About the Game
There are two common ways to participate in the HR Strategizer simulation exercise: As a team or individually. On one hand the team approach offers a greater learning experience but the individual approach provides greater recognition for a person’s strategic decision making capability.
- Participation - The Team Approach
The team approach is the recommend approach because it involves the sharing of ideas and encourages collaboration to arrive at the team recommended strategy. The two methods of submitting input to the HR Strategizer game by Team Members is:
a) Via the HR Strategizer Force.com application direct (limited access and by invitation only)
b) Via a web page (requires registration but is open to everyone)
If a team has direct access to the Force.com application the Team Leader acts as the mentor to the team and is able to provide feedback after the close of each period, as illustrated below:
Participation - The Individual Approach
Participation is open to individuals who wish to test their understanding of HR metrics and quality of their strategic advice.
Not all individual participants will have direct access to the HR Strategizer application (Level 1). Some participants will use the web page for their input (Level 2). The main difference is the individual participants with direct access will be able to view progress and feedback through the normal HR Strategizer application. The Web Page participants will not have access to HR Strategizer and will only be able to see progress results through the www.hrstrategizer.com web site when published.
The two different methods of submitting input is illustrated below:
Participants can go straight to the web page set up to submit input or access the Force.com application. The method is described below.
Step 1 - Obtain Player ID & Log In Details
Step 2 - Log in to HR Strategizer
Step 4 - Set Up Team Collaboration
Step 8 - Receive Feedback
Step 1- Obtain Player ID & Log In Details
Contact HR Strategizer (firstname.lastname@example.org) to obtain a company Player ID, Log In User Name and Password. In some cases individuals will be allowed to compete, but preference goes to companies.
Step 2 - Log in to HR Strategizer
After selecting the Log In page (above) the players will log in and see the screen to the below. The player selects their player record. You can only see your own record.
Step 3 - Download & Review Game Information (Business Process Simulation)
After logging in and selecting the team record players may now download and review game information using the buttons along the top of the screen (see the screen shot below).
The buttons are:
Participant's Guide: PDF file explaining how the HR Strategizer game is played
Annual Report: PDF file giving the background to the hypothetical airline and setting the scene for the game.
Information to the Board: PDF file giving an example of the type of information given to the Airline Board or management team.
Questions from the Board: PDF file giving an example of how requests for more information or strategic advice could come back from the Board or be requested from the HR team member at the Board Table.
|The Participant's Guide is a hard copy of most of the material contained in this website.|
The Annual Report contains background information for participants in the HR Strategizer game.
Information from the Board starts the simulated business process. Usually the Company Secretary would forward to the HR Director a list of the questions. In the diagram below the questions from the Board are in the form of attached notes to the metrics supplied to the Board, again, simulating the real world processes.
The attached notes form the issues contained in the HR Strategizer application and each issue has a choice of three different scenarios. Players are invited to choose one scenario that they believe best fits the company’s circumstances and can collaborate with others to make their choice.
Step 4 - Set Up Team Collaboration
The HR Strategizer game process is designed for team collaboration and the application of social media to share thoughts and exchange ideas. HR Strategizer partners are experts in the use of social media to achieve the benefits of group collaboration.
The HR Strategizer game is not a test - it is a collaborative exercise that brings together different views and approaches to problems. The idea is to network the questions to the group and encourage their input. The suggested method is to attach the questions (PDF document) to the social media app (Chatter), that contains the email address of participants, and seek their comments. An example of the Chatter feature is shown in the screen shot below.
Step 5 - Review the HR Issues Requiring Action (Scenario Choices)
Players can be individuals or teams. The game application allows input right up to the close off time and responses can be changed at any time during the period, unlike survey tools that require continuous input during the same session.
A record will already be set up in the HR Strategizer application for the player’s team. The record will contain a series of issues and possible scenarios. Input can be via the screen shown below by clicking on the blue Response field.
Step 6- Make Strategic Decisions (Scenario Selection)
Each HR issue will have three scenarios associated with it. There is no right or wrong answer. By selecting a scenario the financial impact associated with that response will be calculated in the background for the remaining reporting periods. Teams will be allowed to edit/alter the responses right up until close off time. One log in is assigned to each team but the user name and password can be shared with the team if desired.
Each team can check how their Profit and Loss Statement looks compared to other teams. The HR Strategizer application has a tab to view progress (see the screen shot below). The screen shot shows the Year to Date team comparison expressed as a dollar amount and as a percentage of revenue.
By clicking on the team’s Player ID it is possible to see more details. A team can only see its own detailed record. The team can also select a view of each completed period.
The impact from players’ responses has been programmed in the HR Strategizer application to modify revenue and cost figures. Responses will have a negative or positive (reduction in costs or increase in revenue) impact throughout the cycle. For example, a decision to reduce salaries in the Issues and Scenarios section might have a reduction of 10% in Staff Costs, and that would be built in the program for two or three periods: But also, it might have a negative effect further into the budget cycle and result in loss of staff in critical areas resulting in a 3% loss of passenger revenue and that may be programmed in for the rest of the reporting periods.
Similar to the example above some responses may have an immediate negative impact but a longer term gain. That is why input is limited to the first 5 financial periods and the outcomes are cycled across the full 10 periods to realise the full financial impact of strategies.
Details of each record can be seen by clicking on the Player ID on the progress screen shot above above. Players can only see their own record because other details, such as team members and name of players, would appear and some players may prefer to remain anonymous.
Step 8 - Receive Feedback
It is the FEEDBACK PROCESS that makes the HR Strategizer game unique. The process includes:
Face-to-face feedback: HR Strategizer partners receive a detailed spreadsheet from the Game Master after each period to discuss with participants.
Online feedback: At the completion of reporting periods one to five players are given feedback on the appropriateness and business impact of their answers. Players receive access to a screen that sets out the HR issues, the possible scenarios they had to choose from, the response they made and a likely outcome from each scenario (see the screen below).
There are feedback buttons on the HR Strategizer Progress page (see screen shot below) for each period.
By clicking on the Feedback Button the screen below is invoked. The Period issue is shown in one section, along with the team’s response with the Blue label. In the Scenario Options & Feedback section the scenarios are shown next to the Green labels and the feedback next to the Orange labels.
Apart from knowing the financial impact of strategic decisions players also wish to know what the experienced game designers thought. The real value of playing the game comes with the sharing of knowledge between team members and the game designers. The experience of the game designers in similar situations is passed on to the team players through the feedback process. Of course the social media tools are still available to team members to comment on all aspects of the game, including the feedback.
Players can click on the green FEEDBACK Period ONE field on the screen above to bring up the team’s feedback details.
For more information on the best HR technology infrastructure to support a workforce information reporting service contact HR Strategizer.
Game ONE is based on the airline industry, but the same principles can apply to any industry and future HR Strategizer games may focus on other industries. The hypothetical Airline is called Little Frills Airline (LFA) to describe the type of service it offers. It is not a low cost carrier and offers first and business class services on some routes. More information about the LFA subject is found in the Participants Guide. Interested companies can also download the data sheet.
Below is a partial list of airline companies from around the world invited to participate in Game ONE. Companies will be invited to assemble one or more teams to test their strategic thinking capability.
The most important benefit achieved through participation in the HR Strategizer game is the interaction and sharing of thoughts with other participants: In other words - collaboration. HR Strategizer is built on the Force.com platform and players are able to use the full social media capability of the platform to communicate and share ideas.
The HR Strategizer game simulates a process that requires HR metric information. Although the game does not require participants to produce information from an HR database in the "real world" the integrated data needed to produce the HR metrics can be assembled on an HR Force.com platform. HR application transactions needed to capture and report data can be custom built by end-users supported by the HR Cloud Solutions library of re-usable code, or downloaded as pre-built application components (HCM Mashup Builder). Metadata describing the content and features of the HR metric reports is available from the HR Cloud Solutions’ Confluence Wiki.
A hypothetical airline’s (LFA Airline) operational performance, reflected in their Profit and Loss Statement, is the competitive subject of the HR Strategizer game. The game simulates how HR deal with issues and provide advice to management and quantifies how the advice will influence the financial performance of the airline. Participation is by teams or individuals.
The game requires participants to make decisions. Decisions relate to HR metric information supplied to the LFA Airline’s company Board. Decisions areas are shown below:
|HR Metric Category||Number of Issues||Number of Scenarios to choose from|
|Employee and Organisation Effectiveness||3||3|
|Improved Productivity and Service Delivery||3||3|
Within the six HR metric category there are 3 issues. Players are called upon to decide between three scenarios within each category.
There are five reporting periods for input and the financial impact is projected over ten periods (in order to gain the full strategic impact). At the end of the ten periods the team with the best financial result is the winner.
To familiarize players with the airline environment and understand the fictitious company structure the HR Strategizer game starts with an Annual Report (a PDF document available to participants) outlining the company’s objectives for the coming year together with the challenges it expects to encounter from an operational perspective.
To add realism to the LFA Case Study the figures used are similar to those experienced by airlines operating in Australia. The same figures could apply to any international carrier.
The budget below, that forms the foundation layer for the game, shows a projected loss of $250 million for the first half of the year and $500 million for the full year.
By selecting the most appropriate scenario for each issue raised during the HR Strategizer game teams are able to turn the $500 million loss into a small profit.
The budget base is impacted by external and internal influences. Players in the HR Strategizer game are given the external influences. They are out of HR’s control.
The financial impact of the internal influences can be managed effectively if the right advice is given to company management.
External influences that impact the company’s operation are the result of political, economic and forces of nature events and may be updated by the Game Master during the game. Those influences are pre-built into the cycled figures and players cannot modify the external influences.
The budget base is the same for everyone. It is the internal influences resulting from workforce issues that will change the result and can be managed by the right HR strategic decisions. How well that is done is the competitive purpose of the game.
The HR Strategizer game creates the kind of events that are common to an airline operation, identifies workforce issues from HR metrics and seeks a strategic response from the players through a series of scenarios.