1: The production process
This module focuses on the heart of operations management, managing the production process.
2: Managing suppliers
This module unlocks the receiving department and puts you in charge of managing the supply chain and material inventories to meet client needs.
3: Forecasting and contracts
In this module, you will choose which contracts to pursue, and optimize their receiving, production, and shipping departments accordingly.
4: Human resources and capacity planning
In this challenging scenario, you will need to manage both human resources and facility resources to meet capacity challenges.
5: The new branch via the capstone module
Brings all of the components together. In this capstone module, you have complete control over all areas of their operations, and will be challenged to build the most profitable company possible. You should allow between 1 to 3 hours completing Module 5.
6: Maximize net worth
In this capstone module, players again have complete control over all areas of their operations. The goal is to maximize the net worth of the firm over 50 turns. Module 6 should take 1 to 3 hours to complete
Practice Operations is one of the essential learning resources, which is introducing the reinforcements of the key concepts regarding the strategic decision making. It is a 3D concept, which involves game-based simulations that have been allowing the students for managing the operational activities in distribution of clothing manufacturing company. I have participated in an operational activity undertaken by a clothing manufacturing company. I have learnt that during the Practice Operations, the players are considered as the operation managers of a clothing manufacturing company. I shall critically reflect the contribution of this McGraw Hill Practice Operations Game during an operational activity. Both the positive and negative contributions will be discussed much significantly.
In this current era, the internet and information technology have been offering us various tools and methods, which work as the instructor of developing few learning approaches. McGrew Stimulation game based on the Practice Operations is mainly designed for the operational activities. The players are the major responsible people here who have been managing both the physical and human resources. The game involves different types of activities like ordering raw materials and manufacturing refined clothing from these materials. The manufactured clothes are then sent to the shipping process for delivering to the clients. The game is associated with different modules, which are generally dealing with the production process issues, capacity building, and supply chain management. Apart from these segments, the modules are also defining the labour management process, customer satisfactory rate, and quality control process.
Apparently, the process is quite beneficial for enhancing our learning skills. ‘Simulation’ is defined as the model of reality. Baker (2012) argued that simulation will only be valuable if it is characterised by the concept called omomorphism. In one word, omomorphism is the measuring degree of authenticity of the stimulations by considering the reality. On the other hand, Vasilescu, Popa and Codrean (2013) explained that omomorphism is pointing out the number of necessary traits in reality, which are essentially needed to be taken into account. I have observed that it becomes a critical challenge for me to balance the need for simplifying the reality and maintaining the authenticity. Even though, the simulation process is providing me the idea of the proper reality, the complexity in this process may overlap the educational utility. As a learner, I have gathered benefits from using such process through different experiments based on the changes of the input values, process constraints, and parameters. However, I have experienced the changes in the output. If we discuss the cons of using such simulation games, we can find that such programmes do not really have the competitive element or any specific goal.
I can infer that games are always associated with some level of competition. It has been observed that the process does not include the specific goals. In presenting the argument, Belekoukias, Garza-Reyes and Kumar (2014) implied that the programme has several positive influence. First of all, the game is quite interactive through which we are able to communicate in a transparent manner. This simulation game is connected to the players making and implementation of the choices between the available alternatives. During the time of such game, the players can be interactive and provide proper feedback in every situation (Worc.ac.uk, 2016). I have noticed that the game becomes complex, as it is absolutely open-ended. Such open-ended procedures have been allowing other strategies to take place. Due to such functionalities, this simulation game is considered as one of the most cognitively demanding games that are used for learning process.
The alignment of simulations and games is often pervasive. In many of the cases, I have seen that the simulations games are associated with the decision-making process. In such process, the players or the learners have to select the apt option amongst a range of contrived environment based real scenarios. As a learner, I can observe the decision by facing the real-time scenario. While learning through such artificial game, I can connect the reality accordingly. It is important to mention that this simulation process is classified into seven genres. These genres are adventure games, role-playing games, fighting games, action games, sports games, experimental games, and strategy games. It is noted that these types of games are free from the mutual exclusiveness and are overlapped in combination.
In a clothing manufacturing company, we are assigned with a operational activity that involves the arrangements of the raw materials and delivering the readymade clothes to the customers. In a conference room, we performed the role-play activity for making the decision about the distribution of low-cost raw materials. I have found that the participation of the players as the managers is quite complex. The conflict occurs when different people present their diversified perspectives. However, the discussion, which has the clear link with the reality is making the decision making process quite easier. I have found that we are able to interact with each other while making any proper decision. We have even conducted the survey for generating the idea about the customers’ demands. In every situation, we are allowed to provide the justification or feedback. I can even mention that the maintenance of the transparency while playing the managerial role, I can gather much knowledge from others. However, I have observed that we have not received the expected output. The team management is essential for facilitating the operational management process. Moreover, the complex scenario sometimes confused us in understanding the proper scenario. Hence, I can interpret that the simulation process is associated with both the positive and negative influences. However, it is still can be taken into account as the most significant process of understanding the reality before implementing any strategic decision.
In considering the effectiveness of simulation games, it is noted that the process is defined as the traditional dyadic method for teaching and learning. One receives the sense of novelty, which eventually stimulates the interests of the learners. As per my experience, it has been a promising game for me since I faced a number of difficulties along with the benefits. I have learnt that if the communication becomes less, it would be difficult for a learner to obtain the idea about the particular subject matter. On the other hand, the continuous feedback session and the analysis of the real market scenario would be accordingly beneficial for the learners.
The study has been discussing about the positive and the negative influence of McGraw Hill Practice Operation games. The associated simulation game has been connecting the real scenario of the business with the operational activities. The above discussion has been reflecting that the communication with the players is beneficial in deriving ideas about the operational activities. The connection with the real life scenario by performing the artificial activities is foreseen in this simulation process. In spite of such apparent benefits, it is noted that the outcome is not at par the expectations. In majority cases, the strategic decision becomes too complex and lack of specific goals. It becomes challenging for the players or the managers who have participated in this simulation game. However, the proper communicational transparency and the obtained ideas from the different perspectives will be helpful enough in making the strategic decisions.
Baker, L.M., 2012. Fun and Games: Connecting for learning. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 59(1), pp.119-123.
Belekoukias, I., Garza-Reyes, J.A. and Kumar, V., 2014. The impact of lean methods and tools on the operational performance of manufacturing organisations. International Journal of Production Research, 52(18), pp.5346-5366.
Vasilescu, C., Popa, B.M. and Codreanu, A., 2013. Challenges of integrating learning games into e-learning environments. In Conference proceedings of» eLearning and Software for Education «(eLSE) (No. 02, pp. 121-126). Universitatea Nationala de Aparare Carol I.
Worc.ac.uk, (2016). [online] Available at: <http://www.worc.ac.uk/edu/documents/Affect_Based_effects_of_simulation_games_Loon.pdf> [Accessed 5 Sep. 2016].
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