Extending the production dice game

Marc Lambrecht*, Stefan Creemers, Robert Boute, Roel Leus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: The production dice game is a powerful learning exercise focusing on the impact of variability and dependency on throughput and work-in-process inventory of flow lines. This paper seeks to extend the basic dice game along the following lines. First, it will allow operations to take place concurrently as opposed to sequentially, which works better in a classroom setting. Second, it will allow both starvation and blocking of the line. Third, it will consider balanced lines with workstations characterized by different degrees of variability. Finally, it aims to use different sets of dice in order to represent a wide range of variation coefficients of the production line. The obtained insights can be extended to a supply chain context as well. The developed game can be played on-line and the software is freely downloadable. Design/methodology/approach: The paper extends the dice game and offers an easy-to-use simulation tool. Findings: The key aspect of students' learning experience is the understanding of the relationship between variability and throughput in an environment with dependent workstations and limited buffers. Originality/value: A rather complicated research question is transformed into an easy-to-use simulation tool that in no time can be used by practitioners and students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1460-1472
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Buffers
  • Dice game
  • Indoor games
  • Learning
  • Simulation
  • Students
  • Throughput
  • Variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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