Simulation Projects are often used by managers to train and carry outanalysis. In some companies there are used in cases of what-ifanalysis and offering support to real project decision making. Thesimulation is usually carried out software tools. The significanceof project simulation is that it integrates different aspects of theproject management making it one coherent whole. Moreover it a formof learning that is close to reality that allows one to learn fromhis or her mistakes. It also offers the learner an opportunity togain tremendous knowledge that he or she will never forget. Easilyintegrates with the existing training and it’s so much fun. Theidea behind it is that good judgment can only be sourced from pastexperiences. Experiences come from working thus when working with thesimulator one makes inevitable mistakes (Shtub 4). The analysis helpsmanagers to learn from their mistakes and gain the experiences theyneed. As a manager one is exposed to real projects and opportunity tomake decision under pressure and observe the impact of their decisionon the business without any implication to the career. The objectiveof the project simulation is to help one learn to make practicalinvestment decision by investing in the project. As a student theadvantage of this activity is to equip one with experiences forfuture career.
The investment decision chosen was on product development this isbecause most managers struggle with trying to come up projects thatare on budget and on time. In most cases it appears like there is notenough resources to complete the job (Reinertsen 16). While as, thebosses demands predictable deliverable and schedules, thus forcingthe managers to pressure the teams to come up with more detailedplans, be more parsimonious and minimize variation and waste.However, even though the approach works well in improving anunderperforming company it can interfere with product developmentefforts. Thus, explaining the reason I chose to invest on thisproject. Product development is making new products or reforming oldones and marketing them, the products offers offer additionalbenefits to users.
For a starter I did not want to fail in my decision making so Ianticipated positive result which I knew achieving them depended onemphasize of making good decisions and evading mistakes. As I avirtual manager I listened to my team and they approval anddisapproval of my decisions wrote down what I thought important thencome up with the final decision. In my first trial I got a total of75% showing that I was above average in making my investmentdecision. I had expected this results because of the measures I hadtaken such as pushing the team to meet the deadline and avoid costescalation. What helped me greatly get positive results wasapplication of the theories learned in class. Moreover, I neverpostponed making decision to avoid delaying the team members in theiractivity tasks.
Discuss your decision in channel consideration. Did you add tosales, change/eliminate discount to particular intermediaries andwhat was the result?
After clicking on start executing I found myself in the projectmanager’s office with simulation running. An assistant holding somedocument entered the simulation office. The document informed me thatmy project team was suggesting that we meet for two hours to decideon the way forward. I was given for choices to chose from: agree withthem or allocate the meeting one hour rather than two hours since alot was yet be done or refuse the meeting citing things are clearfor everyone or make a decision that there was no time and I wouldmake the decision later on the week. Making this decision was not aneasy task because of the following: as much as I wanted to encouragedemocracy it was up to me to decide when we should meet after alleverything was clear as to what every team member was supposed to do.The next option was agree to hold the meeting for an hour since a lotneeded to be done but this would not be enough considering the factwe had so much to discuss. Failing to hold the meeting might not havebeen wise since I would get to meet everyone. Nevertheless, I chosethe first option in order to show solidarity with my team because itwas important that took some minute with them to encourage them andensure they kick off and do not drag. In additional, I did not want ascenario where there was conflict and problems brought about by poorcommunication. To have undone issues so I did not post pone themeeting.
After the meeting one of the team players complained through an emailthat the task I had given him was too hard for him. I asked my meetwith him and discuss the issue we agreed that he put all the effortsand he promised to do his best. When making these decisions I was notsure what the results would be. So I kept monitoring the progress andjotting down the feedback. This way I was able to make decisionsystematically and make timely improvement through tracking theeffect of every decision and make changes if I felt the performancewas inadequate (Luo 358). I was able to add to sale since my cashincreased and the results were good since I received a feedbackconfirming this.
Given your results what factors of your strategic thinking workedand what didn’t? what did you take away from the exercise thatsurprised you-aka what did you learn in the course of running thesimulation?
The one thing I learned from all this is that important operationaland strategic decision that are quickly translated to action has apositive impact in business. Thus, some of the factors of mystrategic thinking that I think worked are clarifying decisions,aligning motivators, making structural changes and designinginformation flow. In one of my attempts I tried restructuring but myfinal score was too low. Even the feedback given was that I hadtackled the performance issue only while leaving out the main causes.Thus, in my next attempt I ensured that the team players decisionswere responsible and that they worked independently with me helpingin making major decision this worked well and I started gettingpositive feedback. While working with team members every member thatgave me a high score on their activity I ensured I rewarded him orher. To ensure good flow of information I delegated the team memberswith operation responsibility and this way I was able to organize myvirtual business into units that were accountable thus even thoughsome received poor score there are unit that had excellent scores Iworked with the poor performing unit to rise the score. The amazingthing about my virtual business is that it allowed information toflow throughout to all units just like in a real business. I createda way to meeting for team members to meet and we discussed issues.The feedback that comes for doing this was that it was a brilliantmove for team members to bond and get to work together.
By learning using simulation I got a chance to learn and apply thetheories I had learned in class to develop the critical skills on howto manage a business. An additional benefit that I took as a resultof running the simulation is that I got to understand about what Ilearn in class and its importance up my memory on some of the coursework that could not stick ealier is high. Other skills learnedinclude the knowledge and ability to recall information, data andfacts thus I believe am in a position to identify, describe, anddefine. Moreover, my understanding of different scenarios andinformation has improved. Am able to apply concepts to new situationthis application include predicting, constructing and solving.Furthermore, learning to run the simulator has helped in analyzinginformation into components and gaining better understanding in orderto draw a good conclusion and make informed decisions. Thus, I cancomfortably say that I can apply course content to differentsituation weigh the alternatives and come up with a good conclusion.
Shtub, Avraham. Project Management Simulation with Ptb ProjectTeam Builder. New York: Springer, 2012. Print.
Reinertsen, Donald G. The Principles of Product Development Flow:Second Generation Lean Product Development. Redondo Beach, Calif:Celeritas, 2009. Print.
Luo, Yuhua. Cooperative Design, Visualization, and Engineering:6th International Conference, Cdve 2009, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg,September 20-23, 2009 : Proceedings. Berlin: Springer, 2009.Print.