I’m lucky enough to travel to different continents running Experian’s SimRisk, where credit risk teams from around the world test their skills against their peers.
As I get a coffee between sessions, I’ve often been asked: “What exactly do I need to do to win?”
Much to their disappointment, just like credit risk in the ‘real world’ there is no guaranteed way to succeed. Conditions change and the unexpected can happen, but there are approaches you can take to maximise your chances.
- Pre-reading is essential
The best teams get ahead of the game by doing their homework in advance of the session. If the players arrive prepared by doing their pre-reading, they won’t lose time while the competition takes place because they need to have things explained or head off in the wrong direction.
- Don’t overwhelm your driver
Each team is assigned a driver to input their requests and they are a resource which must be managed carefully. If a driver is given multiple requests at once, then they will need to ask which of the six they do first. Work as a unit to deliver clear instructions. Asking to increase a value from 50 leaves the driver with 50 possible options to choose from but saying “set it to 75” removes all doubt and saves time.
- A little less conversation, a little more action, please…
Communication is a common characteristic of the teams which perform to the highest level. As a ‘facilitator’, it’s my role to answer questions about why certain results are being observed, and also to warn against risks that are being taken… unless of course the teams continue talking over each other and there’s no opportunity to feed back. Be concise in your communications and make decisions quickly.
- Meet between sessions
Great results have been achieved by teams that have ‘offline meetings’ among themselves in between sessions to discuss what they see from the management information reports. It’s a chance to discuss what are the most urgent actions required for when the game restarts and they really hit the ground running.
- Test before implementing
Higher interest rates should drive higher interest income. Unless, of course, customers become annoyed and stop spending. The only way to find out whether interest rate ‘A’ is better than interest ‘B’ is to give 50% of customers each rate and then review which is most profitable in three or six months’ time.
Above all, my advice to teams is not to throw in the towel if things don’t go exactly to plan. Often in a session, one team will say “it’s only a game” and end up performing poorly. By all means, be bold, but taking illogical risks typically ends up with significant losses.