Kanban Automotive Revolution

1st of August

Kanban Automotive Revolution is a 2 to 4 player board game that plays over 2 hours in order to determine whom among the players is the best manager for the job. The main setup is that all players are managers in an automobile factory, and need to optimize their resources in order to get results out of their assembly line in order to impress the upper management. The game was designed by Vital Lacerda, and released by Stronghold games. The game is of the worker placement variety in the traditional eurogames fashion: each turn the player has to make decisions on where to allocate his workers (or in this case worker as he has only one: himself!) in order to be as performant as possible, aka score the most points.

Since we all would like to make our job into our hobby (or was that the other way around?), I decided to try the game with a few of my friend who are into playing board games as much as I am, so here is what the outcome of that experience was:

First off, since it was our first time playing the game, we knew that the 2 hour gameplay announced by the box was not going to conform to reality. Turns out, we spent nearly 4 hours playing the game, trying to come to grips with the different options the assembly line provided us. Just a quick look at the board already tells you that choices are going to be needed and they will quite possibly be suboptimal most of the time when playing it for the first time.

Kanban Board Game

Although this bird’s eye view of the game seems daunting, the board can be quickly divided into 5 major areas: the Design department, Purchasing & Stock, the Manufacturing plant, the Test & Improvement area, and the Management Board Room. Each of these departments have distinctive actions that are allowed in them, as well as the opportunity to get some on-the-job training in order to get certified for the department. This certification unlocks new possibilities. This certification unlocks new possibilities. You can also work in an efficient manner and bank time to be spent on a later turn.

Very much a game where you need to think about what you’re doing and how to efficiently manage your resources, but this is where the applicability of my skill set as a process analyst ends. Some fun facts: The actions by management can influence all departments and cause any outcome, but you lose some actions (due to the red tape) as an additional cost. Your procurement department is allergic to excess stock. And never underestimate the importance of training your people to increase their performance. ☺

Review BPM