Paper Planes, Inc.®



Paper Planes, Inc.® helps participants experience the powerful effects of system re-engineering 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 re engineering on quality, perceive the critical connection between systems thinking, total quality, and customer orientation.

Paper Planes, Inc is a Level 2 Simulation

Participants are employed by a plane manufacturing company that has the opportunity to sell as many planes as they can manufacture that meet specific quality standards. Each participant plays an individual role in the production process, i.e., inspector, tester, etc.

The simulation consists of three production runs. After each run, group members discuss and evaluate their efforts measured by production cost, quality, customer satisfaction, delivery time and worker satisfaction. After evaluating effectiveness of their efforts, workers are allowed to redesign the production process to their own specifications. Serial interventions from the manufacturing company’s customer complicate the work redesign and production process.

Production Runs:

Run #1 – A Functionally Designed System: Participants manufacture 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 within a system they helped designed.

Run #3 – A Continuously Improving System: Participants learn that through collaboration and continuous improvement efforts, significant changes can take place. These changes are easier to implement and maintain because of the participants’ ownership of the change process.

  • Awareness of the problems inherent in compartmentalized work and just how effective a team can become.
  • How participation affects work ownership
  • Innovation of continuous improvement.
  • Elements of successful work redesign and re-engineering are identified.
  • Critical connections between systems, quality and an organizational customer orientation.
  • Effects of work redesign on cost, quality and overall team productivity.

In addition, the business simulation:

  • Quickly reveals barriers to organizational success
  • Provides insights into creative solutions.
  • Effectively transfers workshop learning to the workplace
  • Program Length: 5-7 hours
  • Space Required: 25 sq. feet per participant
  • Accommodates: 12-30 participants

Paper Planes, Inc.® is a registered trademark of Discovery Learning, Inc.