Simulation lets you explore an electronic model of the project you manage - whether the project is a factory, or a hospital, or an administrative center, whatever. The type of simulation it provides is time-based, and takes into account all the resources and constraints involved, and the way all these things interact with each other as time passes.
This means that the simulation really can match reality - so something you try in the simulation will behave the same way as it would in the real organization.
With simulation you can quickly try out your ideas at a fraction of the cost of trying them on the real organization. And, because you can try ideas quickly, you can have many more ideas, and gain many insights, into how to run the organization more effectively.
Simulation is also a communication tool. As one of our first customers said: “We don’t want to just find the right solution, we want to use it to sell that solution to every one of our staff in our 200 branches”.
When you click the RUN button in a simulation you see the work you do (products, patients, paper work etc.) move around the organization. The clock in the corner of the screen tells you what the equivalent time would be in the real system, and the software automatically collects performance measures as the modeled resources work - so that, you not only see visually what will happen, you can also get accurate numerical results to prove your case.
Simulation is the process of building and using a time based visual model that emulates every significant step that occurs in a process and every significant interaction between resources in a process so as to gain insight about the impact of potential decisions on that process. The simulation shows you visually what will happen in the process if you make changes to it and it records performance measures of your system under different scenarios.
Actually different people (working in different fields) define simulation in different ways. For example, in the aircraft industry simulation means flight simulators that help a pilot train to fly a new type of aircraft.
However, we will consider simulation in the business decision making sense described in the definition paragraph above.
Explaining Simulation to Others
If you want an easy way to explain simulation to your colleagues we have a great what is simulation ebook available for free on our website.