Lean Simulation Modeling Challenge
Build a Model in 5 Days and 1 Hour a Day!
July 24-28, 2023

Why Would I Want To Do This?

Have you been curious about Simulation Modeling, but never had the opportunity to explore its potential?
Do you have a Process Improvement project or Kaizen event that could benefit from modeling the process?
Would you like to supercharge your skills and resume by adding Simulation Modeling skills?
Are you concerned about the performance of key Value Streams, that have not been analyzed for a long time?
Do you have about 1 hour a day for 5 days to make this happen?

Build A Value Stream Model In Only 5 Days and Get a 30-day Pass to the Lean Design Studio!

A “Challenge” is a short-duration program with the goal of developing a skill or achieving a result in a short period of time. The Challenge¬†part of the program is that you as a participant are challenged to complete a part of the work every day. The Challenge is designed to be doable, and each day will require about 30 minutes of learning in addition to homework assignments.

The reward at the end of the Challenge will be a completed model for process improvement, hands-on experience with the simulation modeling method, and exposure to model building and simulation software.

Here is the 5-Day Plan

The Challenge has been designed to fit within a 5-day window, and to be able to be accomplished in approximately 1 hour a day, including both learning and completing the homework assignments. The lessons are pre-recorded, so that you can fit them into your schedule. Your participation in the Challenge includes a full membership in the Lean Design Studio, including all of the Mixed Model courses, the Lean Design Simulator, and detailed implementation Roadmaps.

The Simulation Software

There are many commercial simulation software options available today, but they all fundamentally work the same way, based on discrete-event simulation modeling standards. For someone new to simulation models, there are three challenges with using commercial simulation software. First, the software tends to be expensive. This is understandable given its more limited market and higher support requirements, but you can expect to pay thousands to tens of thousands of dollars for a single license. Second, the learning curve is steep. Expect to invest significant time in learning the software. Third, the simulation software was not designed specifically to model Value Streams...it is more multi-purpose. So it may be harder to build models that work the way you want them to. In response to these three issues, we developed the Lean Design Simulator (over a period of many years). The learning curve is significantly less, and the software is included as a part of the Lean Design Studio. In this Challenge we will build, run, and test our models all within less than 60 minutes a day and a total of 5 days!

What You Will Learn

If you were building a new airplane design, you would not design it, and then build it to see if it would fly. You would want to have an design testing step using a model of the full-scale plane. A wind tunnel.

Think of simulation modeling as your Lean Wind Tunnel, where you can test your process changes in a low-cost and low-risk environment before you implement them. Trying to fix problems in the "real world" is the most expensive choice, if you could have designed them out first. Kaizen should not be fixing bad designs after the fact.

Simulation modeling will generate a ton of data, but there are two main areas that you will focus on: identifying and improving bottlenecks in the product flow, and optimizing utilization of resources (people and machines). You will run a series of experiments, changing buffers, number of people, and the flow itself, in order to improve these two areas.

But can't we just do this without using simulation modeling, or just by "going to the gemba"? Unfortunately no. A mixed model environment is too complex to be understood accurately just in your head or in a static spreadsheet, even for experienced Lean practitioners. There are too many moving parts to really understand what will happen when the inputs (like the mix and volume of products) change. So you can either try to anticipate problems ahead of time using simulation modeling, or you can try to deal with the problems later on when they are much harder and more expensive to fix.

Coaching During the Challenge

You will need some hand-holding during the Challenge, even if you already have some modeling experience. At key points during the Challenge we will be asking you to share your work so we can review it and provide feedback.

We will also have a private Forum set up for Challenge participants to post questions and share insights.

We understand that time is of the essence in a challenge, so we commit to being available during this time so we can respond to questions quickly.


What if I don't have an example to work on?
No problem. We’ll provide you with a sample project that you can use for input.
Can I use my own simulation software?
Yes, but we won’t be able to help you with it. We recommend that even if your company is already using commercial simulation software that you use the Lean Design Simulator for this Challenge. The learning curve is low, and everyone participating in the Challenge will be using the same tools.

The skills that you learn in the Challenge will be directly transferrable to any simulation software, so your efforts will not at all be wasted.
What about keeping my process data secure?
The Lean Design Simulator runs in your browser, not in the cloud, so it will remain on your local computer. If you choose to upload your data to the Lean Design Studio for review, the Studio staff are the only ones who will see it.

In addition you can mask all of your product and process names, and you can even change your process times to add additional protection if desired.
Can we participate as a team?
Yes, as long as you are working on a single model. You will also need to share the Lean Design Studio subscription login credentials.
Can we use the simulation software after the Challenge is over?
Your membership in the Lean Design Studio will last until the end of the month. After that time there are several inexpensive options for continuing your membership, include a simulation-only option.
What if I can't keep up with the schedule?

You will have access to the Simulation Modeling Challenge course until the end of the month, so if something comes up that prevents you from keeping up, you can still catch up. You will still have access to the training materials and homework assignments.

How much time per day will be needed?

The lessons will take about 15-30 minutes per day, and the homework assignments are designed to be completed in less than 30 minutes.

The lessons are pre-recorded so you can complete them at a convenient time. Maybe first thing before the day gets busy?

Do we need to participate at a fixed time every day?
No, because the lessons are pre-recorded you can do them at any time. What you won’t be able to do, however, is to jump ahead, since the lessons will be released one day at a time.

Value Stream Simulation Challenge Sign-up