Gaining and maintaining stakeholder buy-in is crucial for the success of any process improvement project.
Simulation strengthens business cases by enabling ideas and proposals to be communicated through a visual, collaborative and evidence-based approach.
Whether you have an idea that could save your organization millions of dollars, or you’re trying to win new business for your product or service, convincing decision makers that the project will be a worthwhile investment can be a challenge.
Great opportunities can be easily passed by because the full potential of a project is lost in long proposal documents or static presentations.
Simulation is far more effective at generating desire for change. You can easily show stakeholders faults or problems in your current process. For example, where large queues are building-up, or where a series of activities are regularly grinding to a halt due to a lack of stock.
The simulation can then be used to showcase exactly how your solution will overcome these issues, backed up by comprehensive dashboards of the results – helping to strengthen your proposal.
Simulation provides your stakeholders with a true representation of the problem that your business case will solve.
This offers great benefits in being able to avoid bias or political difficulties that can be part of working in any large organization.
Each step of the process can be walked through and a single, true agreement can be reached on how the process is working to support the current state.
Through the independent insight gathered by the simulation results, any stalemate can be broken and everyone will have a shared, consensual view of where the process needs to be improved.
Focusing on a simulation and being able to clearly demonstrate the background, justification and potential benefits of a business case really helps to drive things forward and dispel any concerns.
Simulation is visual and animated, so it allows you to clearly demonstrate the benefits of your business case to stakeholders and decision-makers.
It’s also interactive, enabling your stakeholders to run the simulation for themselves and try different scenarios. As they become more involved, this builds enthusiasm and further increases the chances of project buy-in.
By improving stakeholder involvement, simulation can speed up the evolution of thinking and a project can change direction to focus on what your organization or client really needs to know, rather than what they thought they wanted to know at the start of the project!
Simulation is so effective at communicating business cases that many companies, such as manufacturers and pharmaceutical suppliers, also use the software as a sales tool to showcase the benefits of their products to clients.
It’s rare for any process improvement project to only have one clear solution to an issue. Using simulation, you can leave no stone unturned.
Simulation can help you identify the most effective course of action for business cases by comparing solutions in terms of objective criteria, such as increased throughput or the cost-effectiveness of implementation.
Another benefit of simulation for creating business cases is that it is more cost-effective to test potential solutions, eliminating any need for down-time or costly live trials.
The speed at which solutions can be tested using simulation is also a big advantage. In a matter of seconds the performance of a system can be assessed over a week, a year, or even ten years.
Throughout these tests, the software is capable of simulating random elements such as seasonal variation or fluctuating sales demand – ensuring your business case has considered every possibility.
Utilize a wealth of results and take variability into account to strengthen business cases.
With simulation software, you can test the same system again and again with different inputs, ensuring that any changes to processes have been thoroughly tested.
Working in this way, it becomes very easy to identify the characteristics of a process and to gain an insight into exactly which results and KPIs are the most significant to the overall performance of the system.
For example, for a manufacturing plant – how would you assess which factor has the biggest influence on your output? Is it the staff availability per day, the stock levels of you key components or the equipment breakdowns that prevent you from achieving the required output levels?
Other tools, such as spreadsheets, can effectively model a static scenario but what happens if you need to determine the potential impact of random occurrences throughout your system, like the effect of a machine breaking down on an assembly line, or staff absence in a hospital? Only simulation can take these factors into consideration to really strengthen your business case.