Reduce Your Project Risk by Modeling to Simulation

I had the pleasure of speaking at ProductCamp RTP 2018 on the topic of reducing business risk through simulation — how business managers can achieve the same kind of benefits that pilots receive from the use of flight simulators. I have reduced my original ProductCamp RTP 2018 presentation to a 6-minute movie (below).

In simulated flight, pilots navigate a realistic virtual world while a trainer subjects them to rare events like engine failure. The pilot learns through repeated failure how to recover from these challenging training events without loss of property or life.

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How to Build Useful Business Models

I recently had the pleasure of addressing the Research Triangle Park chapter of the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). My presentation (below) was intended to provide attendees with couple tools that many had never used: Causal Loop Diagrams, and Stock-and-Flow Modeling software.

Although I tailored my presentation to the Business Analyst audience, these tools can also provide improved insight and solution simulation in a safe environment to others across an enterprise; for example:

  • Impact of different marketing efforts on sales
  • Effect of competitive products and pricing on launch activities
  • Meeting delivery schedules as demand changes
  • Adequacy of after-sales support service teams
  • Alternative strategies for business growth

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“We’re Trying our Best” Practices?

I have a reference manual on my bookshelf entitled, Successful Marketing Planning.  Produced by a former employer as a compendium of marketing “best practices”, it is well made with thick paper and color-coded tabs, and oozes confidence.  But here’s the thing.  The manual makes no reference to any actual successful marketing project that resulted from following the practices, I don’t recall any examples of successes that were presented with training that accompanied the manual, and I knew of no other manager who had claimed success thanks to the best practices as stated in the manual.

Not one.

Best_core by Dieselducy via Wikimedia Commons
Best Core by Dieselducy

In fairness, there may have been well-documented successes attributable to the practices that were never revealed for some reason or by oversight, and the failures of which I was aware could have been due to poor execution of the practices.   Who’s to say if the practices in my manual, or any best practices, actually “work” or not?

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