer specifications, rather than looking at the organization’s standard procedures, which were developed to meet specs, but may be tougher in its approach than the actual customer specification.

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