Help with 'The Beer Game' LO25844

From: KiWiDressler (
Date: 01/03/01

Replying to LO25837 --

>In a couple of weeks, I'll be facilitating it
>again and the audience is a mixed group of managers from a manufacturing
>organization who are experiencing supply chain management problems.


You may ask the participants individually to complete and send to you a
What are the undesirable effects which I suffer from?
What do I consider to be the underlying core problem?
Which measures would in my opinion solve the problem?

Then you will know enough about where each members position is. The games
intention is to make this position move. Besides the Beer Game it seems
crucial to me that no one loses his/her face - and some may have advocated
their view of core problem and solution vehemently in the past! I think
only common appreciation for all individual suffering can help to overcome
such barrier to moving.

The task of the debrief then would be to check the success of the
intervention: Did you create a consensus among all participants on the
core problem and the direction of the solution?

The answer to the questions above can also lead to the insight that the
Beer Game is not the appropriate intervention! It depends on the
non-systemic mental models underlying the existing problem. In the case of
blaming others without sufficient feedback, the beer game is great: The
suggested solution is to implement the required feedback. But many
supply-chain problems do not stem from this root. The deeper common root
to supply-chain problems is forcasting: "If we only knew what the future
will bring." But we don't know. So what now? No feedback will bring us
news from the future.

Make sure that you understand the nature of the problem in this specific
case. That you know what kind of measures will solve the problem. And that
you apply that intervention that will prepare the ground for this fitting
solution. The worst that could happen is that you leave the participants
helpless with how to solve their problem.

Liebe Gruesse,


-- (KiWiDressler)

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