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Systems Thinking with the Ball Point Game

An introduction to Systems Thinking using the Ball Point Game, shared at the Regional Scrum Gathering in Toronto; March 27, 2018.

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An Introduction to
Systems Thinking
with the Ball Point Game
Jeff Kosciejew
@kosciejew
Chris Chapman
@DerailleurAgile
Jeff Kosciejew
@kosciejew
Chris Chapman
@DerailleurAgile
The Ball Point Game
2008
The Ball Point Game
The Ball Point Game
The Ball Point Game
boris gloger
contact me:
boris.gloger@gmail.com
https://borisgloger.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Ball_Point_Game.pdf

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Systems Thinking with the Ball Point Game

  • 1. An Introduction to Systems Thinking with the Ball Point Game Jeff Kosciejew @kosciejew Chris Chapman @DerailleurAgile
  • 3. The Ball Point Game 2008
  • 6. The Ball Point Game boris gloger contact me: boris.gloger@gmail.com https://borisgloger.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Ball_Point_Game.pdf
  • 7. Game Objectives • Pass as many balls through your team as possible in the time provided • Each ball that makes it to completion is worth one point
  • 8. Learning Objectives • Introduction to: – Scrum • Planning • Retrospectives • Sprints – Estimation – Flow – PDCA / Continuous Improvement – Waste – Communication – …
  • 9. Before we start… • We need teams with an approximately equal number of people per team
  • 10. Rules • Everyone on your team must participate • Each person must touch each ball • No passing to your immediate neighbour • Each ball must have air time • Start point = End point
  • 11. Rules • Everyone on your team must participate • Each person must touch each ball • No passing to your immediate neighbour • Each ball must have air time • Start point = End point • Dropped balls are defects, and count as -1
  • 12. Rules • Everyone on your team must participate • Each person must touch each ball • No passing to your immediate neighbour • Each ball must have air time • Start point = End point • Dropped balls are defects, and count as -1 • Only processed balls may be passed – To process a ball, you must pass it from one hand to the other, and then back to the first hand
  • 13. Rules • Everyone on your team must participate • Each person must touch each ball • No passing to your immediate neighbour • Each ball must have air time • Start point = End point • Dropped balls are defects, and count as -1 • Only processed balls may be passed – To process a ball, you must pass it from one hand to the other, and then back to the first hand Times Up!
  • 15. Review • We’re going to play another round • What one improvement would your team make in order to improve your result?
  • 16. Rules • Everyone on your team must participate • Each person must touch each ball • No passing to your immediate neighbour • Each ball must have air time • Start point = End point • Dropped balls are defects, and count as -1 • Only processed balls may be passed – To process a ball, you must pass it from one hand to the other, and then back to the first hand
  • 17. Rules • Everyone on your team must participate • Each person must touch each ball • No passing to your immediate neighbour • Each ball must have air time • Start point = End point • Dropped balls are defects, and count as -1 • Only processed balls may be passed – To process a ball, you must pass it from one hand to the other, and then back to the first hand Times Up!
  • 19. Review • We’re going to play another round • What one improvement would your team make in order to improve your result?
  • 20. Review • We’re going to play another round • What one improvement would your team make in order to improve your result? • But first…
  • 21. What is a System?
  • 22. What is a System? • A network of interdependent components that work together to accomplish the aim of the system • A system must have an aim Without an aim, there is no system W.E. Deming, The New Economics 1993
  • 23. What is a System? • A set or pattern of relationships that work together in some fashion. Systems can accomplish things that would be impossible if the same elements were put into random relationships, or none at all… Dr. Bill Bellows, 2010
  • 24. What is a System Thinking? • A way of looking at the world: –Relationships over Unrelated Objects –Connectedness over Isolated Events –Process over Structure –Patterns over Contents –“WE” over “ME”
  • 25. What defines a System? • Definable Aim or Purpose • Boundaries • Many Parts • Inputs/Outputs • Feedbacks • Emergent Properties
  • 26. Each Part in a System… • Has its own purpose • Is interdependent • Interacts with others
  • 27. We Cannot Understand a System… • By looking at a collection of its parts • Without looking outside of it for why it exists • By analyzing it (taking it apart)
  • 28. Systems are... • Indivisible • A product of its interactions, not the sum of its parts
  • 29. Ball Point Game as a System
  • 30. Ball Point Game as a System Inputs Processes Outputs Ping Pong Balls Perceptions / Biases Rules Players Player Energy / 9am! Time of Day Room & Layout Bags & Bins Facilitators Facilitator Experience Good Bad
  • 32. Ball Point Game W.E. Deming, The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education, Ch. 2 96%4%
  • 33. Ball Point Game • What have we put in place that can be considered anti-systemic? • Did the improvement your team came up with at the end of the first round address the system or a part of the system? • What improvement would you make to the game, thinking about your whole system?
  • 34. Review • We’re going to play another round • What one improvement would your team make in order to improve your result?
  • 35. Rules • Everyone on your team must participate • Each person must touch each ball • No passing to your immediate neighbour • Each ball must have air time • Start point = End point • Dropped balls are defects, and count as -1 • Only processed balls may be passed – To process a ball, you must pass it from one hand to the other, and then back to the first hand
  • 36. Rules • Everyone on your team must participate • Each person must touch each ball • No passing to your immediate neighbour • Each ball must have air time • Start point = End point • Dropped balls are defects, and count as -1 • Only processed balls may be passed – To process a ball, you must pass it from one hand to the other, and then back to the first hand Times Up!
  • 37. Review • We’re going to play another round • What one improvement would your team make in order to improve your result?
  • 39. If you want more…

Editor's Notes

  1. Starting with the team…
  2. Management by Objective: We introduce a bias early on to challenge you to achieve a goal Constraint: The person who starts is also the person who must touch it at the end. Creates a bottleneck Transportation: Why can’t we pass the balls to the person beside us? Motion: Why do we need to move the ball from one hand to another? Overproduction: What is the customer demand for these in the first place? Waiting: For the queue to fill; can we collapse the number of touch points? Fit for Purpose: Does the product even meet the customer’s needs? Why are we producing this in the first place?
  3. F. E. Emery, Systems Thinking
  4. Next Meetup: Thursday, April 26th at 6pm
  5. The product of analysis is how things work, never, why they work the way they do. Explanations always lie outside the system, never inside