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野战:在商业战场上取得优势 (译:小南)

2006-10-29  小南
(译:小南) 

War Games: Gaining Advantage on the Business Battleground

野战:在商业战场上取得优势

 

This article identifies the preparation necessary for a war game. Examples of candidate companies that might be preparing for a war game are listed below. In addition, at the bottom of the article is a concise list titled "Ten Steps of Business War Gaming."

本文阐述的是野战必需的备战工作。以下列举了作战公司的备战的例子。另外,下文详述了“野战游戏之十大步骤”的简明清单。

Competitive Case 1

竞争案例1

Company A and competing firms have a number of key clients in the telecommunications industry, which is facing legislative pressures that may change the face of competition. Pending legislation may enable companies outside the telecommunications industry to enter into this space. Its top executives want to understand how key rivals will behave under likely scenarios, so that the executives can form better strategic decisions and observe signals regarding emerging developments.

A公司与竞争同行在电信行业中均有着一定数量的关键客户,这行业正面对立法方面的压力,这可能改变的竞争格局。正在草拟有关允许电信行业以外的公司进入这领域。 该公司的最高管理层意欲了解主要对手在这形势下将采取的行动,使得管理层能制定更好战略决策以及观察这新发展的动向。

Competitive Case 2

竞争案例2

 

Company B is planning on introducing a new product in the coming year. Its managers want to understand better the current marketplace, how its main competitor will respond to the product launch, and, in turn, how it should respond.

公司B正计划在来年引进一个新产品。该公司的管理层想更好地了解当前产品的市场份额, 其主要竞争对手对新产品投放市场的反应,然后该公司应如何制定应对措施。

Competitive Case 3

竞争案例3

 

Company C is expanding into a new geographic region in which a competitor already has a minor presence. Its executives want to understand their competitor‘s current growth strategy for the region, how their competitors will react when they learn about Company C‘s plans, and how Company C can stay ahead of the competitor‘s reaction.

公司C正在一个新地区拓展业务,而竞争对手已在该地区占有些许份额。该公司管理层希望了解他们竞争者在该地区当前阶段的发展策略,在他们竞争者获悉C公司的产品计划时将如何反击,以及C公司怎样在竞争者的反击中仍能位居其首。

 

In each of the above cases, an organization is facing significant issues which require deeper understanding of the external environment - their market, industry forces and competitors - so that management can better inform their strategy, decisions, actions and/or reactions. We can draw on a variety of competitive tools to support cases like these. Among the most effective is the war game.

在上述的每个案例中,一个组织正面临一个突出问题,就是需要对外界环境作更深刻的了解——如该市场、行业的驱动力和竞争者,使得管理层能更好地制定他们的策略、决定、行动和/或再行动。我们可以通过各种各样的竞争工具去支持这些例案,其中最有效的就是野战游戏。

As its name suggests - and like many competitive intelligence tools and practices - business war gaming draws from long-standing military practices. Just as opponents face one another on the battlefield, competitors confront each other in the marketplace. Among rivals, the challenge is to ensure competitive advantage by

名如其实,就像很多智力竞技比拼和实战一样——商业野战源于长期的军事实战。竞争者们在商场相互角逐,就像战场上敌人的相互对垒。在对手中,承受着如何保持竞争优势的挑战,如下:

minimizing threats, risks, and surprises

最少的威胁、风险和惊险

taking full advantage of opportunities

充分利用各种机会的优势

maximizing resources.

资源最优化

This may be achieved through

以上这些可以通过:

understanding strengths, weakness and options

知已知彼,了解双方的优势、弱势和可选择的余地

understanding the competitive environment, including the competition

了解竞争环境,包括竞争本身

anticipating emerging or likely developments

预知形势现况与发展

taking into account uncertainties and chaos - the "fog of war."

考虑战事的迷雾——不确定的因素和干扰

In business settings, this involves knowing the industry, its dynamics and influencing factors and "getting into the heads" of competitors - in other words, understanding the battle landscape, gaining insights to how the opposition will behave in the boardroom and in the field, and being as prepared as possible for factors we can and cannot control.

在商业模式里,这涉及对工业领域的了解及其动因和影响因素,以及了解竞争对手的情况,换言之,就要了解战事形势,深知对手在该领域和内部决策反应,以及对我们可控和不可控的因素作好一切准备。

 

Like military war games, business war games are exercises that anticipate activities under specific situations or conditions in order to help an organization devise strategies, develop courses of action, plan initiatives and test ideas. Companies often conduct war games when facing a new or high-stakes situation, decision or event; when they are seeking fresh ideas or perspectives, or when they want to build consensus, cohesion or focus in their strategy, planning or decision-making.

就军事野战一样,商业野战是在特定情况或条件下做出预测,以助于组织制定策略,进一步草拟、实施计划和验证思想。如一家经常开展野战活动公司在遇上新的紧张形势、决定或事件时,他们会寻找新思维或方法,或会想方设法地专注于建立在大多数人的意见的战略、计划或决定上。

Games Companies Play

公司游戏规则

In its simplest form, a war game involves establishing two teams: one representing a competitor, client, market or other business factor and the other representing the "home" company, another competitor, client, market or business factor. Teams are formed around a question or issue, like a company‘s or its rival‘s impending product launch. In the first instance, one team representing the "home" company may take specific actions toward its product launch, testing them against their competitor‘s actions and reactions. As participants progress through the war game exercise, the "home" team and the "competitor" team may move through phases or rounds of actions and responses, exploring various perspectives, factors and courses of action.

最简单的野战游戏方法,是分成2小组,一方扮演竞争者、客户、或其他商业角色,其他则代表本公司。各小组围绕一个问题,如一家公司或他的对手准备投入一项新产品。在这个例子中,一组代表“本公司”,对即将投入的新产品采取的行动,测试或反应。随着野战游戏的进程不断推进,“本公司”和“竞争公司”在对不同阶段的行动或反映中,探索出不种的观点、因素或行动计划。

Prior to engaging in a war game exercise, each team must be sufficiently briefed regarding the nature and purpose of the game, the rules of play, role(s) and assignment(s) for each participant. Participants should be supplied relevant research and analysis that will help inform their role-play. This may include company, unit, management and/or market profiles, recent actions taken, external influencing factors, etc. Each team begins the exercise using information or tools that are supplied to them; however, with each round, an opposing team or the facilitator may introduce new factors, tasks, or even surprises that each team needs to consider for its next course of action.

根据先前野战戏的经验,各组一定要明确知道这游戏的性质与目的,游戏的规则,每个参与者的角色和作业。参与者应准备各自角色的相关资料、要求。参与者搜集相关资料,包括公司、单元、管理层和/或市场的概况,当前的采取的行动,外界影响因素等。每组用提供给他们的工具或信息练习。但每个回合,对方或其它商业角色可引入新的因素、任务、甚至是各组要考虑阶段行动。

After each round, the game may pause for participants to analyze the outcomes of each phase. This continues until the objectives of the war game exercise are achieved. As the war game concludes, each team identifies likely strategies and actions that its company is likely to or should take, taking into account key information and intelligence gaps, and presents its findings to fellow participants and other relevant personnel. Teams should also outline key lessons regarding their companies and the war game exercise. Finally, the product of the war game effort should inform any formal strategy, plan(s), contingencies and/or courses of action.

每个回合结束后, 游戏将暂停, 让参与者分析各个阶段的结果. 如此直至野战游戏的目标得以实现.在总结野战游戏时,每组都要确认他们的战略和将要采取的行动,考虑关键信息和回旋处,和向他的同僚或相关人提出他的发现. 各组一定要把他们公司或野战有关的关键经验总结出来 .最后, 野战游戏的方法可指导任何一个正式战略或行动中去.

War games can range widely in scope and complexity. Each exercise should be designed to accommodate an organization‘s specific situation. There are cases in which multiple teams of various types are employed, each representing a different competitor, your market(s), business issue(s) or other key factor(s). Given the significance of a war game exercise, the number and functions of participants, and the degree of planning, coordination and design required, it is vital to involve a knowledgeable and experienced coordinator and facilitator. Facilitators also ensure the integrity of the process, including the avoidance of assumptions, blind spots and other factors that may unduly affect the outcome.

野战游戏可涉及范围甚广、更复杂.每个演练可设计到适合组织的特定条件。该游戏引用了适合各组不同情况的案例,每组代表不同的竞争者、市场、商业事件或其他关键因素。成功的野战实践经验的关键对参与人数及其职能、计划程度,所需的协调与设计等方面有丰富知识和经验的组织和协调。

In addition to facilitators, the war game needs leaders. Since war games often consider strategic or other key issues, and its results are intended to inform management‘s decisions and actions, these exercises are best conducted with the support and direct participation of senior managers, who often assume the roles of team leaders, and occasionally, umpires or referees. It is also ideal to involve the direct participation of an organization‘s war game sponsor. And just as military generals or field marshals rely on their officers and various experts or specialists in their planning or decision-making, the composition of business war game teams is critical to the success of the exercise. Teams comprise a mix of middle managers and key functional staff, who can offer a range of perspectives about the competitor and the specific issue(s) and factor(s) under examination.

另外协调方面,野战游戏需要领导。因为它常常要考虑政策或关键事件,这些结果会成为管理层的决定与行动。这类练习最好由最高级经理直接参与和开展活动,他常担任团队的领导角色,偶尔做做仲裁。邀请野战组织的主办人直接参与其中是最理想的。而就象将军或军事总参在他们的制定计划或决定时依靠他们将士或学者专家,野战游戏团队的组成是这个游戏的关键。这团队是由中层经理和关键职能员工组成的,他们能提供一系列的关于竞争对手和特别事件或因素的观点。

A war game session may last from one to a few days, depending on the competitive/business issue(s), gaming model, resources and urgency of the situation. Likewise, preparation for a war game varies. Typically, a three-day war game takes roughly one month to prepare. This includes time for planning, defining the competitive issue(s), team construction, team briefings, research, preliminary analysis and materials processing. Costs for a war game can also vary, ranging from $20,000 to over $500,000. These fees can include research, analysis, game design and/or facilitation services, and are dependent on the complexity of the issue(s) involved and magnitude of the war game effort.

野战部分可能需时一天或一天以上, 这是由竞争或商业事件、游戏模式、资源或情况的紧急性而定。按不同野战类型做不同的准备。一般地,一个三天的野战需要一个月时间去准备。这包括计划与定义竞争事项、团队成员的结构,团队的概况、研究、预前分析和材料的准备。 野战费用也可因人而异,从两万到伍拾万港元不等。这些费用包括研究、分析、游戏设计或服务设施,因涉及各野战事件的复杂和游戏级数的不同而定。

More than a Game

这不仅只是一场游戏

From the above discussion, we can see that war gaming can support an organization‘s strategy development, planning, and decision-making by helping to

综上所述,我们可知野战游戏能支持一个组织的发展战略和计划,还有决策的制定,有助于:

lend clarity to a range of business issues

透析一系列商业事件;

identify opportunities and ways to capitalize on them

寻找机会和方法,并使之得以利用

avoid surprises

避免意外情况的发生

outline courses of action

总括出行动计划

determine the potential impact of specific developments, actions, and conditions

决定某特定情况的发展趋势、行动和条件的潜在影响

identify information or intelligence gaps.

确定信息或能力的缺口

In addition to offering these advantages, war gaming provides a number of auxiliary benefits to a company, its managers, and intelligence teams, such as the following.

另外,野战对一家公司、管理层和团队可以提供一定的额外的好处:

1.      Help build competitive awareness throughout all units and levels of the organization.

1         可以有助在整个单位和不同的机构建立起竞争意识。

2.      Develop a deeper understanding of the impact of roles, functions and actions across the organization. This can improve team building, coordination of efforts, and knowledge sharing.

2         有助于加深对组织间的各职能、角色、行动的相互影响的理解。这可改善团队的建立、相互合作和知识共享。

3.      Enhance intelligence generation by more clearly defining intelligence needs, direction, and focus, as well as engaging more personnel in information collection other ways of participation.

3          通过对资讯需求、趋势、关注等更清晰的定义,以及参与者更多不同的信息收集方法,促进创意资讯的萌生。

Our ever evolving business battleground require continuous vigilance and efforts toward understanding the emerging and likely scenarios that involve our competitors, customers, markets, regulators, technology and other factors and influences. The war game is an effective tool for anticipating and managing a landscape that contains a host of situations, factors and potential outcomes. By understanding our business landscape and gaining more control over our environment, we can map more secure and efficient routes, develop contingencies for the inevitable shifts and detours, and gain necessary advantage for our organizations.

永远向前的商业竞争市场,要求对我们的竞争者、客户、市场、规则、技术和涉及其他因素或影响、可能发生的情况要有不断的警惕,并付出我们的努力。野战对于参与或管理的现况、因素或潜在结果的综合情况是一项有效工具。通过对我们所处商业情况或环境得以更好的把握,我们可描画更安全或有效的路线,分析不可避免的改变或弯路的可能性,使我们的组织取得必然的优势。

Author‘s Note: For further background on competitive intelligence, see Competitive Intelligence: A Practical Primer for Location Intelligence also by Cynthia Cheng Correia, Directions Magazine/Location Intelligence, February 21, 2006

作者备注:要得到更多资讯,请参阅由Cynthia Cheng Correia写的《竞争资讯》:A Practical Primer for Location Intelligence

Ten Steps of Business War Gaming

商业野战的十大步骤:

1.      Define competitive/market issue(s), related questions, scope and factors (controllable and uncontrollable) of the war game.

                定义野战游戏的竞争或市场因素,相关问题,范围和因素(可控或不可控的)

2.      Plan and coordinate: participants, teams, timeline, resources, budget, etc.

                计划和协调:参与者、团队、时间、资源、预算等

3.      Conduct competitive research for the war game issue: published source collection and human source collection.

                展开野战游戏的研究:公开资源和人力资源征集

4.      Conduct preliminary analysis based on research results.

                展开研究结果的初步分析

5.      Pre-game team preparation: provide briefings, instructions, tutorials, assignments, and the research and analysis materials kit to participants.

                战前准备工作:向参与者提出概述、指引、指导、任务和研究分析材料。

6.      Conduct war game exercise(s): simulations of likely actions and reactions under specific scenarios and conditions.

                开展野战游戏实战:在特定的情节或条件下模拟行动及其反击行动。

7.      Draw conclusions to likely scenarios and outcomes and form recommendations.

                总结情节和结果,提出最佳方案

8.      Devise formal strategy, plan(s), contingencies, next steps, etc. based on previous step.

                在上一步骤的基础上,设计正式计划、策略、或有事项和下一步计划等。

9.      Debrief participants regarding the process: identify key lessons and ways to improve exercises.

                听取参与者的流程报告:订出主要方法与经验去改善实践

10.                 Identify additional intelligence efforts that are required (such as establishing a continuous war gaming process or an early warning system for your war game issue).

确定所需要的更多的创意思维,如对野战事件建立起持续的游戏步骤或预警系统。

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