Examples of Beer Game Session Schedules

Discover below some example of session plans and their respective durations.

In this article:

We have put together some slides to support these schedules. The presentation includes content about supply chains, collaboration, innovation, and can serve as a starting point for your own event.

Download the Power Point - Supply Chain Training Template

General Comments

The game can be used in many different trainings, courses or seminars. You may introduce these topics (among others):

  • Sales and Operations planning,
  • Sales seminar - explain how sales and operations could work better together,
  • Production planning or Demand planning training - introduce planning tools and methods,
  • Courses in Industrial engineering, MBA, Supply chain.. - engage students actively and let them remember key topics

As a rule-of-thumb, you can estimate 1 week in the game takes 1 to 1.5 minute for the participants to complete. So a 20-weeks game will last a maximum of 30 minutes. To make sure you keep schedule, activate a 1-min timer to limit the time available for participants to validate their order each week.

Playing the Beer Game is a great occasion to introduce your own projects and initiatives. If you are facing tough market or supply conditions, if you launch a new planning tool, or if you have any reorganization project, add your context into the agenda!

Two Rounds - Default - 2h

To support this session, you can use the template "Default Beer Game". The first round is played with no communication allowed between players and 3 weeks of Lead time between each stage. The end-consumer demand starts at 4 per week, and jumps to 8/week on week 5 due to an unexpected marketing promotion.

On round 2, the game has the same layout/configuration as round 1, except that players are able to discuss and can see each-others information. You can explain that round 2 happens one year after round 1, and this time the marketing team has warned you about its marketing promotion starting on week 5. The demand starts at 4 per week, and from week 5 it jumps around 8/week with a bit of variability.

Session schedule for 2 rounds:

Activity Duration
General introduction - What is a Supply-Chain? 10 min
Explain the game rules by sharing your screen 10 min
Play First Round - 20 weeks 30 min
First Round Debriefing and Discussion 20 min
Play Second Round - 20 weeks 30 min
General Debriefing and last words 20 min

Two Rounds - Shorter - 1h30

For constrained schedules, we provide a shorter version of the default template: Short Beer Game.

Its settings are similar to the default one, expected that each game lasts until week 12.

Also, each role has a lead time of 2 weeks instead of 3.

You can expect each round to last only 15-20 minutes instead of 30 minutes.

You can select this template when creating a new session:

Single Round - 1h

If your schedule is even more constrained, you can play a single round instead of two.

The drawback is that players will not get the occasion to practice collaborative planning via the Transparent mode.

Steps to create a session with a single round:

  • Create your session from one of the templates described above: Default Beer Game or Short Beer Game.
  • Go to the session settings and remove the second round.
  • Save your session, this will remove the round 2 games.

Session schedule for a single round:

Activity Duration
General introduction - What is a Supply-Chain? 5 min
Explain the game rules by sharing your screen 5 min
Play the game - 20 weeks 30 min
Debriefing and Discussion 20 min

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