L&D: Immersive and Intense Simulation for Product Management (1987)

The Simulation Exercise

It had a game board, board pieces, dice, and Chance Cards … called Breaks Cards – as in: “Those are the Breaks” – where 2/3rds of the Breaks were bad – and 1/3 were good.


These color coded Breaks Cards (see above) were changes to the specific Data-Pak information (see example in the middle of the game board) given to each 2-person Team (Product Management – Bell Labs – Manufacturing – Sales and Support) and modified the information they used to conduct or participate the Round. In that way no earlier attendees could help later attendees “game” the exercise.

In any event it was difficult to keep people from wanting (and cheating with questionable assumptions) in order “to win” – rather than “to plan” – given their information – and then recognize what would need to change – to make their endeavor profitable.

And to help everyone recognize that sometimes there are “strategic dogs” (financially) that enabled other products to be extremely profitable. And that if you merged their financials (not done in the real world – but recognized in the real world) the dog didn’t look bad at all.

The 8 Functions of Product Management

The 8 functions reflected the real complexity of Product Management and helped folks see where they fit – as some Product Managers did it all – while most were part of a function – or did parts of several functions. 1100 people with a job title that did not represent the variation in their real-world job expectations.


The PM Functional Model

A bigger view…


A Write Up From the Division’s Newsletter

This is included in the PDF at the end of this post for anyone interested in a readable version.


A Write Up From a Trainer’s Newsletter

This too is included in the PDF at the end of this post for anyone interested in a readable version.


A Farcical Poem From the Pilot Test Session

This is also included in the PDF at the end of this post for anyone interested in a readable version.


The Project Won an Award in 1990

This pamphlet is included in the PDF at the end of this post for anyone interested in a readable version.


The T&D Curriculum Path

This version of the Path was an update (1989-1990) – the second update of three. The original Path was done in 1986.

PM T&D Path

Past Posts on This Effort

A Quality Moment From My Past

Case Study – A Set of Formal & Informal & Social Learning For a Critical Target Audience

An On-Boarding Story – Ramping Up a New Product Manager

A Novel Advanced Organizer

The Best That I’ve Got For Fully Explaining a Curriculum Architecture Design

Explaining the Large Scale Curriculum Architecture that I had Designed for Product Managers

Simulation Exercises without Computers

The Curriculum Path Video

The client produced this after much prodding by me. Alas, it was held by Supervisors who most often did not use it. 12 minute video.

Guy Delivering the Intro Module of the 8 Day Event

I delivered all 31 sessions – including 5 in The Netherlands between 1987 and 1994.

These were the only deliveries that I did as a consultant – besides Pilot-Test sessions – or deliveries of sessions teaching my own ISD methods to clients (such as AT&T, General Dynamics, General Motors, and HP).

We had discovered early that most attendees did not complete any of the Prerequisites to the 8 Day course – and I was instructed to cover them in the modular Event’s kick-off.

Not ideal – but otherwise we would refer to internal organizations and internal processes that the Participants would not fully understand.

Warning this video is 23 minutes in length!

A Fun Video the Client Had Us Use

… and they asked that we incorporate into the 8-Day session. Our client had a sense of humor about the Sales Management Process (SMP) that they owned.

This short video is a hoot!


70 pages of the above items – plus the NSPI Awards of Excellence submission package (for any gluttons for punishment type folks out there). :)

Simulation Handout PDF

BTW- This Led to a Similar Course Design For Another Client

General Dynamics had me do a similar Simulation Exercise for their Team Leaders following DoD guidelines for IPD – Integrated Product Development. It was a 5 day course and had 3 intense Rounds for Team Leaders to plan and conduct/manage their Team Meetings as they progressed through their NPD – New Product Development framework (kinda like ADDIE is a New Product Development framework).

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