Business Simulation Design
simulations are designed to be used by trainers to
develop practicing managers on company training courses in the classroom .
The starting points to choosing a suitable business simulation or designing a new simulation are:
BUSINESS SIMULATION DEVELOPMENT NEEDS
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
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
- 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
- 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.
MANNER OF BUSINESS SIMULATION USE
- The way a simulation is to be used influences its
design. Over the years I have designed simulations to be
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.
© 1999 Jeremy J. S. B. Hall
- 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.
Most recent update: 09/04/12
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