Simulation Shows Effectiveness and Efficiency

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<p><strong>London &mdash; Dec. 3</strong><br />The management simulation “TOPSIM” not only proved popular at the Tata Interactive Learning Forums (TLF), held recently in Chicago and Boston, but also demonstrated a way of making corporate learning both effective and efficient.<br /><br />At the Forums, Dave Vance, former president of Caterpillar University, the CLO of the Year in 2006, and a board member of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), shared his knowledge on making the right training decisions. Later, he conducted an interactive session where the delegates, in teams, demonstrated their management skills in playing one of Tata Interactive Systems&#39; (TIS) suite of business simulations &mdash; TOPSIM.<br /><br />TOPSIM is a leading management simulation game that was developed more than 25 years ago and is now used by more than 100 companies and 400 universities worldwide. TOPSIM simulations offer the participant an in-depth understanding of functional skills &mdash; covering general management, strategic management, change management, project management, supply chain management, sales management, finance for nonfinance, managing mergers and acquisitions &mdash; along with managing the business operations within an industry such as banking, insurance, retail or pharmaceuticals.<br /><br />Vance explained, &ldquo;The keys to implementing effective learning in your organization are to align your strategy to business goals, in concert with the goals&rsquo; owners and addressing all business priorities; create a business plan for learning which has specific, measurable goals and is approved by the CEO, and look for opportunities where sponsorship and change management is strong.<br /><br />&ldquo;Managing learning for efficiency &mdash; that is, executing your objectives at least cost and highest return &mdash; and effectiveness involves aligning learning to business goals and selecting the right learning solutions.<br /><br />&ldquo;To maximize efficiency, know your costs &mdash; including opportunity costs,&rdquo; Vance added. &ldquo;Look for ways to reduce opportunity costs and use marginal net benefit and ROI concepts to select the highest return/least cost duration.&rdquo;<br /><br />Discovering these measures of effectiveness and efficiency were the objects of the TOPSIM exercise that Vance facilitated for the TLF delegates.<br /><br />Manoj Kutty, TIS&rsquo;s president, simulations, commented, &ldquo;TOPSIM is about learning business by doing business.<br /><br />&ldquo;TOPSIM is not e-learning, but blended learning, emphasizing classroom-based and collaborative learning. A TOPSIM workshop is a simulation-based workshop that enables participants to understand the cause-effect relationships of their decisions in a &#39;safe&#39; game-play environment.<br /><br />&ldquo;The workshop is facilitated by domain experts, who mentor the teams through the discussion and sharing process that is integral to the workshop&rsquo;s structure. The simulation which forms the core of the workshop telescopes a long-term horizon of three years into two days, and discussions are interspersed with the simulation throughout the workshop.&rdquo; </p>

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