Monday, October 18, 2010

Serious Games Improve Business Training

These days serious games and training simulations are being used in just about every industry and type of business. While it's true that the military, medical, and disaster-response fields lead the way in using simulations to train their people, more and more we are seeing games and simulators used for just about every type of business training. When it comes to training, serious games that immerse users in subject material have been proven to be cost-effective and lead to increased levels of knowledge retention - critical components of business training.

IBM INNOV8: Business Process Management Game

IBM, the world's 4th largest technology company, is leading the way in using serious games for business training. One of their latest products, named INNOV8, is an online 3D serious game that teaches the basics of business process management. Players of the game must work to solve typical problems that many business face. Scenarios include everything from evaluating a traditional supply chain model to reduce a company's carbon footprint, to reorganizing a call center in order to develop more efficient ways to respond to customers, to working with a municipality to lower traffic congestion and pollution levels.

Business Process Management Game
INNOV8: IBM's Business Process Management Game

The game allows users to learn the anatomy of a business process model and collaborate with coworkers to change that model and improve business operations. Concepts taught by the game include process modeling, activity monitoring, team collaboration, analysis, and optimization. Players are able to manage and interact with processes by taking advantage of powerful analysis technology and real-time monitoring capabilities.

Simulated Business Architecture Heat Map
INNOV8: Business Architecture Heat Map

Combining the basic economics of software distribution and the learn-by-doing principle, serious games allow organizations to train their employees in a fun, engaging, and cost-effective way. Companies all around the world are using serious games to introduce new skills, evaluate business performance, and develop leadership capabilities in their employees. Games are highly experiential software applications that foster deep levels of cognitive activity and higher-level thinking skills. IBM states that people retain information anywhere from 80 and 108 percent better when learning through serious games as opposed to more traditional training methods.

Business Modeling Simulation Tool
INNOV8: Business Modeling Tool

If you're charged with improving process management in a business environment that is constantly changing, you're aware of the challenges associated with keeping employees engaged with training material. Using serious games as a training tool allows you to help your organization better understand how effective business process management impacts an entire business ecosystem. Serious games and simulations allow you to identify bottlenecks, evaluate profitability, reduce implementation time, and view the processes in operation before you deploy them into real-world production so that you can optimize process cost, efficiency, and effectiveness.

In today's challenging economy, businesses need to take advantage of every tool available to them. Serious games and training simulations allow your organization to make informed business decisions, test proposed processes, and study the results before committing valuable resources.

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