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The Big 13 – Product or service design, development and production process

All the goods and services that are available for consumers to buy have been through some kind of design, development and production process.

Simulating this process can be highly illuminating and addresses the development of many other enterprise capabilities. For a production process to run smoothly and successfully a team has to work well and communicate. For a product to be successful it has to be creative, for a service to survive it has to be well planned.

An activity which addresses elements of production process is a coherent way of bringing together these enterprise skills and identifying, in a very real way, their importance.

Case Study – Herringthorpe Infants Making Boxes

Year Two teacher Lynne Pepper chose to deliver an activity from Rotherham Ready’s ‘Primary Enterprise’ pack. She attended the project’s ‘Inspire’ training event and was itching to see how her children would react to activities which dealt with ‘enterprise’ in a more explicit way.

Using the pack Lynne and two other Year Two teachers decided to run the ‘Making Boxes’ activity over the course of a week, so children could get really immersed in the topic. They followed the pack, looking at why packaging is so important and how quality and design can influence a consumer. Children looked at examples of packaging and discussed what made them attractive.

Then, in groups, children formed businesses. They looked at branding and created names and logos for their companies. They identified all the roles involved in the production of a box – Manager, Stock Controller, Markers, Cutters and Assemblers. Children had to ‘apply’ for these roles in their company giving reasons why they would be good at them.

Then they formed production lines and went into production – with everyone performing their roles in the process. The pack included templates for boxes and clear instructions about how to arrange the activity. Lynne said the children learnt a lot during this process – that everyone had a part to play and they all had to work together. She said: “Often children can be good at speaking, but not listening. It was really important here that they all listened to each other and worked together. It took co-operation from every part of the production line to create a good product, if one part was out then the product suffered. The Stock Controller was checking the quality, and anything that wasn’t up to scratch went back.”

The children decorated the boxes and even made sweets to go inside then. One company took inspiration from other lessons and themed marketing on ‘Space’, a topic they had been looking at recently in class.  The strap line on the ‘Space Sweets’ box read ‘Out of this world…’

With so many conflicting ideas and opinions children also had to find strategies to make decisions – some companies took votes, and when there was a tie the manager had the final say.

Lynne said:

“The children were so purposeful; they loved every minute of the activity. They realised that it takes many parts to make up the whole – and that they all had a role to play in the overall quality of the finished product.”