An e-platform for enhancing the Operations Game

Posted in: Case Studies


The project was about the development of an e-platform to improve a simulation game we play in class for the Undergraduates, the Postgraduates and the MBAs. The simulation game is a simulation game played worldwide in Operations Management classes, where students form groups and operate a manufacturing company which produces greetings cards. Throughout the game, students make important decisions re the process design, workload allocation, operations strategy etc, towards the maximisation of profits. The project introduces a new feature, through an online platform that enables students select customer orders via an auction environment. Statistical tools are also integrated to enable monitoring of their performance compared to their competitors.

Project Team

Dr Dimitris Paraskevopoulos (School of Management):

Prof Brian Squire (School of Management)

Aims & Outcomes

This project is on the design, development and implementation of an e-platform to support the Operations Game. Even if the game, in the current version, runs smoothly and students learn a considerable amount of it, there is room for improvements. The goals of the project are summarised below:

  1. The non-adding value activities and inefficiencies on the way the Game is played will be replaced by e-procedures and
  2. New features are introduced, like statistical tools and an auction environment.

The motivation of the project stems from goal 1; there is a lot of waste in time, space and energy of the students spent on non-adding value activities such as standing on an overcrowded space for selecting customer orders and calculating costs, revenues while keeping track of the time. Note that the value of the activities involved in the project are measured by the extent of knowledge and learning experience as well as the amount of fun. Having removed these activities, room is created for enhancements and new features. Therefore, an auction environment (goal 2) for picking up the customer orders is now integrated into the e-platform, which contributes a lot both in term of learning experience and fun.

The outcome of the project is a very neat and user friendly online platform that students can login and manage their operations and biding activities. The platform is specially design to run on tablets and smartphones as well. We have bought a URL to host the platform, and we rent computational power each time we run the game.

Students feedback was excellent! They really enjoyed the game and the new platform, qualitative feedback had been collected as evidence. The tutors, Professor Brian Squire and me, enjoyed the game even more as the auction environment provided room for additional discussions, on a more realistic setting. Also the costing mechanisms and stats tools the platform offers, prevents the human errors and creates a more easy to operate setting and environment. More time is created for debrief and feedback to students, as we do not have to spend time on calculating the costs at the end of the game, as everything is calculated centrally by the online platform.

Posted in: Case Studies