This page demonstrates a key Lean concept: Mura, or variation. The simulator is based on a game described in Goldratt's The Goal (which is well worth reading). Click the help button to the right of the spinner to get an explanation of how the simulation works.

4 Comments

  1. Bernie Clark on April 11, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Very nice, Allen. You always do good work. The Goal is an excellent book and this illustrates your point about work station averages nicely.
    I am not convinced that you can say this represents 5 back to back sprints, though. Subsequent sprint velocity is not constrained by prior sprint performance since stories are not passed ‘down the line’ as in a production process.

    I wonder if you will be doing a bottleneck simulator to demonstrate the effectiveness of WIP limits?

    • admin on September 2, 2017 at 3:45 pm

      Bernie — The sprint issue depends on whether or not the stories are dependent (i.e. you can’t release until you’ve completed a whole set of them). When they’re fully independent (as they should be if you’re following the INVEST criteria), normal averages kick in. When you have to complete a story before you can do the next one, then we have the dependent-variable situation demonstrated in the simulation.

      I’ve been pondering the notion of a WIP simulator, but I’m not sure what it would look like (other than a simulation of the coin-flip game). In the class, I was just going to get some friends to do the coin-flip exercise and record them. If anybody has a better idea, post it here!

  2. Denver on June 26, 2017 at 12:45 am

    Thanks alot – your answer solved all my problems after several days strnggliug

  3. Paul Newton on March 2, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    A project management trainer once sat my group down, gave us each 1 six-sided die, and had us roll the die to inject variability at each step of our simulated projects. I pocketed my die and keep it with me where ever I work. If asked about it I say that a project manager gave it to me as a schedule prediction tool. We used to have a joke about dice and estimation: “The first roll selects the number, the second roll selects the unit of time.”

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