The 3X3 Golden Rules of a Successful Scenarios-Based Simulation


Scenarios-based simulations are a powerful tool that supports strategic decision-making processes, both in the public and private sectors. They provide a virtual laboratory in which participants can experiment and play with ideas, without cost or damage in the real world. Such games help us examine scenarios from various perspectives and try multiple engagement strategies. They assist us in thinking the unthinkable thus getting us better prepared for the future by learning from future experience. Today’s simple and accessible technologies enable us to use a virtual environment in order to simply create such exercises. This in turn makes a simulation even more efficient as it enables a large number of participants to collaborate or compete at the same time.

When trying to design and execute a scenarios-based simulations these are the top nine tips one should keep in mind (I call it “the 3X3 golden rules”):

During the planning phase:

    1. Preparation is the key. So do your preliminary research.
    2. Ask the right questions and make sure the participants are able to answer them.
    3. Divide and concur – don’t try to answer all the questions under the same game. Instead, focus on the most important ones.

During the execution phase:

    1. Know where you are heading but allow participants to explore new terrain.
    2. Give the group the feeling that they generate their own insights.
    3. Keep the process enjoyable.

During the post-production phase:

    1. Don’t forget to wrap-up — a game without a report that presents clear insights is like a tree falling in the forest.
    2. Stay focused and provide actionable takeaways.
    3. Ask for feedback — you also can always learn and improve.

My experience in managing hundreds of such exercises has taught me that when done correctly, scenarios-based simulations is a game changer for decision makers, general and CEOs alike. Try it yourselves.

About the author


Dr. Shay Hershkovitz
Wikistrat Chief Strategy Officer
Director of Analytic Community

This article was originally published on LinkedIn.

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