What Is A Business Wargame?

Business WargameSimply, a business wargame is the adaptation of military wargaming to a business environment: it helps a company with strategic, operational and tactical planning, and execution.

A wargame is a role-played simulation of a business situation, usually one that involves a set of teams representing a market or customer, a set of competitors, and a series of other uncontrollable factors or entities. It involves a series of rounds representing a specific period of time or a phase in a plan. Reflecting reality, all teams act concurrently, each without all the information it would like to have about what its competitors are currently planning or doing, or exactly what is going on among the uncontrollable factors. Only after a round has been completed does each team learn the effects of its decisions and actions when they are melded with those of all the other elements represented in the wargame.

Depending upon the situation a company is facing, conducting a wargame accomplishes several different purposes. For example, it can help convert data and information about a market, competitors, and other factors into actionable intelligence that adds real value to the quality of planning. Once the dangers of ‘steering by the wake,’ simply extrapolating past strategic successes into the future. A wargame can generate an appropriate mix of both hard and soft deliverables. The hard deliverables from a wargame are usually documented in the After Action Report prepared shortly after the wargame’s completion. The soft deliverables are reflected in changes in the “hearts and minds” of the participants, such as new insights, knowledge, and skills developed from wargame role-playing.

This text is an excerpt from an interesting introduction in the Competitive Intelligence Magazin, written by Jay Kurtz from KappaWestKappaWest a consultant and specialist in Business Wargaming.

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