It is very possible to create an authentic Simulation Exercise for Training that does not require computers – especially when the focus is learning “behaviors” and not data sourcing and crunching.
Here is the game board used in the 5-Round Simulation Exercise used to teach new and experienced Product Managers how to manage a team effort through the life cycle on fictious products – that had a strong resemblance to their real product lines that most attendees discovered and proclaimed when “that light” went on.
The game board reflected (and reinforced) the life cycle model I created because none existed (until years later when the Business Process Re-Engineering craze took the client into defining this – and they used what we had created as the basis for their eventual model/framework).
20 folks were split into two teams of 10 – and those were paired into 5 Product Management teams – one for each of the 5 product lines of the simulation company. When your team wasn’t being the PM team you role played, guided by Data Pacs, the other key roles involved in the real world (simplified of course) which were: Design Engineering (Bell Labs), Manufacturing Engineering, Sales, and Product Support. These were just a few ofd the teams that would need to show up in the real world product management team efforts to take an idea from cradle to grave – again, using the life cycle model where the issues changed for the team.
The Breaks Cards (with apologies to Monopoly) were used to throw in variation to each set of role plays – each PM team took their teams through a PM meeting – so there were 5 meetings conducted for each phase of the life cycle. Not only would you get experience running a meeting with issues typical to that phase, you would role play other teams involved (sitting in their shoes so to speak) and you would learn a lot about THEIR needs and issues as well as the PM needs and issues. Eye opening for even for more experienced PMs that made it to the 8 day ILT course.
I delivered this 31 times for AT&T Network Systems – including 5 times in The Netherlands for their international arm. Did I learn a lot!
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