Students at the Czech Technical University have started to prepare for their real lives as managers using a simulation game
Not a single chair in the classroom was left unfilled. On Thursday, 7 November, the teaching of strategic and financial planning and analysis using the Business Navigation Game simulation was commenced in collaboration with INEKON SYSTEMS at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Czech Technical University, the first Czech university to use this instruction aid. Since yesterday, students have thus been able to try out what their work as managers will really look like in the field of planning and controlling and how well they are able to match up to the competition.
The Business Navigation Game combines the BNS management information system used in hundreds of companies in the Czech Republic and abroad and LUDUS simulation software which is regularly used at universities all over the world, including the Czech Republic, into one functional unit. “Our faculty has been looking for some time for a tool in which students are able to try their hand not only at planning, but also in which they can see the consequences of their decisions. This is why we are convinced that use of the Business Navigation Game simulation, in which they can test their teamwork skills in a competitive environment, is of great benefit to our students. It does in general hold true that teaching in the form of simulation games is attractive for students and that they are much more motivated while learning. The system of the integrated BNS-LUDUS solution supports tactical and strategic planning using the Balanced Scorecard methodology. From the point of view of our target graduate profile, this is an excellent way to prepare students for a successful professional career,” says Ing. Miroslav Žilka, Ph.D., from the Department of Management and Economics at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Czech Technical University.
An indisputable advantage of the integrated BNS-LUDUS solution lies in the fact that it works in the real environment of an actual management information system which many students will be able to use in the company they work for after completing their studies. “Groups of students create virtual enterprises which compete against each other with products on up to four markets at the same time. They constantly monitor how the business plan they have prepared is accepted by the market and can update their decisions according to the behaviour of the competition. This is to say that they have to react to changes in the field of marketing, sales, manufacturing, logistics, finance and global trends,” says Ing. Jan Hušek, Ph.D., Executive Director of INEKON SYSTEM, explaining the principle of this new form of teaching.
Abroad, the integrated BNS-LUDUS solution is used, for example, by the Department of Forestry and Wood Economics at the Department of Economics, Management and Business at the Faculty of Wood Sciences and Technology in Zvolen. “Graduates who played the simulation game in our faculty and who are now managers, or even owners of companies, say that it made them more employable and improved their ability to utilise the knowledge gained during their studies. It has been proven that if students have the possibility of visualising results with the aid of BNS, they are better prepared for their future work in a company,” claims the Department Head, Doc Ing. Andrea Sujová, PhD. Instruction using the Business Navigation Game simulator will also be starting next semester at the German Hochschule Wismar – University of Applied Sciences: Technology, Business and Design.
More and more company directors long for graduates who do not have to undergo a lengthy and laborious training process at work with the management systems used. A combination of theoretical knowledge with practical experience in a simulated market environment helps students to better understand connections and relationships which tend otherwise to be explained under the conditions of perfect markets and rational customers or investors. Simulations are, however, preparation for the real economic life of a manager in which everybody is responsible for something and in which teamwork is important. Thanks to the Business Navigation Game, graduates can become a useful member of such a team from practically the day they start work.