Recently I helped facilitate a workshop with a major engineering company focusing on the use of Work Packages to manage the execution of industrial construction projects. Part of the workshop included a team exercise that compared the efficiency of teams working with and without Work Packages.
Each team was set the task of building the same lego model. Team A started with drawings for each build step and a box of unsorted lego parts. Team B started with the same drawings and the same lego parts. However, they were also provided with a part list for each build step and the parts were pre-sorted into groups. The teams started at the same time and within minutes both teams had self-organised and were progressing with their models.
The progress of each team was tracked and plotted against time then displayed on a big screen to demonstrate the productivity of each team. Within minutes Team B was able to demonstrate the benefits of WorkFace planning by achieving progress milestones in substancially less time than Team A. We included some real-life complexities in the exercise such as missing parts and site delays. These further demonstrated the benefits of WorkFace planning.
The exercise was well received and the ensuing discussion provided the inspiration for a discussion paper on using ideas from Kanban systems to support the visual management of Work Packages.