Just Say No To Huge Sims!


I have had the displeasure of being hired to cleanup yet another oversized sim mess. It frustrates me to no end when I have to go into a customer's offices in order to cleanup the mess left behind as the result of hiring a huge firm that tried to create a monster sim. I feel bad for the customers and it makes me dislike my own industry (even though I love what I do for a living and couldn't imagine doing anything else). I want to be clear here:

Just Say No To Huge Sims (unless you have tons of money to waste).

Let's have a quick look why using smaller focused business simulation is more effective than monster sims.

The research is overwhelming on the effectiveness of a 1 day sim program that is very focused and intense over a large sim that takes multiple days. There is definitely a curve downward when a sim is too large. Here's an easy visual example:

Sim Complexity Curve.001

What this is basically saying is this: A sim that is too complex can actually erode in effectiveness. It's really common sense. A learning instrument tries to teach too much with too much detail. The result is a learning tool that is just too complex and rendered useless.

But it gets worse: A complicated sim solution becomes unmanageable by the company that has purchased it. This turns into a financial perpetuity. The company that just bought a sim suddenly has to pay to have it managed. This isn't always bad, but it needs to be understood up front. In most cases a very focused sim that is built around the core goals of the training program are the most effective.

Your training simulation should focus solely and the measurable goals and objectives of your training program. Nothing more. Having a very focused sim will challenge, engage, and excite learning participants. A blown out sim will bore and become tedious.

Keep your business simulations focused, tight, and effective. It will pay dividends many times over.