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How to Link Competitive Simulations to Operational Decision Making


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Your product is designed with the best R&D, tested with great market research, and you know it is a likely winner. You are ready to recommend plans, commit resources, and execute a launch. Everything is great until your boss asks: How will the competition respond? Competitor organizations consist of people, and people sometimes do unexpected, surprising things. How can you know if the competition will see your actions as a direct threat or not even notice? Is there was a useful way to simulate ranges of competitor moves and devise a robust set of plans to ensure your products success?

Competitive simulations, also known as, war games, provide dynamically-generated guidance and input to plans. Simulation participants take on the roles of the various market entities and through a series of game rounds, seek to generate insight on how the market will develop over a designated time horizon.

This session will look at time-proven practices to help participants:

Learn why the process is valuable and how to communicate that value within their organization,
Understand the key elements needed for conducting Wargames for their own organization,
Recognize situations where Competitive Simulation can be used to best impact decision making, and
Gain insight on how to strengthen the relationship between CI and executive decision-makers by integrating Competitive Simulations into their organizations planning tools.

Published in: Business, Technology
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How to Link Competitive Simulations to Operational Decision Making

  1. 1. The Intelligence Collaborative #IntelCollabPoweredbyPoweredbyHow to Link CompetitiveSimulations to OperationalDecision MakingA Complimentary Webinar from Aurora WDC12:00 Noon Eastern /// Wednesday 15 May 2013~ featuring ~Craig McHenry Derek JohnsonTim Smith
  2. 2. The Intelligence Collaborative #IntelCollabPoweredbyPoweredbyα Use the Questions pane on yourGoToWebinar control panel and allquestions will be answered in thesecond half of the hour.α You are welcome to tweet anycomments on Twitter where we aremonitoring the hashtag #IntelCollab oreavesdrop viaα Slides will be available after thewebinar for embedding and sharing viaα To view the recording and downloadthe PPT file, please register for a trialmembership at, Commentary & Content
  3. 3. The Intelligence Collaborative #IntelCollabPoweredbyPoweredbyAgenda The Wargame’s Value An Example Case PlanningScopeFeasibilityPlayersDeliverables Reference Materials Summary, Q&A, And Discussion
  4. 4. The Intelligence Collaborative #IntelCollabPoweredbyPoweredbySound, Fact-Based Decisions Sit on aFoundation of Realistic AssumptionsAssumption- an assuming that something is true OR a fact or statement (asa proposition, axiom, postulate, or notion) taken for grantedInference- something that is inferred; especially a conclusion or opinionthat is formed because of known facts or evidence
  5. 5. The Intelligence Collaborative #IntelCollabPoweredbyPoweredby“A Rose by Any Other Name”… A FlexibleTool Delivering Value in Many SituationsFor our discussion today,these are all synonyms:Wargame,Strategy WorkshopCompetitive SimulationStrategic Market SimulationCompetitive StrategyWorkshop
  6. 6. The Intelligence Collaborative #IntelCollabPoweredbyPoweredbyBesides Improving Decision Making,Wargames Bring Additional ValueShared experiencelearning and team buildingFocus on assumptionsand “what ifs”Tangible deliverables
  7. 7. The Intelligence Collaborative #IntelCollabPoweredbyPoweredbyA Real-life Example CasePurposePlanning HorizonCostHuman ResourcesIntelligence Collection & AnalysisChampion(s)
  8. 8. The Intelligence Collaborative #IntelCollabPoweredbyPoweredbyScoping Key Issue
  9. 9. The Intelligence Collaborative #IntelCollabPoweredbyPoweredbyFeasibility
  10. 10. The Intelligence Collaborative #IntelCollabPoweredbyPoweredbyMarket Entities and Event Time
  11. 11. The Intelligence Collaborative #IntelCollabPoweredbyPoweredbyDeliverables• The process works best as a stress-test to an upcominglaunch or important decision• Don’t confuse outcomes with deliverables…• Make sure you include a Planning Round• Follow up post-game to ensure tweaks to the StratPlan occur
  12. 12. The Intelligence Collaborative #IntelCollabPoweredbyPoweredby 12Craig McHenryBiographiesTim Smith is Director of Competitive Simulations for Aurora WDC, where hespecializes in designing business simulations and wargames for a broad range ofclient companies across the globe. Tims broad background in Wargaming comesfrom his extensive experience in the U.S. Army Intelligence community, where hedesigned, developed and implemented numerous joint-service military trainingexercises. Tim also spent 13 years working in the business sector where he hasconducted over 200 wargaming sessions for Fortune 500 companies, with anemphasis in healthcare. Tim earned a B.A. in Business Economics from theUniversity of California, and an M.B.A. from the Peter Drucker Graduate School ofManagement, Claremont Graduate University. He has also completed his JurisDoctorate at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, California.Craig McHenry has over 20 years of CI experience in a variety of leadershiproles. Craig was most recently Director, CI for Wyeth Nutrition and, prior to that,Pfizer’s Specialty Care Analytics Business Unit. He joined Wyeth in 1991 andadvanced his understanding of the pharmaceutical industry while working inseveral business functions Since early in his career at Wyeth, Craig has beeninvolved with competitive intelligence. In 1993, Craig played a key role informing the first Business and Competitive Intelligence function, which evolvedover the years into a Competitor Insights team. Before Wyeth, Craig spent fiveyears at Unisys and holds a M.A. in Computer Science Ed. He has been amember of SCIP since 1993 and is a graduate from the Gilad-Herring Academy ofCompetitive Intelligence.Tim Smith
  13. 13. The Intelligence Collaborative #IntelCollabPoweredbyPoweredbyQuestions and CommentsCraig McHenry+1.484.988.0322mchenrydc@gmail.comTim Smith+1.714.614.3447Tim.Smith@AuroraWDC.comThe Intelligence Collaborative is the online learning and networkingcommunity powered by Aurora WDC, our clients, partners and other friendsand dedicated to exploring how to apply intelligence methods to solve real-world business problems.Apply for a free 30-day trial membership at or learnmore about Aurora at – see you next time!
  14. 14. The Intelligence Collaborative #IntelCollabPoweredbyPoweredbyReference Material:Planning Horizon ConsiderationsOutline scope and objectivesSecure team buy-in, budgetPrepare RFPs, vendorselection and POsSecure meeting facility andfood serviceHold the date on calendarsDesignate team leadsConduct kick-off meetingCustomize exercises andtemplatesConduct internal and externalinterviewsPrepare/review briefing book/ pre-reading assignmentsMake team assignmentsDistribute pre-readsSchedule Wargame After-Action Report2+ months leading upto Wargame:Confirm attendance andrevise teams if necessaryMeet with team leads toaddress questions andrevisit expectationsReview meeting logisticsroom set up, audio-visual/computerequipment, nametag/placards, etcWeek ofWargame:Conduct post-Wargamedebrief with lead/sponsorand vendorConfirm time and attendeesfor After-Action ReportReview vendor final report(may include multipleiterations)Secure and store allWargame enduringmaterialsTransfer and integratelearnings into strategiesand tacticsOne to two weeksafter Wargame:
  15. 15. The Intelligence Collaborative #IntelCollabPoweredbyPoweredbyReference Material:Scoping Worksheet