Business Simulations: Tailored, Custom, or Standard?

Business Simulations have many choices: Have you ever asked yourself, “What is the difference between a tailored, custom, and canned business simulation?” We’ve certainly been asked this question and it’s a very good question indeed. Let’s try to take this apart and clearly explain the differences.

Business Simulations: Custom, Tailored, or Ready-to-Go?

Custom Business Simulation- This is a simulation or gamification product that is completely custom to your business strategy, leadership, training and development, and industry needs. A custom solution is like going to Microsoft and saying, “I’d like you to build me a software solution of my own.” Additionally, you’d then have to go to a consulting company and say, “I’d like you to develop a services packaged completely designed for me from the ground up that goes with our software.” This is a custom business simulation. These are gigantic projects. a custom business simulation is like having designer shoes made from scratch just for you. These solution fit beautifully, work wonderfully, and align with all your needs, strategy, and goals. These are fantastic solutions. On the downside, they can get pricy quickly and usually require quite a bit of project management. These are not small projects. These are the “Cadillac’ of the business simulation world.

Tailored Business Simulation- These tools can be exceptionally valuable if done correctly. A tailored business simulation takes a core set of completed work and tailors it to your needs. These are not as perfect as a custom business simulation, but often come quite close. In many cases, people can’t necessarily tell the difference between a tailored and a custom business simulation. Tailored solutions are great starting points if you have complex development needs, but are just starting out using business simulations. Tailored solutions let you implement a lower cost solution, learn from it, and then apply the learning to a fully custom solution in the future (if needed).

Off the Shelf or Canned Business Simulations- These are solutions that are not at all, or just slightly modifiable. These solutions are good for general topics that don’t apply to your business, strategy, or specific development goals. Some examples are: Business acumen simulations, HIPAA compliance, workplace needs, etc. These are topics that are pretty much the same for all organizations and don’t require customization. Off the shelf solutions are great for this. These solutions don’t always work so well for needs that are organization specific such as: Leadership Development, Strategy Development or specific organizational development initiatives. It’s similar to trying to put a square peg in a round hole. You’ll spend a lot of energy trying to make it fit and then try to explain to participants why it’s relevant.

As always, these are generalization, but should get you in the ballpark. Hope this helps and have a great weekend!


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