Computer Business Simulation Design: The Rock Pool Method.

Jeremy J. S. B. Hall


"This paper explores software design methodologies in the context of business simulation design and proposes a methodology - the rock pool method that provides structure while maintaining creative freedom. Developing computer simulations for management development and business education present particular software design problems. On one hand, for computer software development there is a need for a rigorous, structured approach. But, equally, creating simulation models that deliver learning in an effective, efficient and consistent way is a creative process. The ""rock pool"" metaphor was chosen because the process can be likened to exploring the rock pools on a beach after the tide has receded. Each rock pool represents a stage in the design process. Within each rock pool there are several design elements (the rocks) but these are not processed in a predefined order and are revisited several times. Although moving between rock pools is systematic, the order the rocks are explored within a rock pool depends on the simulation and the movement between rocks is based on creative needs. The methodology is explored in the context of the development of a complex entrepreneurial planning simulation (Strategic Exploration of Entrepreneurial Directions (SEED)) for students of science, technology and medicine and other simulations "

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