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Paper Planes


Designed from a systems perspective, Paper Planes, Inc.® is a simulation focusing on teamwork, collaboration, organizational effectiveness, silos, engagement and customers service. Using proven learning methods, it is highly interactive, pragmatic and relevant. It combines real organizational issues with leadership and team challenges through specific emphasis on teamwork, collaboration, change and communication. It uses a data informed learning approach where participants can measure their team’s results by tracking their progress against normative data.


Participants are employees of an aircraft manufacturing company. Each participant plays an individual role in the production process, i.e., assembler, inspector, tester, etc. The group has an opportunity to sell as many planes as they can manufacture that meet specific visual and performance quality standards as defined by the customer. The simulation consists of three production runs. After each, the group members meet to discuss and evaluate their efforts measured by production cost, quality, customer satisfaction, delivery time and worker satisfaction. After evaluating the effectiveness of their efforts, the workers are allowed to redesign the production process to their own specifications and to produce more planes. Again production is evaluated afterwards. Several interventions from the customer complicate the work redesign and production process.


Run #1 – Traditionally Designed System
Participants run a pre-designed production system for making planes

Run #2 – Participatively Designed System
Participants experience first-hand the impact of employee involvement on quality, cost, commitment and morale by working with a system they have designed as a team.

Run #3 – High Performing System
Participants learn that through collaboration and continuous improvement efforts, significant changes take place. These are changes that are easier to implement and maintain because of the participants’ ownership of the change process



  • Participant workbooks
  • Role specific instructions
  • Materials needed to assemble the planes (Package contents vary depending on group size.)


  • Re-usable supplies i.e. rulers, glue guns, scissors,
    pencils, etc.


  • Downloadable Facilitator Materials
  • eLearning modules: Simulation Facilitator Essentials
  • eLearning modules: Paper Planes, Inc.
  • One-on-one coaching with Master Trainer
  • Access to the MHS Talent Assessment Portal

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