Becoming agile

Agile, through the storms

APIL#14 – Kanban Pizza Factory

There are a number of Kanban games and simulations. Some of the better known ones are GetKanban and Kanban Frog Factory. For a while I wanted to play a game I have encountered about two years ago – Kanban Pizza Factory, which seemed more appealing to me, and I haven’t had the chance to play it yet. The game was introduced by Ralf Kruse from Agile42, and what I liked about it is that it is easy enough to play, it involves something majority of people love, and it can be easily analogized to our day to day life.


So, we have decided to dedicate our 14th Agile Practitioners meeting to a brief introduction to Kanban, followed by the game. Courtesy of Google Campus Tel Aviv, the meeting was held at the 26th floor of Electra Building with fantastic view of Tel Aviv.

The Kanban intro, as promised, was very brief, with types of waste and WIP being the areas that raised most questions.

Some feedback I got in near-real-time on the presentation:

  • My WIP & Pull example was too advanced for the level of the presentation.
  • While talking about WIP, I didn’t mention Slack Time

Well, I have found a blog-post that addresses both very elegantly, and actually talks about real pizza! Here’s the link: http://brodzinski.com/2012/11/wip-limits-pull-slack-bottlenecks-explained.html

And then… let the games begin!

I felt that the game was overall fun, with eager active participation and healthy competition among the five teams that played.

As the game progressed, energy levels have decreased. I am partly attributing this mainly to two factors: the time of the meeting (we played between 18:00 – 19:45) and the nature of the Israeli audience. I will try to have shorter iterations next time I play the game. I you have other experiences, please share J

You may find photos of the meeting in our Facebook album here

Slides from the meeting may be found here.

I am also contemplating retrying the game with variations for identifying waste types, visualizing classes of service, doing OPS reviews and measuring cycle times. If you are interested in sharing ideas – please let me know.

Having reviewed the feedback from participants, it seems that the top topics are:

  • Comparing Scrum and Kanban
  • Waste
  • Real life case studies

Got something to say – please let me know? After all, APIL was created for the agile community in Israel

See you in the next meeting!

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4 thoughts on “APIL#14 – Kanban Pizza Factory

  1. Great job Ilan, thanks.I already “pulled” once..

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