Consulting on Business Simulation Design and Use

How I might help your in-house instructional design team or support your academic programmes.











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Now I'm semi retired I am happy to work with you designing new simulations or help you and your students learning about business simulation.

Here I discuss where I can help in terms of:

In 2012, in recognition of my work, I was made a Fellow of the Association for Business Simulation and Experiential Learning. Out of the 46 Fellows, I am the only non-professorial Fellow and only one of two located outside North America!

Business Experience

Prior to and in parallel with my early business simulation design days I worked in line management with GE and Honeywell. Initially, following an engineering degree from Imperial I went to work for GE in the USA an their Manaufacturing Management Program. After leaving this I got involved with Computer Time-Sharing (the first form of personal computing). Amongst other things this involved me with supply train modelling [1] andhelping marketing and finance with sales forecasting and financial budgeting.

I then returned to the UK to market the first interactive corporate (financial) modelling package and advise large companies on building financial models.

This background means that I understand company learning needs and connect with Subject Matter Experts.

Training Experience

Besides (as shown to the left) very extensive experience running business simulations with business people around the world, while with Honeywell I taught on their Executive Education Courses C-Level leaders about using computers. Following this, for a short period, I taught marketing at a college before moving on to teach marketing at Ashridge Management College (a world leading provider of Executive Education).

My business simulation use experience with business people ensures that I can help create designs that work!

Cover of my first business game

Business Simulation Design

I've been designin business simulations for company training since 1970 [2]. Over the years II have developed some 70 different simulations covering all types of simulation (Total Enterprise, Functional, Concepts, Planning, Process and Enhanced Negotiations), all industry sectors (Manufacturing, Service, Retain, Distribution, Banking and Not-for-profit) for all levels of staff (from individual contributors to senior management) and wide ranging uses (in the classroom, to promote the company, on assessment centres, at conferences etc.)

Graph of simulation development from 1970 todate

Design and Use Research

My designs are grounded in both practical experience and published researched. To the left is a picture of my receiving my Churchill Fellowship award from the UK Prime Minister John Major.

My research into the design and use of business simulations was recognised by ABSEL making me a fellow (ABSEL - the Association for Business and Experiential Learning is the world's leading business simulation and experiential learning society) and by the my position on the editorial board of Simulation & Gaming ( the world's foremost scientific review devoted to simulations and games).

Simulation Design Methodology

Designing a digital business simulation is challenging in terms of instructional and software design. It is an iterative, creative agile process but never-the-less the simulation must be delivered to time and to cost.

I articulated my design approach (the Rock Pool Method) [3] and shared it with other business simulation designers at the 2005 ABSEL (Association for Business Simulation and Experiential Learning) conference where it won the Best Paper Award.

beyond Reality Design

The diagram to the left shows the three aspects of business simulation design - reality, engagement and functionality [4].

Commonly design focus is on replicating the "real world" as exactly as possible (and assuming that this automaticallyensures good learning). In the diagram this is where the three axes meet. It assumes that engagement is automatic based on content and funtionality is not designed in.

In contrast, my "beyond Reality" conciet starts from the premise that the simulation's purpose is not replicating reality, rather it's purpose is effective, efficient and relevant business learning. Thus the simulation is positioned at the end of the functionality axis. But this impacts where the simulation cand be positioned on the other two axes and this is towards the middle of the engagement and reality axes

Meta-Composition Design

Here I am looking at the artistic aspects of simulation design. A crucial difference between the professionally trained artist and the amateur is their knowledge of composition - for graphic art composition relates to the design elements that are independent of the subject and, for business simulations, it is the design elements that are independent of the situation modellel. Just as to graphic art "without composition, there can be no picture" [5] for business simulations "without meta-composition there can be no simulation" [6].

Software Aspects

Besides the learning and artistic aspects of business simulation design there is the need for professional software design. My experience designing information systems (with GE and Honeywell), two books on data processing (cover picture of one on left) [7,8], my award winning simulation platform architecture and quality assurance methodology [9] means that I can bridge the gap between instructional designers and coders.

Amongst other things there is the need to be able to customise [10] (to meet new and changing learning needs), a tutor support system [11] (to ensure that the learning is managed) and use object orientation programming [12].

1. Hall, Jeremy J. S. B. (1975) Forecasting what your business system will do, SAM Advanced Management Journal Vol. 40 No. 3 Society for Advancement of Management, New York

2. Hall, Jeremy J. S. B.  (1994) EXEC - Management game system: exploration of software functionality? in The Simulation & Gaming Yearbook Volume 2 eds. Roger Armstrong, Fred Percival and Danny Saunders Kogan Page London

3. Hall, Jeremy J. S. B. (2005) Computer business simulation design: the rock pool method, Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential Learning, Volume 32

4. Hall, Jeremy J. S. B. (2009) Existing and Emerging Simulation Game Design Movements Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential Learning, Volume 36

5. Poore, Henry Rankin (1903) Pictorial Composition and the Critical Judgement of Pictures G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York and London

6. Hall, Jeremy J. S. B. (2015) Business Simulations: Reality ......... and Beyond Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential Learning, Volume 42

7. Hall, Jeremy (1978) How to Pass Examinations in Dataprocessing Cassells, London

8. Hall, Jeremy (1983) Dataprocessing Cassells, London

9. Hall, Jeremy J. S. B. (2014) Quality Assurance in Business Simulation Design Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential Learning, Volume 41
10. Hall, Jeremy J. S. B. (2014) Customising Business Simulations: an exploration and a hierarchy Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential Learning, Volume 40
11. Hall, Jeremy J. S. B. (1994a) Computerised Tutor Support Systems: the tutor's role, needs and tasks, The Simulation & Gaming Yearbook Volume 2 eds. Roger Armstrong, Fred Percival and Danny Saunders Kogan Page London.
12. Hall, Jeremy J. S. B. (1996b) Computerized Simulation Design: OOP or oops The Simulation & Gaming Yearbook Volume 4 eds. Danny Saunders, Fred Percival and Matti Vartiainen Kogan Page London

2014 Jeremy J. S. B. Hall

Most recent update: 29/12/14
Hall Marketing, Studio 11, Colman's Wharf, 45 Morris Road, London E14 6PA, ENGLAND
Phone  +44 (0)20 7537 2982 E-mail