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Developing Foresight Using Business Wargaming

Autor:   •  April 9, 2019  •  Research Paper  •  1,427 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,464 Views

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Developing foresight using Business Wargaming


Wargame is a method typically used in the military by helping officers get prepared to uncertainty in the battlefield for a long history, and it also can be applied to business industry for different purposes like testing strategies, changing management, crisis preparation and so on. This report mainly gives a brief introduction to business wargame, talks about the advantages of business wargame comparing to scenario planning, and mainly discusses the application of business wargame to foresight development. Business wargame not only can fulfil the process of foresight but also can be a vehicle to develop foresight, especially in a complicated and dynamic environment.

1. What is business wargaming

Formerly wargame is widely used in military, by helping officers get ready to real situations, developing and testing the plans for the army in the battlefield. While recently, some commercial organisations adopt the military wargaming to business environment as they realise the method it provides can be a valuable process to help business companies with strategic, operational and tactical planning, and execution, like anticipate the potential impacts of a broad range of competitive actions and uncontrollable events against its own plans. Thus helping these organisations improve the probability of their success (Kurtz, 2018). Business wargaming has been adopted by many fortune 500 companies and some medium and small-sized enterprises, including various types of business like software, telecommunications, chemical industry and other industries.

2. How does business wargame work

Wargame is a simulation of role-playing in business environment including several players, who represent different stakeholders. And it usually consists of a series of rounds. To fully reflect the reality, during each round, competitors’ information, like the strategy and planning of the competitors, is not given to the player and all parts act simultaneously to achieve the mission objectives. Every team get to know the consequence and the results of their actions only after completing each round, and they start next move using the results come from last phase as the beginning position.

3. Advantages of business wargame.

By explaining how does business wargaming work, a similarity or even overlap can be seen when comparing it to scenario planning. However, scenario planning is vulnerable to the charge that scenarios struggle with incorporating future dynamics of markets. However, it’s difficult for scenario planning to detective future dynamics of markets. Oriesek and Friedrich (2003) comment that scenario planning often uses past experience to create scenarios, thus relating less to the future than the past. Companies might be unaware of unforeseen accidents. Time-consuming and complicated procedure are also pointed out by Schwarz (2006, 2008) to scenario planning.  While Wargaming is a powerful, useful, risk-free process for thinking about the future, players can think creatively about the future and think ahead, by evaluating their forecasting and not only one possible outcoming is generated, they can get prepared for unexpected events. Besides, a playful character is a special feature of wargaming, by allowing participation to involve their feelings and emotions to every movement. The result of this feature is to build a strong relationship between themselves and the stakeholders which are being played, and it has a significant impact on the improvement of the quality of simulation results (Romeike, 2018).

4. Developing foresight in a business wargame.

How business wargaming relates to developing foresight? ‘The purpose of a foresight process in an organisation is not so much to predict the future as to prepare for it’(Tsoukas and Shepherd 2004). ‘Foresight activities should be understood as structured communication processes focusing on mental models, blind spots and knowledge gaps’ (Jan Oliver Schwarz 2009). So foresight focuses more on realising development before they become trends, finding the relevant features of social currents that are likely to have an impact, than it is about making prediction(Tsoukas 2004). Simply, the main purpose of business foresight is the discussions about the effect of some events, and by having the discussions, enterprises get a clear view of the surroundings and can pay attention to the change of weak signals.

The objective of a business wargame is not only to forecast but also to analyse the future dynamics of the different parts of a business industry. So developing foresight can be derived from the players’ simulation by predicting the future in a business wargame (Oriesek and Schwarz, 2009). But how exactly can business wargame add to a foresight process? Only use business wargame to represent the whole process of foresight is impossible, business wargame is normally used to strengthen the ability of the company’s foresight. The chart below illustrates the process of foresight and the how it works of the combination of these two processes.


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