Business War Game!

Our MBA batch just had our very first business war game for our Development of the Enterprise (DE) class. What's the war game all about? Competitive Intelligence.

The game we played is called Operation: Teltech and it consists of four rounds where in a group of five students represented a telecommunications company with starting market share points in the industry. The basic objective was to allot certain points to implement your team's strategy-- to "attack" another team to gain market share points, to "defend" your position to prevent other teams to get your market share, and to "expand" by tapping into growth markets outside of your opponents. There are more complications in the game such as varying market potential and the time pressure.

My team represented a company that started with 16% market share, thus it wasn't the market leader-- more of like a middle-of-the-pack player with a niche in one of the five service segments in the industry. As soon as game time started, we chose which segments to focus on and discussed whether to attack, defend or expand. The team strategized to defend the leadership position in our service segment and chose two other segments to grow via expansion. We also tried to anticipate our opponents moves based on the small amount of data available.

After four rounds, our company grew (~90%), but not as high as the industry standard (~120%). Our team had the lowest value growth and 4th place in percentage growth. As a matter of fact, we even lost market share from 16% to 14% while maintaing the 4th position from the field of five teams.

As I ponder about our team's performance after the game, I realized we did not fully implement our strategy single-mindedly-- we should have dominated the service segment we were in and quashed the competition early. Perhaps we were drawn by the prospects of "pulling a fast one" on the opponents by sneaking on areas they might be not defending. While I believe our team correctly reacted and countered the opponent's moves (we did not lose market value in any of the service segments), we were a bit too late in recognizing which opponent to focus our energies and resources on.

All in all, the business war game was very exciting and stimulating and I do hope we get to do more of it on a regular basis.


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