PRODISAn interactive business game for Intranet and Internet (2000-2002)
A very effective way to start understanding the dynamic complexity and the need to address business and organisational problems from a systemic point of view, is the study of a generic system of production-distribution (the process from the receipt of orders from a retailer to the issuance of orders by the retailer to the wholesaler and from there to the factory responsible for developing the product. The process leading to the delivery of the goods once produced is also examined.
In PRODIS we built a simulation game to facilitate the study of interactions between supposedly rational decisions made by individuals (e.g. company directors) and the system they are involved in. It comes to experimentally demonstrate through student participation in the game, how the control of complex systems (in this case a production-distribution system of products in a chain of companies or divisions of companies) is impossible without the understanding of how the whole system is set up, its structure and interrelationships by all of the decision makers.
The structure for this system has been incorporated into the business game known as «Beergame». This is a game generally used with students of Alfred Loan School of Business Administration from MIT, London Business Schooland many other business schools, while in non-electronic form, which requires a small number of students (5 to 12 people) not to become unmanageable.
Overcoming this limitation was the aim of PRODIS. We developed a version of the game which can be used through personal computers in local networks (Intranet) or through Internet. This allows all of our students to play the game (particularly in Engineering degrees such as Economics and Business, while the interest is not limited to them). The knowledge that may be acquired through this game can be commonly applied in real world: economic systems, ecological, educational, health, etc.
Automation of the game mechanics in turns prevents errors in log inventory, requests to suppliers or deliveries to customers, and in general all error by misunderstanding of the mechanics of the game, which slowed the development of the game and sometimes even forced to start again.