Designing the Training Challenge

Jeremy J. S. B. Hall

Abstract


This paper explores the detail design of a business simulation, the issues that arose during the design and the reasoning behind the design actions. The Training Challenge is a simulation that was likely to present particular design challenges because of its industry setting, short duration, ambiguity, uncertainty and dynamic behaviour. Unusually, perhaps uniquely, the Training Challenge replicates a training company addressing the issues facing a small service-based knowledge transfer business. Unlike other total enterprise simulations with similar learning purposes that last a day or longer, this simulation needed to be run in half a day as it was to be used as part of a one-day workshop and this very short duration would be a problem. Reflecting the decisions facing such a company, many are ambiguous and so it would be difficult for learners to predict the impact of their decisions. Because of nature of client demand the simulation needed to be stochastic and this could cloud the analysis of results. The need for learners to position their company in terms of portfolios of customers and services, manage the short-term, tactical development and the long-term, strategic development of the business would mean that dynamic calibration would be crucial. Finally, as the simulation was to be part of a Business Acumen Workshop, the simulation needed to link with and support the rest of the workshop. Overall this paper attempts to capture the issues and “reasoning†throughout the design of a new business simulation.

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