"Some people think I am exaggerating when I describe the broad applicability of this simulation. I am not. We have used Paper Planes, Inc. with school teachers and administrators, the governor of a state and his cabinet, factory workers, and NASA astronauts. The insights about the necessity of having shared goals, knowledge of the final product, removal of unnecessary organizational silos, and uncovering the source of problems rather than pointing fingers are similar across industries."
"Paper Planes, Inc. is an excellent exercise for all levels of an organization. Participants learn the importance of communication, feeling like a part of the team, and budgeting time for continuous improvement."
"The Paper Planes, Inc. process demonstrates to people what it means to
be a learning organization."
"I started the session believing this was just another simplistic exercise that couldn't teach me anything new. Boy was I wrong. This simulation really captures the essence of the toughest issues organizational leaders face: An understanding of how seeing anything less that the big picture creates divisiveness, lowers commitment, and lessens quality."
"The participant response to Paper Planes, Inc. is overwhelmingly positive because it brings forth an awareness of the power which they possess to change systems in their work life."
Project Management and Communication for Engineering, Government, Banking, Education, and Science
What happens in most organizations when customers change their minds? Are the needs of your customers changing faster than your organization can adapt? How flexible is your company when things change?
Paper Planes, Inc. is an innovative, award-winning project management simulation that delivers bottom-line learning in an internationally successful format. Paper Planes, Inc. quickly reveals barriers to organizational success while providing insights into creative solutions and teamwork in business. Paper Planes, Inc. , helps participants experience the powerful effects of system reengineering and process improvement, gain first-hand knowledge about the cost and waste inherent in a dysfunctional system, recognize barriers to change, develop new paths to continuous improvement, see the impact of redesign and reengineering on quality, perceive the critical connection between systems thinking, total quality, and customer orientation.
Designed for groups of 12 to 50, Paper Planes, Inc. is recommended for project-oriented professionals want to adapt and communicate more effectively when customers (or higher-level execs) change their minds.
This innovative simulation received the 1993 David Campbell Innovation Award for Research & Development in Human Resources Development.
Participants are employees of a aerospace design company contracted to manufacture a new plane. These paper planes are needed by an international consortium for use in preliminary wind tunnel design tests for a plane that will travel the globe in two hours by flying to the stratosphere.
The work is divided functionally such that each person performs only a small piece of the overall job and consequently does not understand the overall process. The planes must meet specific visual and performance quality standards as defined by the customer.
The simulation consists of three production runs. After each, group members meet to discuss and evaluate their efforts measured by production cost, quality, customer satisfaction, delivery time and worker satisfaction. As each plane is completed it is inspected and tested before delivery to the customer. When questioned for causes of poor quality, typical responses are to blame others, point fingers, and complain about the customer. After evaluating the effectiveness of their efforts, the workers are allowed to redesign the production process in any way they choose. Again production is evaluated afterwards. Interventions from the customer complicate the work redesign and production process.
Run #1 - A Functionally Designed System: Participants manufacture the planes using an established production design.
Run #2 - A Group-Designed System: Participants experience first-hand the impact of employee involvement on quality, cost, commitment and morale by working with a system they have designed.
Run #3 - A Continuously Improving System: Participants learn that through collaboration and continuous improvement efforts, significant changes take place. These are changes that are easier to implement and maintain because of the participants' ownership of the change process.
Paper Planes, Inc. teaches valuable project management skills in an active, challenging, fun format. It is ideal for: