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As a free tool on our website, we have shared many detailed “write-ups” of team training exercises.  We get hits (about 700 a day – not a lot by YouTube standards, but not half bad) from all over the world from trainers who take and then use these exercises to great effect with their teams.

Keypunch” is one of the classics that we’ve used and shared.  Since we penned that write-up, we’ve modified how we set it up and facilitate it to focus the team on how they ensure quality work, done safely, within tight time frames.  “Quality,” “safety” and “timeliness” are often in tension, so how do you help a team understand these pressures and then make daily decisions which reflect your goals and the priority that you place on these values?  For starters, you try the new, improved “Keypads”! 

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In the video (about 11 minutes long), you’ll hear from me and one of our strategic partners, Sardek Love of Infinity Consulting, as we take a group of engineers through the exercise.  I include a picture of the flipchart that I usually prepare and post to set up the work.  Detailed notes follow at the end.  Enjoy!

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Keypads Flipchart
Keypads Flipchart

Goal

  • For the team, as a whole, to touch all of the numbers in sequential order as efficiently as possible.

Time Frame

  • 30 minutes
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Supplies Needed buy isotretinoin

  1. Masking tape
  2. 30 poly spots (paper plates will do in a pinch, but you’ll need to tape them to the floor so that they don’t slide).  Using a magic marker, number these spots 1-30.
  3. 1 stopwatch

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Setup

  1. Outline a square on the floor roughly 10′ X 15′
  2. Distribute the spots randomly within the taped boundary.

Facilitation

  1. Review the goal, measure and guidelines with the participants. 
  2. Clarify the guideline “one person at a time in the job site.”  Note that the tape provides the boundary for the job site, and that the tape represents a floor-to-ceiling “force field.”  Only one person may have any part of themselves anywhere  within the area at any one time.  Of course, one person may completely exit the area, then another enter with no violation.
  3. With this one clarification, the rules, as stated on the flipchart, provide all of the information that the participants need to accomplish the task successfully.  When they seek clarification, e.g., “can we touch the spots with our hands?”, I usually respond by stating “Let me repeat the guidelines …” Usually by the 2nd or 3rd time, they get the messages that a. I won’t tell them “the answer,” and b. they are free to be creative within the guidelines to develop their solution.

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  4. Give them 2-3 minutes to plan their initial attempt.  When time is up, give them the “go” signal and start your stopwatch.
  5. As they perform their first attempt, keep track (to yourself) of any violations:
    1. Any number inadvertently touched out of order
    2. Every time more than one person is “in the job site.”  Even though you explained what this meant, EVERY group on the first go-round will forget what this means; some will physically step into the area or touch a spot before someone else has completely exited.  MANY people will point to the next spot to touch and, in doing so, will break the plane of the boundary when someone else is in the jobsite.
  6. When number 30 is touched, stop the time and briefly debrief their first attempt.  I usually simply tell them the time (say 55 seconds) and then the number of violations (frequently 20 or more).  When someone asks just what those violations were, I begin by applauding the question – we should always be searching for more information when the job doesn’t “go” right – and then explaining the nature of the violations.  Depending upon the focus of the workshop, I then frame the violations in terms of the negative results that they are trying to avoid back at work: in a safety workshop, each violation may represent a lost time incident; in a quality improvement workshop, each violation may represent a percentage increase in rejects.  With this frame,  I then suggest that they think about what they need to do differently to lower their time AND perform the job with NO violations.  
  7. Allow 2-3 more minutes to rework their plan before the second attempt.  When time is up, signal “go” and start your stopwatch.  Monitor violations, and stop the time when number 30 is touched.
  8. Briefly debrief the second attempt.  The time may or may not be faster, but the team usually completes the second attempt with far fewer, if any, violations.  Announce the time and the number of violations, then challenge them to fine-tune their process for better results on their last attempt.  If they still violated any of the guidelines, stress ZERO violations as the final goal. 
  9. Allow a final 2-3 minute planning time, signal “go,” monitor violations and note their final time.
  10. Debrief the entire exercise.  Most groups show substantial improvement in efficiency AND number of violations.  Using primarily open-ended questions, have the group consider any or all of the following, as appropriate:
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    • How thoroughly they knew the job and their individual roles before they stepped into it?  How this mirrors (or not) their approach back at work when confronted with a new project or a new role;
    • What it took to lower their time?  What they changed to lower the number of violations?  How the urgency of “the clock” prompted rushed behavior and subsequent violations?  The tension back on the job between “do it fast” and “do it right”?
    • How leadership emerged within the group to drive the improvement?  What did effective leadership look like in this exercise?  How we as leaders use those skills to successfully manage project completion back at work?
    • And more.  Tune your questions and comments towards the dynamics that you observed in the group.  Your goal is to help them see just what they did that worked, what they did that was ineffective, and how they need to address similar, work-related situations in the future.

I encourage you to give this one buy lioresal online after comparing prices. order baclofen without a prescription. how much does lioresal cost? a try.  When I first encountered it 15 years ago, I thought that it was “lightweight,” but gave it a shot anyway.  I have since seen it work scores of times, and it’s now one that I keep in the backpocket for just about any group working through any particular team dynamic.

Appreciate the value we provide?  Want to learn how to expertly use activities like these to guide deep learning and growth?  Join us for our Experiential Expertise Train-the-Trainer May 25-29, 2011.

Questions or comments on this exercise?  Email Rob.

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