Lean Learning

Exploring one of my key business simulation design principles - leanness.

Home

About

Services

Simulations

Learning

Design

Ideas

Advice

News

Blog

Site Map

Contact Us

Lean principles have revolutionised manufacturing processes and management over recent years and are revolutionising architectural and software design. With experience in manufacturing and engineering it is natural that I believe in applying lean principles to my business simulations.

Operating Lean
My simulations are designed based on very extensive experience using simulations for management development and business training and this has been built into them as follows:

Short Durations
Training time is valuable and so I design my business simulations to run in the shortest time possible. I do this by ensuring that the business simulation addresses specific learning needs and business issues. (Thus my designs go beyond just developing a good model of the real-world. They are based on a clear definition of development needs, the target audience and manner of use).
Wide Range
I ensure that I have a wide range of business simulations and versions so that I are likely to have a business simulation that meets and matches your needs. And, since the development of these Ire sponsored this is reflected in my prices.
Decision and Results, Granularity and Ambiguity
As important as designing an appropriate model, linking the decisions and results to cognitive processing needs has a major impact on learning and business simulation duration.
Systems Dynamics Model and Workload Droop

By applying Systems Dynamics thinking to business simulation use and design I ensure that the most learning is packed into the shortest possible time. The diagram to the right showing how workload changes as the business simulation progresses and without the features I incorporate (green) how it droops! I call this design paradigm ramping and do it by calibrating the business simulation so the challenge increases and by adding new reports and decisions that introduce new topics.

How workload changes during the business simulation
Ease of Use
My simulations incorporate decades of practical training experience and a leading edge Tutor Support System. Incorporating decades of training experience means that the trainer and learners invest minimal time learning how to use the software. The Tutor Support System means that the trainer is forewarned of learning problems and opportunities, can answer questions effectively and quickly and reduces the amount of time spent by the trainer learning about the simulation.
Lean Documentation.
Besides providing focused business simulations I attempt to ensure that when they are used no time is wasted. My documentation is lean. It provides the essential information but no more. But, built in to the simulation software are extensive context sensitive Tutor and Participant Support systems to provide additional information when and as needed.
Efficient Use of Time
By having a wide range and incorporating just the factors need for learning I ensure that you get a business simulation that makes efficient use of learners time. Additionally by having the learning process facilitated and managed by a trainer, I believe that learners do not waste time and all learning opportunities are addressed.
Standard Hardware & Operating Systems
All my simulations are designed to be used on standard Windows based hardware. Although my shortest simulations require a microcomputer and printer for each team, my longer, interactive simulations are designed to be run on a single microcomputer and printer and this means that they can be run in any training environment (including a hotel).

Operating leanness leads to effective and efficient learning - my ability to meet your learning needs within tight budgets.

Design Lean
My designs and design processes are lean and this means that I can deliver a new or customised business simulation in a fraction of the time of my competitors.

Standard Software
Eighty-five to Ninety-five percent of a business simulation program is common. It is only the five to fifteen percent of the simulation model that differs between simulations. For a new simulation, the standard software already exists and does not have to be developed from scratch.
Customisable Versions
Besides being able to develop new business simulations in remarkably short times, all my business simulations are easily customised. So, if a simulation closely but not exactly meets your needs I generally can customise it in a matter of hours or days.
Design Process
Besides the existence of standard software and the ability to customise, I have a design process that ensures quality and speed. This is partly due to my experience developing simulation models (both for corporate and financial planning and for learning). And partly because of my design methodology and software aids.

Design leanness leads to agility - my ability to meet your design deadlines faster and better than my competitors.

Lean but not mean!
Although leanness isimportant it must not be at the expense of learning.

Thus all my simulations are thoroughly tested on actual training courses and incorporate leading edge features to ensure learning.

In comparison to some of my competitors, I liken my lean approach to comparing the 1950's chrome encrusted gas guzzlers (some competitors' simulations) to a modern automobile, with automatic transmission, sat nav etc. (my simulations with Tutor Support System).

(That is not to say the American cars of the 1950's are not beautiful to look at but who can afford to run one!)

Lean Learning Research
I am currently mapping lean manufacturing principles with learning in an attempt to determine how I can improve the efficiency of learning further while still maintaining and improving the effectiveness of learning.


2003 Jeremy J. S. B. Hall

Most recent update: 02/02/12
Hall Marketing, Studio 11, Colman's Wharf, 45 Morris Road, London E14 6PA, ENGLAND
Phone +44 (0)20 7537 2982 E-mail
jeremyhall@simulations.co.uk