Why use Management Simulations

Virtual business environments

Why use Business Simulations? - Advantages and Benefits

Simulation (games or role-playing) is probably the oldest method of learning known to mankind, even the animal kingdom makes use of it. The young of larger mammals (particularly cats, primates and dolphins) engage in play for much of their time and, in this way, learn to operate in groups. They also learn skills (like stalking) without the dangers inherent in 'real-life'.

Modern flight simulators, on which pilots are trained, are very expensive machines but, nevertheless, they are cheaper and safer than flying real aircraft. Furthermore, pilots can learn to deal with situations which, hopefully, they will never encounter.

Where skills are repetitive, conditions remain fairly similar and danger is not an issue, then real 'on the job' training is preferable - for example, learning to drive a vehicle. (Although there is some evidence that motor-cycle simulators can reduce accidents)

In management, conditions are always changing. A manager who has been successful in an economically benign period, may have learned just that - how to be good when things are easy. But, is it wise to risk the organisation's very existence, if that same manager has not been taught the necessary skills for dealing with adverse conditions?

Advantages and benefits are grouped, for cenvenience, into two broad catergories General and Specific. Having checked that a selected simulation model appears to meet the general and specific aspects, why choose.to employ either a standard simulation model or agree to have a bespoke simulation model that has been designed by Edit 515?

The value of a simulation depends on how realistic it is. Even so, all factors need not be included - the precise details of the in-flight entertainment system are probably not relevant to the trainee pilot (although they might be for the cabin crew). Often simulation models are overly detailed such that they obsure the 'wood from the trees'. Getting the balance right between objective realism and the correct level of detail is where the experienced simulation designer excels.

What is true for flight simulators is also true for management training simulators, such as the Global Management Challenge (GMC). This is a very sophisticated simulation model, not involving repetitive decisions (as many management simulators do) but highly integrated decisions that affect not just the primary goal, but which interact with the ability to make other decisions.

Topaz-Vbe is not as complex or comprehensive as GMC (and Emerald-Vbe is even less so), Nevertheless, all of these simulators are still challenging to their target market.