Simulations and Games for a New World: 3 Case Studies

We live and work in VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) times. Consequently, the skills that we need to perform at a high level are becoming more non-standard and nuanced.

The FMCG Company

Take the case of a global fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company. The world it operates in has changed drastically. Its world is now one where a viral video circulated on social media can erode hundreds of millions of dollars of market capitalization and reputation overnight. Suddenly, training its senior leaders on how to handle media gaffes by celebrity endorsers and managing citizen journalists who post damaging content has become critical.

There is not yet a standard curriculum for staying ahead of stories breaking on social media to safeguard the organization’s brand equity, reputation and net worth. Instead, the company created a custom online simulation, modeled after its specific realities. It rolled out this program in a blended format in which leaders came together in a classroom, played a simulation round by round and discussed their insights in a facilitated debrief session.

The Oil and Gas Company

A major oil and gas company was a pioneer in game- and simulation-based learning. There was one problem: These simulations and games required subject matter experts (SMEs) to faciliate. Given the global scale of the company’s operations, a some of these SMEs had to travel across the globe throughout the year.

Enter: reducing carbon footprint and increasing efficiency. The company wondered whether there was a platform that allowed trainers to manage multiple global batches of learners and facilitate their learning from the comfort of their own offices.

The result was a game hosting and administration platform that supported multiple multiplayer game sessions. The system allows facilitators to add individuals to batches, assign games and simulations to them, track how the players are performing on a dynamic dashboard, and control certain parameters of the game based on how the session is going.

The Manufacturing Company

An Indian cement manufacturer had a unique problem: It needed to train its factory workers and maintenance personnel on how to handle its heavy machinery, but to train them, the company had to stop active production, leading to heavy opportunity costs.

The manufacturer embraced emerging technology to solve this dilemma. It converted all its standard operating procedures (SOPs) into augmented reality (AR)-based simulations, which the operators can activate using QR codes on the machinery.

To summarize, here are some trends in simulation and game-based training delivery:

Around the world, organizations have moved away from creating small games to engage audiences and now create serious, long, immersive simulations and games to train their employees on critical skills.Multiplayer simulations and games are gaining currency.Emerging technologies, such as augmented or virtual reality, are becoming popular, especially to train underserved populations like factory workers.Technology is enabling various types of collaborative learning, such as in-game chat, and organizations are creating ingenious home-grown platforms and solutions.

These are exciting times for the training industry, where the convergence of digital transformation, new business realities and the war for talent are putting positive pressure on innovation.

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