Business simulation program preparing managers for greater responsibilities8 engineers – 2 days
ChallengeEight engineers – project managers in a company involved in the construction of telecommunication networks had been nominated for promotion to the position of project director. Their responsibilities were to increase significantly. They were now responsible for huge budgets across all projects, for which they needed a broad perspective of the whole business and not just of individual projects. As they passed through the development center, the need to develop the engineers’ competence in strategic decision-making was illustrated. The department head was searching for the best methods to prepare the eight engineers for their new responsibilities.
SolutionThe HR business partner suggested a strategy game as the most appropriate tool to provide learning through experience for a group of experienced practitioners such as the project managers. A strategy game incorporating a business simulation was thus prepared. Over a two-day period, the engineers managed fictitious companies and were forced to make their own strategic decisions. The participants became so engrossed in the game that they continued through coffee breaks, checking the status of their accounts, conducting market research and making sales forecasts.
Through their extensive involvement in the business game, participants practiced important aspects of strategic decision-making:
- Long-term thinking – sales planning, production and finance management for several quarters ahead
- Careful analysis of company finances as a basis for making changes
- Keeping a close watch on competitors
- Actively seeking out information
- Scenario-based thinking and preparing for the unexpected
Summaries of the experience gained from the game (as stated by participants):
“I have found that there is a dormant potential in me to think ahead.”
“I realized that I need to work on planning the sale.”
“It was confirmed that I look ahead when thinking of strategies, I am absolutely not interested in trivial matters that make it harder to make a decision in the long run.”