Business Simulation Design Prerequisites

My simulations are designed to be used by trainers to develop practicing managers on company training courses in the classroom .











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The starting points to choosing a suitable business simulation or designing a new simulation are:


I use the term development because experience running simulations more than two thousand times has shown that they address wider needs than just delivering learning. My experience shows that a management course or session involves more than just content (knowledge) or skills practice. Rather, its design must include deciding how to ensure and enhance learning, motivate the participants and assess what they have learned and what they must learn. So, I use a session needs model that encompasses:

For further information about needs

Knowledge Exploration
Like learning on-the-job, simulations are particularly strong at developing business understanding through the experiential exploration of business issues. But, unlike learning on the job this exploration is in a focused, controlled and coached environment. An environment where it is possible to reflect on actions and share and compare approaches with fellow managers. My simulations explore business knowledge from simple concepts to advanced strategy.
Skills Practice
Management is not just to do with knowing or even understanding. It is necessary to apply and use the knowledge. To make decisions and solve real problems. My simulations do this and allow participants to practice problem solving, decision-making, analysis, diagnosis etc. as a member of a team in an uncertain, dynamic and ambiguous world. But a world where the trainer can ensure and manage learning.
Enhancing Learning
For working managers their learning must involve drawing on prior learning and experience and allow them to integrate this with the new learning in a memorable manner. Also, since managers are concerned with doing. part of the learning process must involve challenging their understanding and force them to reflect. My simulations do this.
The active and competitive nature of my simulations ensure involvement and hard work! So they can be used to break down inhibitions, provide a change of pace or an exciting course finale. Also, with the focus on business success, profits and results, my simulations provide an activity that emphasises these values in a team building environment.
Assessment & Evaluation
Although the, traditional academic examination is unlikely to be appropriate for working managers assessment of learning is important. As managers take charge of the lifelong learning, they need an activity that tests and challenges their knowledge and skills and identifies needs. For the trainer, there is the need to assess development needs to tailor the course and to evaluate learning to determine remedial work and course redesign. My simulations provide for this.


The most common and major constraint I face when designing and providing simulations is time. With modal management course lengths a week or less, no course activity can be long. So, I specialise in short durations - from two hours to two and a half days. In fact, on one memorable occasion, I developed a business simulation lasting two minutes!

But short durations must not be at the expense of learning and so my designs extend beyound the simulation model to encompass design structure, leanness and system dynamics.


The way a simulation is to be used influences its design. Over the years I have designed simulations to be used:

Click on the above to learn about the benefits of using the business simulation this way and the issues with using it in the manner.


I design and provide simulations for use on management development courses for in-company training, by training providers and training consultants. I have this focus because the requirements of this group is different from those of academic users on full time courses. In other words, I design for the adult business learner and their needs.

Besides considering the learners I design simulations that provide the support necessary for the trainer to manage and ensure training and transfer back to the workplace.

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1999 Jeremy J. S. B. Hall

Most recent update: 09/04/12
Hall Marketing, Studio 11, Colman's Wharf, 45 Morris Road, London E14 6PA, ENGLAND
Phone  +44 (0)20 7537 2982 E-mail