Sherlock Holmes Zombie Hunter

Lean Six Sigma Project Simulation

zombie attacks per month

This online DMAIC project simulation provides the opportunity for participants to apply conventional Lean Six Sigma methodology to an unconventional problem - zombies - in a constructive team environment. The focus on fictitious zombies forces participants to practice their investigative and analytical skills, rather than relying on their prior knowledge.

This one-day Sigma Sim ® is targeted for the Yellow Belt and transactional Green Belt levels. For groups interested in hands-on classroom exercises, it can be extended to a two-day session that integrates with instructor-led review and discussion.

  • Define the Problem

    We designed this project exercise to build capability through practice of process improvement skills. The simulation requires participants to employ Lean Six Sigma tools and methods to resolve process problems in a simulated project environment. The setting is Dragos, a fictitious village beset by the undead - Zombies that roam the otherwise serene streets seemingly at random. Through a series of investigative steps, i.e, an application of Lean Six Sigma critical thinking in an open-ended environment, participants practice structured problem solving to find the root cause of the problem.

    The simulation is designed for play by teams of 3 participants, although this criteria is flexible. The simulation introduces teams to the project problem, but it is up to the teams to initiate their investigation by making choices among a variety of possible activities to identify and define the problem plaguing the village, develop and test theories addressing root causes, and to implement and maintain long-term solutions. By shadowing the project lead, Sherlock Holmes, through the investigation, simulation teams listen to interviews, analyze data and correctly develop appropriate actions to solve the problem of roving Zombies in a time and cost efficient manner.

  • Complete

    Learning Objectives

    By completing this simulation, participants gain practice in the question/answer/action dynamic of DMAIC process improvement. Aside from critical thinking skills appropriate to the DMAIC approach, the simulation anticipates use of mapping, data collection and evaluation, control charts, sigma level calculations, FMEA and other, basic problem solving tools. Appropriate simulation participants will have completed introductory DMAIC (Yellow Belt or transactional Green Belt) training. No advanced data analysis tools are required.

  • Do your students need practice in operating as an effective process improvement project team? Do they struggle with understanding how to progress through the DMAIC framework in the absence of clear direction? Then this simulation can better prepare them for "real world" project work.

    Simulation Hours

    We designed the Sherlock Holmes Zombie Hunter series of simulations to meet the objective of providing a simulation that can be completed in one-day and that is appropriate for participants who have completed Yellow Belt or transactional Green Belt training. Because we emphasize capability development, and introductory Belt training may not have included project work, this simulation experience provides a time-compressed series of exercises that allows the participant to explore and discover the investigative methodology of Lean Six Sigma. While the topic of the simulation is light and engaging, the game play requires skill and judgement. With many potential teaching points embedded in the simulation, this Sigma Sim ® exercise can provide a meaningful capstone to your capability development program.

  • Designed to drive critical thinking over rote learning
  • Students learn teamwork and practice project management and tool skills
  • Multiple decision paths create variability in results
  • Scorecards help track project costs and progress
  • Tollgate reviews assess student comprehension
  • Students can complete the simulation in the course of a single day
  • Easily accessed online; no Kits or Set-Up required
  • Utilizes familiar DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Control-Improve) structure
  • Low-cost training solution for initiatives of all sizes
  • Instructors supporting this simulation should plan on running the simulation over the course of a single day - approximately 8 hours from beginning to end. It can be extended to a two-day session that incorporates instructor-led review and discussion of key concepts and tools.

    We provide your trainers with an Instructors Version of Sherlock Holmes Zombie Hunter that has unique functionality:

    • The instructor version includes supplemental instructor notes, solution files and schedules with suggested pacing for the simulation activities.
    • They have access to all the Options, Tollgate Questions and Solutions.
    • They can compare and display team scores per wave to drive awareness and competition.

    Access to the simulation and accompanying materials is open for 180 days.

  • The following are system requirements for MoreSteam eLearning:

    • The latest version of the following browsers:

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    • Display Properties Setting: Minimum 1024 x 768 screen resolution.
    • Audio: Optional audio in course.
    • Disable any pop-up blocker while in the course content.
    • Microsoft 365®
    • Note: Courses supporting Minitab® or JMP® contain Microsoft Excel® templates for the template tools not provided in those software packages.

      Additional system requirements for Minitab and JMP courses include:

      • Macro Security: Microsoft Excel macro security must be set to medium or lower.
      • Toolpaks: The Microsoft Excel Analysis Toolpak and Analysis Toolpak VBA must be installed.

Common Questions

Can individuals purchase this product?

Yes. Ordinarily, we recommend that this simulation be run by a team of 2 or 3 individuals. But individual students can successfully run through this simulation on their own. We will need to provide you with some basic information that an instructor would ordinarily provide, but if you are interested in trying this simulation on your own, send us an email and we will arrange your access.

Is there one single "true" answer?

No, not really. As in real life, there is not often a single correct answer. We have programmed Sherlock Holmes Zombie Hunter to provide a variety of solutions yielding a variety of results. As teams compete, they can see how their choices compare with the alternate choices of other teams. This is a risk-free way to analyze the impact of different decision pathways!

How long does it take to run?

In response to customer demand for a 1-day simulation, we designed Sherlock Holmes Zombie Hunter to meet that requirement. The instructor materials provide schedules of activities assuring completion of the simulation in one day including breaks.

Training simulations, such as Sherlock Holmes Zombie Hunter, are frequently combined with online courses to create a high-impact, blended program. See how this works.