Simulation Assessment
Project Management and Development

Introduction 2
Issues in business development 3
Evaluation of Simventure as a learning tool 4
Evaluation of different learning methods and opportunities 5
Communication methods and approaches 5
Conclusion 6
References 6

‘Evaluate the usefulness of business simulation learning tools to understand how businesses function and develop, alongside other learning methods and opportunities at undergraduate level’.
The concept of business simulation has gained much relevance in education sector to provide a risk free learning environment. The business simulation games provide specialised and experiential learning that aim to improve overall business acumen and decisions making in the interactive business scenario. Business simulation models of Simventure provide active learning and group based learning to grow and manage a SME business with leadership and management and discover the related issues. The simulation learning tools provides different methods of learning and presents opportunities for personal and professional development. This report focuses on the evaluation of the usefulness of learning tools, benefits, and opportunities for individual and to comprehend business development during experience of Simventure v4.8.6Software business simulation exercise.
Business function/operations
The business development functions in order to enhance in finance and the market area of the firm. It provides adifferent opportunity to the firm where it can get an effective environment for growth (Barkemeyer et al., 2014). It creates the long-term value of the firm in the differentiated market or in the same market with different product. At the same time, the productivity and profitability of the firm increase by the business development activity. It functions in the growth of sales, marketing, finance, productivity, etc. The business development can also be possible by mergers, acquisitions, strategic management, capturing the management, etc. In the business development, a firm needs innovative ideas to get the success in an effective manner and progress the strategy according to the development strategy (Cavusgil and Knight, 2015). There is a high need for management to effectively develop the strategy and manage all tasks of people effectively. The business development works over the time because the long-term strategies provide their result over the time. The business development strategies provide their results after a certain time period by the effective use of the strategy in the business development. In which, the satisfaction level of the customer increases and also increases the loyal customer of the company provides effective results (Zimmerman and Blythe, 2013). The identified opportunity during the business development provides their results and outcome after a certain time. It provides effective results, in which, the sales and productivity of the company increase in high speed.
In order to assist profitability and growth of the business, the management should focus on the market segmentation that will be helpful to organize sales efforts in the entire marketplace. Such as Pepsi and Coca-Cola both sale cold drink, but Pepsi focuses on the youngsters in a demographic area. Additionally, the acquisition method is also used by the organizations to cover the market areas with a high speed. In this, a firm purchase or acquire the small business to increase the position in the industry. Such as- Facebook acquired the business of Whatsapp to develop the business and expand the market by product enhancement. Mostly, it is seen that some companies also merge with the other company to expand the market and develop the business. This business development helps in the increment of profit and wealth maximization.
Issues in business development
The business development faces different issues to effectively operate the business. The business needs rapid change due to changing in the demand and growth so that all business functions are affected (Djelassi and Decoopman, 2013). Some the important issues which may arise in business development like financial management, regulations, changes in technology, maintaining the business reputation, human resource management, etc. The business development needs perfect management of finance to operate the functions of business in the development areas. The management needs to identify the areas which will be affected by the business development and provide financing as par the need for effective development. In the financial management, the firm will face the issues related to the profit margins, reducing costs, cash flow, finance, etc. (Cummings and Worley, 2014). At the same time, the finance consults must provide an operating budget for the development otherwise the business can be risky.
In the business development, the firm also needs to identify the regulations of a different market. It is much necessary for the business to focus on the regulations that are important to operating the business after development. For this, the firm develops the new and proposed legislation to reduce the issues in business development (Charles Jr et al., 2017). In concern to this, the management needs to identify the different legations and regulation to operate the business in an effective manner. The sustainable development of the firm can be possible by the use of new policies, objectives and information system. The main issue of business development is that the development must be sustainable to provide an effective and long-term outcome for the company. If there is no sustainability in the business development then it will not provide aright outcome to the firm.
The change in technology is another issue of the business development, where all the necessary equipment must be changed according to the needs of business (Al-Mubaraki and Busler, 2013). In addition to this, the business development needs to use new technology to develop the business for the success. The employees of the firm face issue to understand the use of this new technology so that the organization provides training to the employees. New technological improvement can be possible by the use of effective information system that is beneficial for the company. In addition to this, the strategic risk is another factor that affects the operation of the business in development because the firm needs to develop a different strategy after the market analysis (Andries et al., 2013). It is identified that the business development affects the quality of goods and service so that the maintaining the business reputation is another issue. The effective design and its implementation create the problem for the firm’s operation.
During the business development, a firm need high investment in the market analysis and environmental analysis to provide a suitable strategy for business development. Furthermore, the business must identify the opportunity for the successful business and focus on both quantitative and qualitative value for the profit increment (McMichael, 2011). The business development might impact on the internal responsibility of the organizational people because the need of the organization may change due to development strategy. The employees have to do more work in the organization because the developer increases the daily tasks of the employees and they have to complete them. In addition to this, the business development increases need of financial equipment and most of the organizational profit fill only the demand of development for a certain time that impacts on the daily tasks.
Evaluation of Simventure as a learning tool
The Simventure business simulation helps the players to develop business by developing entrepreneurial thinking and providing a business context. It helps to understand business development by demonstrating the business activities and functions that are linked together. Here, to develop business, the players need to perform multi-tasking and take decisions for business areas like finance, operations, organisation (human resources), marketing, etc. During the experience, it has changed the way and thinking about how to initiate a business, running business operations and learning about what different type of barriers might be faced operating in real business landscape. It provides learning through a business failure and success and opportunity to develop critical thinking and decision making skills and deal with the consequences of decisions taken to run a business (Schumann et al., 2014). Thus, there is a chance for the player to learn to deal with breadth of functional problems and evaluate the progress made. Through this, it supports the classroom learning and theories and provides a platform to implement the theoretical concepts. It provides a chance to sharpen the data collection skills as well as analytical skills and other employability skills as the players are required to analyse the results at end of each year (Williams, 2015). Apart from this, it makes an individual to learn about working in team. Thus, it can be said that Simventure is a flexible and actively engaging learning tool to understand business functions and their development and progress over time. On the other hand, besides these learning opportunities from this simulation exercise there is also few limitations in its effectiveness as a learning mechanism. Though it provide learning in a stimulated business environment still its lacks the learning achieved through on the job training and from practical experience gained form summer internship, part time work and actual full time employment. During this exercise, there is application of one’s imagination for filling the details it is not satisfactorily realistic. According to Bellotti et al. (2012), business simulation gives more control on business scenario through its duration and controls and therefore, lacks external validity. On these grounds, it can be said that the outcomes cannot be fully generalised to the real business state of affairs as gained from learning experience of Simventure. Similarly from the blog entry, it can be said that this simulation game is unable to predict the behaviour of individuals toward the products/services thus, limits its effectiveness in generating true results. This also indicates the inability to assess the real risk to business and their causes and cost in mitigating business challenges. In addition to this, some learners might be find difficulty in working with the different modules and game features that might not develop critical skills and give insufficient time to choose about taking decisions which might be a limitation of use for different learners (Blog, 12 November – 18 November, Seminar 8–Start Up). Thus, it can be viewed that as a learning tools simulations offer a platform to analyse business problems and provides knowledge of system variables to effectively solve the problem and make business progress. However, it restricts the individual to generate optimal solution for actual business problems. Also, the decision maker needs to provide information to different business models and create conditions which also confirm that simulation solutions are not based on external uncontrollable factors.
The business simulation can also be linked to an individual personal and professional development. It highlights the individual self-awareness about fit in real business scenario and personal job success (Schumann et al., 2014). The simulation can provide self analysis to become aware of the personal skills and areas of improvements. The personal and business skills can be further sharpened to advance in professional development area which is linked to future career and job roles. The simulation experience provide an opportunity to develop a practical understanding of business metrics, realties’ to manage and run business functional areas such as planning, pricing, market analysis, etc. and solve problem that arise during this course to a great extent and thus, gives understanding beyond classroom learning for business management and developing career skills (Williams, 2015). This knowledge and understanding of business functions and metrics gained through learning method of Simventure simulation is essential for professional development and to develop employability skills to fulfil my career aspiration as business analysts.
Evaluation of different learning methods and opportunities
There are several learning methods apart from the simulation mode that also contribute in understanding of business functioning and development. One such is traditional classroom lecture which makes use of management theory for business understanding. This method is effective as it supports interaction with the educator and learners can be actively involved. However, its effectiveness relies on a good lesson planning, ability and well preparedness of the educator or instructor for a successful learning experience of business concepts and management of projects (Beetham and Sharpe, 2013). This method can also lead to passive learning as learners input is not involved as in case of simulation method of learning which are more effective to take on active learning role. Simulation games are also effective to support the classroom lectures as it do not provide practice of projects running and application of the learned concepts.
The case studies are also effective learning method used for educational purposes. This learning method provides an overview of a real situation faced by an actual company or can be hypothetically designed to fulfil learning needs. Case study as learning tool facilitates participants’ theoretical learning, critical thinking (Popil, 2011) and decision making skills through questions or open discussion. This method is useful in making aware to the participants about the exposure of kinds of business problem being or lately faced and what project management were used or can be used to effectively deal with problem scenario. However, it can be used once and cannot be repeated with new business ideas as in simulation game method. Another common method of learning is through role playing which facilitates learning through interactions. However, this method has limited effectiveness in case of learners that have no or little experience of the presuming roles (Rao and Stupans, 2012). The learning thus, can be obtained from personal experience such as past employment, summer trainings and observation from family business provides the learner to gain tactic knowledge which is not gained by classroom lecture or case studies learning methods. The past employment, summer trainings provides learning which can be related to past work experience, skills, attitude, values and creative thinking. This knowledge is essential to develop innovation thinking and skills which is required by employers.
Communication methods and approaches
Communication is a most generic employability skill required in business/ project management which includes writing skills, interpersonal skills, listening skills, oral communication and non-verbal skills. Also, academic writing is crucial part of personal and professional development. The academic based communications can serve as a medium to learner to present and express ideas and shape the conversation with instructors or trainers (Steffens et al., 2014). This is useful to learn appropriate communication such as highly structured or less structured manner to be used in different settings. This can be achieved by the use of audio and visual media method is one the many approaches to communicate effectively in learning environment and also effectively used within business settings with different stakeholders. This is also cost effective to reach target audience in less time. The audio-visual media can involve slide presentations, video conferencing, flipcharts, etc. in training and communicating with workforce. To share and disseminate information to stakeholders written reports can serve as a formal or informal dialogue and email can be send to make timely communication of information (Frandsen and Johansen, 2011). Thus, writing skills and oral communication skills is necessary for communication planning and engaging stakeholders during the project lifecycle. The writing skills are useful in management of business projects for updating plans, sharing feedbacks, and reporting progress status of reports. The written communication approach of reporting is vital to demonstrate the relevant information and progress to stakeholders and keeping the individual in touch for future interactions. In addition to this, active listing to stakeholder also forms an essential approach in stakeholder communication and effective gather information. It is also essential to understand the barrier to these skills to develop effective communication skills to influence individuals and business professionals in personal and professional journey.
It can be summarised that business simulation as a learning tools is quite effective to comprehend about the business initiation, its development and operations of different functional areas. The report has considered different learning tools that present opportunity to learn about business/project management for potential learners. It can also be summarised that writing skills, oral communication skills and listening communication approach are suitable for managing effective stakeholder communication.
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