Let your employees ‘do an internship in the future’
In close cooperation with your organisation, Madenco develops and supervises products for training, e-learning and serious gaming. Madenco has developed the Game Engine, a Content Management System (CMS) for the development, management and execution of practice simulations. Such a practice simulation offers participants the opportunity to ‘do an internship in the future’.
In a number of rounds, teams experience ‘playing against each other’, which means working together within the context of a simulated practice. This concerns knowledge and skills, as well as attitude and behaviour. Creating acceptance can also be one of the objectives.
Why practice simulations?
An old Chinese proverb says: ‘I hear and forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.’ Simulations offer an active and direct way of experiential learning and are able to accommodate more complexity and realism than the classic role plays or case studies.
Participants are intensively involved. They forget that they are part of a simulation and not of reality.
Participants receive personal feedback during the simulation. They are confronted with the results of their actions. Often years later, participants remember very specific moments from a practical simulation.
Develop and manage your own games yourself
The Game Engine provides a CMS for the building blocks of simulation games:
Casuistry is the determining factor
Within the Game Engine, unlimited casuistry can be entered and managed from the context of your organisation, in the form of cases and emails. These can be used in an unlimited number of combinations in an unlimited number of games. Only the availability of case studies is the limiting factor.
Playing a simulation game
A game is made up of one or more rounds in which teams play against each other. Within the teams, participants from different roles must work together. In each round, the teams are placed in a certain context by means of video, image and text, they have to solve cases and handle email. By varying with the number of participants per team, the duration of the rounds or the number of cases and e-mails, the work stress for the participants can be directed.
The assignments worked out online by the participants during the simulation can be viewed in real time by the game management. This enables short targeted feedback immediately after each lap.
An example: PPP Simulation Game for the World Bank
Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) are an important instrument for the development of transitional countries. Government tasks are transferred to a consortium of private parties for a longer period of time. In order to allow both government and private sector employees in these countries to experience what it means to work together on the basis of a PPP, a game has been designed for the construction and operation of a toll road on behalf of the World Bank.
The starting point is a 25-year concession for the fictitious A90 toll road. The division of responsibility and risk between the government as principal and the private consortium during these 25 years has been laid down in an underlying PPP contract. The start of the simulation is the transfer of the road in 1990. After that, all kinds of events on this road will pass in the period up to 2015: a ‘wild life crossing’ will be constructed, financial difficulties with the consortium, a huge accident, a flood and much more.
This game is based on the DBFM Network Simulation of Rijkswaterstaat, which was played more than 80 times by more than 1,000 people in total. Without exception, the closure is energetic, positive and interactive. Learning experiences are always a combination of content-related aspects (contract knowledge, operation of the DBFM) and the associated behaviour in the workplace (communication, cooperation, trust).
Other uses practical simulations
Communication and motivation
Practical simulations are ideal for penetratingly transferring information to large groups. Participants can use practical simulations to ‘put on different spectacles’. By looking at existing situations from a different perspective, awareness processes accelerate. Practical simulations make it possible to confront employees in an organisation intensively with other roles and working conditions in a short period of time. This confrontation has a much stronger motivating effect than the classic influencing instruments. It is also an effective means of bringing people into contact with each other and of exchanging ideas.
Implementation of changes
When we do not simulate the existing reality but a future desired reality, practical simulations offer participants the opportunity to take a look into the future. There is a reorganisation proposal, an information plan, a quality manual or a new AO. On the basis of this, a new reality is created with a new organisational structure, a changed job distribution, different work processes, new management systems and different customers. Participants in such a simulation quickly imagine themselves to be in a completely different organisation and can experiment with this image of the future without any risks. We generally call this application ‘organisational prototyping’. The practical simulation is an implementation tool, but also a test facility, a motivation tool and a measuring tool for the training needs of individual employees.
Practical simulations are also used in the development of policy. They offer the opportunity to develop new policy alternatives and strategic options in a simulated environment by separating the participants from their existing role and the associated interests and constraints. Such applications are referred to as ‘policy excerpts’ or ‘policy prototyping’.
Assessment of groups and individuals
In order to gain insight into the effectiveness of the behaviour of individuals and groups, many different types of exercises were used in the past, for example role-playing with actors. Here, too, practical simulations have been introduced. On the one hand, to increase the realism of the exercises. On the other hand, to be able to assess situations in which there is no predefined desired exercise behaviour. Applications in this field are often referred to as ‘assesment simulations’.