One Piece Flow vs Batch Experiment

This is something you can do with your kids, or with a couple of other people in the office.

You will need a few things for this experiment.
– A deck of cards sorted in suits. I.e. All hearts, then all diamonds, spades then clubs.
– A stopwatch
– A pen and paper to record the results

What we are going to do is create a little assembly line.

The layout of the assembly line is as follows (pleased excuse my lack of drawing capability).

image1

The deck of cards is the work that needs to be done, and the people are the process that works on them.

The first run is a batch size of 52 cards.
The cards are put in the first persons inbox.
Then the person starts work on them. Before work starts, please start the stop watch.
The first person takes the first card flips it over then places it in the outbox. The flipping of the card simulates work being done.
They take the second card, do the same thing for all 52 cards.
It is important that this be done at a steady pace. No rushing, say about 1-2 seconds per card.
Once all 52 are flipped, the batch is moved to the inbox for the next person.
The next person does the same thing. Again at a steady pace.
At the end of 52 cards, The batch is moved to the inbox for the third person. Their job is to turn the card upside down, also at a steady pace.
Please record the following.
The time it takes for the first card to reach the completed queue.
The time it takes for the first suit to reach the completed queue.
The time it takes to process all 52 cards.

The second batch size is 13 cards. Please split the cards based on suits. You should now have 4 batches.
Again run the same process again starting the stop watch when the first card is picked up.
It is important again that a steady pace remain. No rushing. The same pace as done at the first round.
At the end of 13 cards , the first person can move the batch from their outbox to the next persons inbox.
They can then move the next batch to their inbox and start processing while the second person processes the first batch and so forth.
Keep going until all 52 cards are processed.

Please record the following again.
The time it takes for the first card to reach the completed queue.
The time it takes for the first suit to reach the completed queue.
The time it takes to process all 52 cards.

The third and final run is for a batch size of 1.
Take the first card of the deck, flip it over then place it in the outbox, then place it in the inbox of the next person.
That person processes that card while person 1 pick up the next card off the pile.
repeat again until all 52 cards are processed.
Please record the following yet again.
The time it takes for the first card to reach the completed queue.
The time it takes for the first suit to reach the completed queue.
The time it takes to process all 52 cards.

The whole experiment should take about 15 min, once done, we can talk about the results which hopefully if this works, you should find interesting. Please let me know how you go in the comments below.

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