Ancillary Tasks

There are additional, optional tasks that enrich the simulation but add to it's duration. Here I describe tasks that I have used regularly when using simulations..

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Here we describe the optional tasks and for each I can provide a information sheet that can be used as a handout when you use my simulations.

Work Sheets

A full set of financial worksheets may be used to allow teams to replicate the results produced by the simulation. These reinforces previous financial learning and tests financial understanding and serve these purposes:

Illustrate Calculations - the work sheets serve to illustrate operational and financial calculations. They are provided as part of the participant's pack but use is not required. Participants who wish can use them. For numerate participants (engineers & scientists) the work sheets are particular useful in illustrating financial calculations.

Explain Results - the work sheets are used (if necessary) to explain how results are calculated. So, if a team questions the accounting calculations, the work sheets are used to reconcile them.

For Planning - the work sheets are provided to help with planning.

Reinforce Financial Learning - here the teams receive partial results (typically sales demand figures) and use the work sheets to construct full results. Although this can be done every period I suggest they should not be introduced before period two or three. By this time a team will have obtained a basic understanding of the simulation and be ready for additional work. Also, since working through the worksheets can take between thirty minutes and an hour, it is advisable to do this activity only once.

Please email me to get a copy of an example worksheet. If in the email you specify the simulation that you may wish to use, I will provide the appropriate worksheet.

Board Presentation

As part of the review at the end of the simulation teams may be asked to present a critical analysis of their performance - a Board Presentation

The preparation for a very short board presentation will take about half an hour. A longer presentation an hour and, if extensive use of visual aids is expected, longer. Because of this, it saves time if preparation is scheduled for after dinner or over a lunch break.

Teams should be warned of the board presentation during the briefing and given the board presentation brief two or three periods before the end of the decision-making stage. For a very detailed and formal presentation and if the simulator provides these, the team commentaries and audit reports may be supplied to the team.

To avoid repetition, if there are more than three or four teams, each team may be asked to concentrate on one or two areas.

Please email me to get a copy of an editable brief for this activity.

Key Results Forecast

As teams develop an understanding of the simulation they can be asked to submit, with their decisions, forecasts for key results. This will force them to think carefully about the effect of their decisions. Limited initial understanding and high initial workload, means that this activity should not commence before period three or four.

Materials for participants include a Key Result Forecasts brief and a forecast form. (This form may need to be altered to reflect the business simulated.)

As these forecasts should be part of a team's normal planning, there is no need to lengthen the decision-cycle. With some simulations, the forecasts may be entered into the simulator where they are compared with actual results. Otherwise, the tutor may wish to record the actuals and forecasts on a form or on a spreadsheet.

Please email me to get a copy of an editable brief for this activity and an example forecast form. If in the email you specify the simulation that you may wish to use, I will provide the appropriate forecast form.

Management Briefing

With many of my simulations, the company simulated is a subsidiary of another. This allows the tutors to role-play the management of the parent company. The management briefing is a formal meeting with the parent company management. At this meeting teams present and defend their business plan. Optionally, they may ask for additional funding (for example bank loan guarantees or equity funds.)

The management briefing can occur before the first period is simulated. Here it can be used to check understanding and grasp of the problem. It can be used at the end of a year's trading. This allows learning to be assessed and corrective action taken. At the year-end review, the team should critically discuss the past year and specify strategies and actions for the next year.

The management briefing may be used instead of the board presentation at the end of the simulation.

If the meeting is held during the simulation, each team meets separately with parent management (tutors). These meetings will take between fifteen and twenty minutes. Unless there are sufficient tutors the meetings must occur consecutively. Although, while one team is meeting with the tutors the others can be planning or working on other activities.

If the management briefing is used at the review, in turn, each team presents to one or more senior manager their review of trading and budget for the following year. The other teams observe the process and, if they still have to make their presentation, they watch the proceedings with anticipation!

Materials consist of a brief for the participants and one for tutors and visiting management.

Please email me to get a copy of an editable brief for this activity.

Business Plan

If a full management briefing is not wanted, teams may be asked to submit a short written plan. A good time to do this is at the end of each trading year. However, it is desirable if this task is introduced about half way through the simulation (so as not to add to initial workload and when teams have an understanding of their business and markets).

Teams should be given additional time to review and analyse their position and prepare for the next year. The written business plan helps focus this activity.

Year ending review, replanning and documentation of the plan takes between thirty minutes and an hour.

The plans can be used in the review to critique team presentations and results. (They serve to constrain flights of fancy where a team uses actual results to define plans rather than the reverse.)

Please email me to get a copy of an editable brief for this activity.

Organisational Structure

Teams may degenerate into fire fighting or act as a disorganised committee. This handout is designed to make teams think about their organisation and management process. It should stimulate discussion about individual responsibilities and the time span of their plans (are they planning far enough ahead and analysing past results?).

Discussion will be relatively short (fifteen minutes or so). Therefore, it can fit into the normal decision period especially if the handout is not used before the third period.

Please email me to get a copy of an editable brief for this activity.

Brief for Visitors

Visiting management can play a useful role in observing and coaching teams. However, there is the risk that they get so involved that they usurp authority from teams. To prevent this happening a brief is enclosed to explain to visitors the learning process and suggest ways in which the visitor can help

Please email me to get a copy of an editable brief for this activity.

Brief for Team Coaches

This brief provides information where a coach sits in with each team. So, it describes his or her role and tasks.

Please email me to get a copy of an editable brief for this activity.

Simulation Newspaper

A simulation newspaper can be used to present qualitative information and "clues" about business problems and opportunities. Preparing a newspaper takes time and can add, significantly, to the tutor's workload. So, if a tutor is not dedicated to the task, most editorials should be prepared before hand.

Learning from Simulation

This is an optional handout that explains to participants what to expect from a simulation. It should be used when participants have not experienced a simulation or where their expectations are that the simulation is going to be a fun "game" rather than a challenging learning experience. (This is not to say that simulations are not enjoyable and stimulating.)

Please email me to get a copy of an editable brief for this activity.

Choosing a Winner

Although, usually, it is not advisable to choose a winner occasionally this is necessary. To help with this, measures of success are described together with two ways of choosing a winning team.

Please email me to get a copy of an editable brief for this activity.

  2010 Jeremy J. S. B. Hall

Most recent update: 08/01/15
Hall Marketing, Studio 11, Colman's Wharf, 45 Morris Road, London E14 6PA, ENGLAND
Phone & Fax +44 (0)171 537 2982 E-mail
jeremyhall@simulations.co.uk