Business Wargaming – Making a Difference.
Interconsult have recently written an Article for The East Midlands Chamber of Commerce on Business Wargaming. Below is the article.
"The management of uncertainty in business and the need to improve foresight is a significant challenge for today’s strategists and one which, in spite of our best efforts, continues to cause frustration, delays and wasted resources. Considering this need, along with the fact that 60 – 70% of change initiatives fail, it is clear that having a strategy development process that reduces uncertainty whilst simultaneously improving the chances of successful implementation is of vital importance.
One simple, yet highly effective tool to redress this is Stress Testing or Wargaming. It is a concept which has long been used by the military to test and evaluate ideas before committing resources into action. Its use in the commercial sector, though still not well understood, is increasingly being sought- after by a wide range of organisations from corporates to SME’s.
Business Wargaming simulates how conditions will develop over time as well as assessing stakeholder’s reactions to your moves. It looks at stakeholder interdependencies and predicts likely outcomes. In doing so it stretches plans and strategies, to identify where risks lie, where contingency plans need to be developed, and where opportunities exist that hadn’t been previously identified.
Originating in the USA in 2001 it was introduced into the Midlands earlier this year by chamber members Interconsult Ltd, an international management consultancy originating in Germany with branches in the USA, UK and Asia.
Interconsult Managing Director Mike Gulliford comments “Wargaming is really a form of accelerated learning and we have already successfully applied this new service with several of our clients with significant positive results.
Chamber members Global Spatial a logistics specialist based in Castle Donnington recently used it to pressure test a new marketing strategy. Spatial’s chairman Mike Wallis commented “We had developed a new marketing strategy with our agency. This was then subjected to a Wargame with Interconsult’s leadership team resulting in the identification of 3 additional opportunities and 5 risks which we had not thought of and 8 new tasks required to give the project a more structured foundation. Although some of the original work had to be re-crafted, this was a brilliant result and enabled us to move forward with a much more powerful and complete solution.
Andy Newell, Managing Director of Antech Hydraulics also used Wargaming to develop new procedures for the goods receiving function and associated layout of the stores area “We are only a small company and everyone has to be very flexible in their roles at different times. The Wargaming process enabled us to develop a really slick and robust set of procedures, which everyone in the team bought into straight away”.
Business Wargaming can be used in a wide variety of applications and business challenges. Typical examples include: Strategy Testing and Option Analysis, as a Change Management Tool, Product Launches, Start-Ups, Merger and Acquisition Analysis, Investment Decisions, Due Diligence, Team Building Exercises and many others.
It is a pragmatic, engaging and highly effective tool in managing uncertainty and improving foresight. It improves strategies from a technical as well as human performance perspective and can be used in any sector in any scale of organisation."