How to create a learning environment to discuss Lean principles and practices, while having fun?

This was the question we had in mind when we developed the first version of the Lean Lego Game. After revolutionizing the automobile industry, Lean principles have been applied to different knowledge areas, from Manufacturing to Supply Chain Management, to Health Care and more recently, to Software Development. However, not many people have been introduced to the concepts that made Lean successful.

This is an interactive session where participants work in teams in a small Lego production line, experiencing problems and applying Lean practices to overcome them. Designed to alternate hands-on activities with retrospective/discussions, and content slides, participants throughout the workshop will be introduced to concepts such as:

  • Push vs. Pull Systems
  • Kanban
  • Systems Thinking
  • Work Cells
  • Waste
  • Kaizen

Why create this page?

We wanted to create this page to serve as a reference to anyone interested in learning more about the Lean Lego Game, and for sharing experiences with people who already ran it. This workshop is a work-in-progress and every time we run it, we find improvements and gather important feedback from participants. If you have any question/comment/suggestion about the game, please leave a comment here.

Material and License

We are distributing the material we use to run the game in a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial license. This means that you’re free to use and adapt it, as long as you give appropriate credit and do not use it for commercial purposes. We also kindly request for your feedback to help us improve the workshop. To ask for the material, simply get in touch by e-mail. The package contains:

  • Facilitator’s Guide: instructions and tips for running the workshop (list of materials, suggested agenda, room setup, …)
  • Slides: currently 2 versions (short-version: 1:30h / long-version: 3:00h)
  • Print material: instructions and Lego specifications ready to be printed

The only thing that we can’t provide are the actual Lego bricks, so you have to get them yourself :-)

The Lean Lego Game has already been presented at…

  • Encontro Ágil 2009 – São Paulo, SP
  • Agile 2009 – Chicago, US
  • ThoughtWorks UK Away Day 2009
  • XP 2009 – Sardinia, Italy
  • Agiles 2008 – Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Internally at ThoughtWorks (London, China, …)
  • … (let us know if your session is missing here)


Some of the inspirations and influences for developing/improving the Lean Lego Game were:

  • The Red Beads Experiment, by Dr. W. Edwards Deming
  • Lego XP Game, by Sam Newman
  • Feedback from a lot of amazing ThoughtWorkers (and ex-ThoughtWorkers)

Creative Commons License
Lean Lego Game by Danilo Sato & Francisco Trindade is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at

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