The simulation was a good exercise to practice team work in something more concrete than courses. It was very interesting to work as a team with people I did not know. The interactions were good, there was a good atmosphere and everybody was integrated. This experience allows me to feel good in a team; I know which place I can have. I think I can lead a group and I also can listen to the other. The simulation was also a good experience because we needed to think as real manager with results on the short and the long term. It was a little stressful but I felt above all exciting and involved in the simulation.
In the simulation I was in charge of the Research&Development department. I need to forecast the positioning of the product. I also had to think long term because in some period, we cannot change the positioning of the product. In real life, I think this kind of decisions are very important because they determine the place the product have and the size and the performance product needs to achieve to be well sold. When we launched a new product we need to change the positioning of products which belong to the same market segment to avoid cannibalization.
In real life, this is difficult to launch 2 products which target the same segment, the positioning need to differ to be efficient. We met some problem at the end of the game. Indeed, our sales were not as good as expected because we had too many inventories. We tried to improve the R&D and to stay in our strategy of differentiation. It was difficult to understand where the problem comes from because we had good result on the 4th first period. In real life, this event can occur, in depends on the market and on the competitors. A company needs to be very reactive and to adapt to the market all the time.
In order to avoid these types of problem in real life, the firm has to be dynamic and to know well its competitors. The entire department are important, R&D, marketing, production and finance; they need to be well coordinate and to work together. The strategy has to be coherent and to face competition. I learnt a lot about working with a team I did not know. It is really important that everybody get involved and participates in the simulation. It is crucial to listen to each other and to adopt a strategy all together that we keep during all the simulation with adjustments if it’s not suitable.
In the real world, we cannot make mistake, so this strategy is even more important and it’s a key point for the future of the company. The aspect of the simulation I learnt the most was the fact to be in charge of one department in particular. I felt responsible and all the more involved. And it’s also crucial to communicate and to be coordinated among departments to have coherent decisions. In a much larger context, decisions have to be thoughtful and many options have to be considered. It is important to work as a team and to adopt a strategy which fits with the environment and the competitors.
The decisions we made during the simulation change the environment for the other competitor. Our sales depend on the strategy we choose but also depend on the strategy of competitors. It is really interesting to feel responsible and in charge of a department. I was really involved in the Capstone experience and it was a good way to learn more about the decisions made in firms. It’s important for students in Business School to have “real-life working conditions” to learn more and to be ready to face the market.