Strategy wargame – EY Academy of Business

Strategy wargame

Coordinator
  • 3 minute(s) reading time
  • 6 September 2021

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Strategy wargame, or strategic simulation, is a unique way to recognise the future market situation. Having such knowledge before making a key decision and committing significant resources is invaluable.

This is possible thanks to a structured analysis of the most probable moves and counter-moves of competitors and stakeholders over several years. Only real market data is used in the simulation.

The simulation allows you, at a low cost, to test or develop your own company’s strategic moves to achieve market success. It is conducted in the formula of a 1 – 1.5 day workshop, which makes it, apart from its main objective, an excellent opportunity to build commitment, develop competencies, increase strategic and market awareness among management staff.

Simulation is the right solution when a company:

  • is facing a critical strategic decision (e.g. new product launch, entry into a new market, merger or acquisition, strategic partnership, marketing campaign, rebranding);
  • is concerned about the increasing uncertainty of the market environment (e.g. technology development, regulatory changes, social trends, economic situation, business security, changing customer habits);
  • is wondering how to respond to the moves of its competitors and other market participants;
  • wants to develop a new strategy or test the current one, involving its management in the process.

Course and organisation of the simulation:

  • the simulation takes the form of a 1-1.5 day workshop and usually takes place outside of the company’s headquarters;
  • the simulation involves from a dozen to several dozen people, who are divided into several teams;
  • the teams take on the roles of several-person management boards of major competitors and stakeholders;
  • the simulation consists of 3-4 rounds, the sense and content of which is adjusted to the business goal of the simulation;
  • individual rounds are set in consecutive periods (usually one round is 2-3 years);
  • a report on the actual (and not fictional) market and the competitive situation is made available to the teams;
  • teams representing competitors work out their likely strategic moves and reactions;
  • stakeholder teams assess and comment on the moves of individual competitors;
  • in the final round, participants step out of their roles and develop recommendations for the client’s management.

Examples of projects of this kind:

  • professional services company – simulation for strategic planning in the face of competitors’ development activities, declining margins from certain services, announced actions of the regulator;
  • food retail chain – simulation of competitors’ moves in the face of phenomena such as price wars, the disappearance of small shops, development of mobile commerce, trade tax, restriction of freedom to trade;
  • coffee producer – simulation to analyse possible market events in the face of a recently announced merger between two competitors from another country;
  • outsourcing firm – simulation to change strategy in the face of phenomena such as low unemployment and upward pressure on wages, the influx of foreign workers, progressive robotisation and automation;
  • construction company – simulation to develop winning strategic moves in the face of market crisis, difficulties in obtaining public contracts, unfavourable demographic trends.

If you would like to find out more or organise a market simulation for your business, please contact the supervisor of this programme:

Oktawia Wróblewska

tel. +48 517 882 348

oktawia.kurus@pl.ey.com

About this article

Strategy wargame
Author Oktawia Wróblewska
Coordinator

3 minute(s) reading time

6 Sep 2021

Strategy wargame, or strategic simulation, is a unique way to recognise the future market situation. Having such knowledge before making a key decision and committing significant resources is invaluable.

This is possible thanks to a structured analysis of the most probable moves and counter-moves of competitors and stakeholders over several years. Only real market data is used in the simulation.

The simulation allows you, at a low cost, to test or develop your own company’s strategic moves to achieve market success. It is conducted in the formula of a 1 – 1.5 day workshop, which makes it, apart from its main objective, an excellent opportunity to build commitment, develop competencies, increase strategic and market awareness among management staff.

Simulation is the right solution when a company:

  • is facing a critical strategic decision (e.g. new product launch, entry into a new market, merger or acquisition, strategic partnership, marketing campaign, rebranding);
  • is concerned about the increasing uncertainty of the market environment (e.g. technology development, regulatory changes, social trends, economic situation, business security, changing customer habits);
  • is wondering how to respond to the moves of its competitors and other market participants;
  • wants to develop a new strategy or test the current one, involving its management in the process.

Course and organisation of the simulation:

  • the simulation takes the form of a 1-1.5 day workshop and usually takes place outside of the company’s headquarters;
  • the simulation involves from a dozen to several dozen people, who are divided into several teams;
  • the teams take on the roles of several-person management boards of major competitors and stakeholders;
  • the simulation consists of 3-4 rounds, the sense and content of which is adjusted to the business goal of the simulation;
  • individual rounds are set in consecutive periods (usually one round is 2-3 years);
  • a report on the actual (and not fictional) market and the competitive situation is made available to the teams;
  • teams representing competitors work out their likely strategic moves and reactions;
  • stakeholder teams assess and comment on the moves of individual competitors;
  • in the final round, participants step out of their roles and develop recommendations for the client’s management.

Examples of projects of this kind:

  • professional services company – simulation for strategic planning in the face of competitors’ development activities, declining margins from certain services, announced actions of the regulator;
  • food retail chain – simulation of competitors’ moves in the face of phenomena such as price wars, the disappearance of small shops, development of mobile commerce, trade tax, restriction of freedom to trade;
  • coffee producer – simulation to analyse possible market events in the face of a recently announced merger between two competitors from another country;
  • outsourcing firm – simulation to change strategy in the face of phenomena such as low unemployment and upward pressure on wages, the influx of foreign workers, progressive robotisation and automation;
  • construction company – simulation to develop winning strategic moves in the face of market crisis, difficulties in obtaining public contracts, unfavourable demographic trends.

If you would like to find out more or organise a market simulation for your business, please contact the supervisor of this programme:

Oktawia Wróblewska

tel. +48 517 882 348

oktawia.kurus@pl.ey.com