/ simulation game

Simulation games

Simulation games are popular activities these days, but what for they are? Do we need those games on our team or work? In this article, I want to say some words about simulation games.

A simulation game is a simplified analogy to the real environment. People in a save and unreal situation can learn new things by experience.

On the web we can find many websites with simulation games. There are some exmples:

How to facilitate a simulation game? Yeah... it's a thought question, and there is no ideal answer on that. Below, I'll show you a sample scenario of that workshop

  1. Introduce yourself - it's essential element because people have to know who you are and why you are with them now.

  2. The goal of the game
    a) main goal - you have to prepare what participants will achieve after this workshop.
    b) individual goal - you also have to ask participants what they want to achieve. It's worth to verify if the knowledge that you want to share is necessary. Example: you want to improve communication in a team and provide self-organising mindest, and people that you have to work with never work in a team. Using this method we can avoid "worst scenario" that people achieve goals that are not interesting in.

  3. Agenda - you need agenda to provide a safe environment, where people know next steps of the workshop

  4. Game's rules - you need to present all rules to the participants. If there is a lot of rules, you have to write them down. This step you can do in two ways:
    a) answer all questions that people ask about rules
    b) present regulations and start interaction 0 without answering questions - participants learn rules by running game

  5. Start Interaction

  6. After each iteration collect conclusions and observations from groups (like Retrospective)

    • write those conclusions somewhere
  7. Encourage groups to improve programme process (like new Sprint Planning)

  8. Go to point 5 for 3-4 times

  9. Time for working with emotions

    • It's quite important to work with emotions. Simulation games can be very emotional, and people need to vent.
  10. Discussion about goals and new knowledge

    • "How you can use this knowledge in real life?"
    • write all ideas on flipcharts or stick notes
  11. Sum up

    • what goals do we achieve
    • "thank you for the game."
    • "Congratulations for the game."

Everything has to be done under time pressure. As a facilitator, you have to take care of timeboxes.

What is your best way to run a simulation game?