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Exercise

PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) card game

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TO VISUALIZE & PRACTICE THE PDCA CIRCLE UNDER A GROUP WORK SETTING

Description of the tool

THIS EXERCISE GIVES A PRACTICAL APPROACH ON THE PDCA CONTINUOUS QUALITY IMPROVEMENT CIRCLE. PDCA STANDS FOR Plan Do Check Act AND IT IS A THEORY DEVELOPED BY EDWARDS DEMING. IT MATCHES PERFECTY WITH TRAINING COURSES THAT SEEK TO DEFINE QUALITY IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT.

Description follows:
Prior to the activity you will need to presort several decks of cards. Arrange the decks so that each deck has eights aces, eight 2s, eight 3s, and so on through eight 10s. Do not use the face cards. There should be 80 cards in the deck. Eight of each number ace through 10.

FIRST

Give out one deck to each team. Don't tell them anything about
the cards yet, like total number of points or anything else.
They may not touch the cards at all until the trainer says "GO".
Tell them the object is to divide the cards as evenly as possible
among the team members according to point value on the face of
the cards. Ace counts 1 point, 10 counts 10 points, all others
count the actual number (2 counts 2, 3 counts 3, etc.). Member
totals may vary by one point. Say "GO" and stop them after 30
seconds. Did they get them all divided evenly? Probably not.

Put the cards back in the middle of each table and tell them
once again that they can't touch the cards until you say "GO".

Go on to the plan stage.

PLAN

Briefly explain the concept of PDCA. Tell them they will now
have a chance to "plan" how to divide the cards equally before
actually doing it. Tell them anything they want to know about
the cards now. Give them about 5-10 minutes. Be clear that they
are not to touch the cards until you say "GO". Most teams will go
to great lengths to get their hands on the cards. After most of the teams have their plan
together, tell them they have 2 minutes to execute their plans,
say "GO".

DO

Let them execute their plans and time them (you may want to put
a grid on a flipchart to record their times). They will probably
take 1.5-4 minutes here.

CHECK

Have the teams discuss at their tables how they can improve
their process. Again, they may not touch the cards until you say
"GO". After 3-5 minutes, say "GO".

ACT

Let them execute their improved plans. Many will come very
close to the original 30 second time allotment. Record the new
times, almost everyone will improve.

Discuss as a large group the various processes and improvements.

Review the concept of PDCA.

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Disclaimer

SALTO cannot be held responsible for the inappropriate use of these training tools. Always adapt training tools to your aims, context, target group and to your own skills! These tools have been used in a variety of formats and situations. Please notify SALTO should you know about the origin of or copyright on this tool.

Tool overview

http://toolbox.salto-youth.net/422

This tool is for

WORKS PERFECTLY WITH 4 GROUPS OF 4 OR 5 OR 6 PEOPLE. MORE PEOPLE CAN FAIRLY DELAY THE PROCESS. IT CAN WORK WITH 2 OR 3 GROUPS AS WELL.

and addresses

Project Management

Materials needed:

DECKS OF CARDS. NUMBER OF DECKS DEPENDING ON THE NUMBER OF GROUPS (FOR EVERY GROUP YOU NEED 2 DECKS OF CARDS)

Duration:

INTRODUCTION:10 MIN, REALIZATION: 30 MIN (DIFFERENT STEPS), PDCA THEORY: 15 MIN

Behind the tool

The tool was created by

Unknown.

(If you can claim authorship of this tool, please contact !)

The tool was published to the Toolbox by

Athanasios (Sakis) Krezios (on 8 December 2011)

and last modified

17 December 2008

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