A Halloween Story

It was shortly after Halloween, and we had candy left over.

Our neighborhood is getting older and not as many kids. This year we passed out small packets of M&Ms.

We had several large bags of them left over. Plenty of temptation!

Learning with M&Ms?

As I opened and poured the M&Ms out into my hand, I was reminded of a recent Managing Operations Workshop I had taught.

As I looked at the M&Ms, I quickly arranged them by color noting that there were more blue ones and only two greens.

I made a quick examination, and one of the blue M&Ms was misshaped. The M was also missing from one of the brown ones.

Explaining the Pareto Principle

In the Managing Operations Workshop, I use a large bag of M&Ms to perform a modal analysis and teach the application of the Pareto Principle.

In the workshop exercise, the students learn how to sample, identify and define variations. They also determine if there is a production problem.

Students learn to prioritize problem resolution by identifying the issues have the greatest impact on time and costs.

Applying Lessons Learned

Every Managing Operations student remembers the M&M exercise! They remember how to apply the lessons learned to their operation.

Recently, a student from a call center applied the lesson to her operation to reduce customer complaints by 30%!

Others have applied the lesson learned to prioritize problems and realize significant improvements in:

  • Quality
  • Productivity
  • Timeliness

Like the M&M exercise, the skills, tools and lessons learned in the Managing Operations Workshop are retained and applicable throughout your career.

If you are interested in enhancing the operations mindset of your team, contact me at FTP Consulting Services, Inc..

Summary
Article Name
A Halloween Story
Description
In the Managing Operations Workshop, I use a large bag of M&Ms to perform a modal analysis and teach the application of the Pareto Principle. Students learn how to sample, identify and define variations. They also determine if there is a production problem.
Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *