PRETORIA, South Africa — Shooting co-workers as a team-building exercise? A recent a paintball excursion for Body Construction team leaders at Ford South Africa Silverton Vehicle Operations proved that’s not as crazy as it sounds.
Gathering at a paintball arena on a hot and sunny day for a brief welcome and introduction, team leaders registered and received their paintball guns. The rules and objectives of the game were then explained – in a One Ford twist – using the idea of the Ford Production System (FPS).
The goal was the capture of the opponent’s team flag, but success also depended on critical inputs: zero injuries or fatalities, high shot accuracy or “quality,” and high speed.
The two teams were given time to work out their strategies using the FPS tools provided, but it didn’t take long for their competitive spirits to kick in. After about 20 minutes, both teams confirmed that they were ready to enter the battlefield.
When the battle began, all hell broke loose as paintballs flew in all directions, some people shouted instructions to their team members, and others shouted in pain after being hit.
With the game not going as planned, it was brought to a halt after consuming 2,000 paintballs. Both teams deployed their maintenance members and safety crews for repair and to “revitalize” team members who had been shot.
Given time to reflect on what had gone wrong, both teams were ready for the second half of the battle 30 minutes later. Following a planned, structured approach, the teams found their strategies falling into place. While only one team won, both left with a deeper understanding of the importance of FPS.
After handing back their equipment and doing “end of shift checks,” players relaxed with a braai and cold drinks.
When asked what could be learned from the team building event, all the participants agreed that it is far too easy to lose focus on what needs to be done if we don’t stick to roles and responsibilities, processes, and set-out standards.
“Through this team-building event, it is proved how a standardised system can benefit you in any situation. The lessons learned are very practical and it ingrains the FPS Principles with the teams,” said Ockert Berry, Plant Manager.
“Team building with an FPS twist is the best way to learn how to apply our Global Ford Production System standards,” said Rima Jasser, Ford Production System Manager, responsible for the implementation of GFPS in Asia Pacific and Africa. “There is an element of fun in everything we do. Keep it up, FMCSA!”
The two teams were given time to work out their capture-the-flag strategies using the FPS tools provided to them.
The teams learned practical lessons ingrained with the principles of FPS.