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Tuesday 17 March 2015

Littlefield Simulation

If you were to ask me about the best aspect of academics at HEC, without batting an eye, my response would be experiential learning. Let me elaborate a bit on that: Right from the beginning of core 1, every few weeks, we take part in a simulation game. The simulations are competitive in nature, and allow you to practically utilize the concepts learnt in the class. You can also improvise on the theoritical strategies to achieve what we call in financial terms an 'alpha' to emerge as the winner. 

We have had several such short games till now, but my top three are Negosim, OPEC game, and the latest addition to the list - Littlefield Simulation. Littlefield was a part of our Operations Management course. 

Littlefield Simulation

(Click here to read the complete description of Littlefield. The following two paragraphs provide a Tl;Dr version)

The simulation is about managing a virtual factory with multiple workstations and a defined process flow. In terms of control variables, you can change the number of machines at each workstation, order of processing on certain stations and inventory levels. One thing which you can not control is the demand. In our version of the game, the demand followed a constant mean with sudden fluctuations on either side of the mean. I have heard that some versions of the game have increasing or decreasing mean demand as well. 

What made the game really interesting was that you could see the net cash position of each team, as a point function, and had to optimize your factory to achieve maximum cash-at-hand at the end of the simulation. It was an interesting experience to witness that starting from the same position, how various companies could take entirely different paths, just on the basis of a handful of management decisions. Additionally, even if two companies make the exact same set of decisions, the swiftness in making those decisions could create a large gap in the intrinsic value of the companies.

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I will not spill more beans about this game, as to satiate the true nerd inside you, it is mandatory to play this game first hand. If you guys know of any similar operations related simulations, do drop a note in the comments! 

In other news, it is exam time at HEC! The second term (also referred to as Core 2) is about to end in a couple of weeks! Implying that I am already done with 50% of my MBA! Time really flies at b-schools! 


  1. Cool! Practical approach is always a better way of learning!

  2. Sounds interesting though it took a second reading to understand the game. Fun way of learning it is. - Soumya



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