What We're Thinking

The “oh look at the red dots moving” moment

Frances Sneddon  /   Feb 17, 2011

I hate mornings!!! So having to wake up at 4.45am to get to our latest Breakfast Seminar was not good. Especially since it meant I missed my morning cuddle from my baby girl, that’s the life of a working mom though.

But it was all worth it. We had two great sessions with a key government department (has to remain nameless I’m afraid) where we showed how we can help them make evidence based policy changes. I love these sessions where I get to see that exact moment where people realize the power simulation is going to bring to their decision making. Yesterday was no exception.

We showed them the simulation we’ve been building with teams at their department for them. It was designed to look like some of the process maps so they’d immediately recognize and understand it. But when we pressed run and the red balls started flowing over the top and the animated tanks were filling up and down, you should have heard the oooh and ahhs! I love that moment when you show simulation to people for the first time, especially to people who spend their whole lives analyzing data in a static format.

Then the soft benefits kick in, I’ve seen it happen time and time again but it never ceases to amaze me. Suddenly all the departments are talking to one another and starting to understand how what they do affects the other. The simulation brings clarity and understanding and focus to their discussions so that outcomes immediately start coming out even before looking at the numbers. Sometimes people never end up looking at the numbers, the understanding they got about the dynamics of the system along with talking to one another has solved their problems. That’s the types of projects I love best!

Have you got any examples of when simulation has brought benefit even before you got to the number collection stage?

Getting up early, did mean getting home a little early, so I ended the day with extra playtime with my little angel, a good day all round.

About the author

Frances Sneddon

Frances Sneddon

As Chief Technology Officer for SIMUL8, I am responsible for the strategy and direction of our products, it's also my passion. I love software and every part of what goes into creating an amazing end user experience from the initial connection with our website, to how you interact with the software itself.