Simulation Exercise

Teams of three students will manage a virtual factory in a Web-based simulation exercise for about one week. The goal of this assignment is to let them adapt and apply concepts from the class in a managerial situation; it will also give them a chance to formalize their own decision models and test their relevance and effectiveness. After the simulation is over, each team will turn in a written report of at most four pages containing:

  1. Description of the strategy that was followed, with a detailed explanation of its underlying rationale (description of all quantitative models or reasoning used to come up with this strategy);
  2. Assessment of its performance;
  3. A posteriori suggestions for improving your performance in this simulation;
  4. Description of the most important lessons you learned or insights you gained.

This team exercise is worth 30% of a student's grade: 20% for the report, and 10% for the simulation performance. Experience demonstrates that advance planning and sound use of quantitative models provide key competitive advantages in this game.

Littlefield Technology Simulation Exercise: Assignment Description


Answers to these questions should be included in the group's simulation write-up:

  1. Describe the strategy that you followed and provide a detailed explanation of its underlying rationale (in particular, description of all quantitative models used to come up with this strategy).
  2. Assess your team's performance throughout the simulation.
  3. A posteriori, what could you have done differently to improve your performance in this simulation?
  4. (Provide supporting quantitative models and explain your reasoning/rational as appropriate).
  5. Describe any lessons you learned or insights you gained in this exercise.


Kumar, Sunil, and Samuel C. Wood. "Littlefield Technologies: Overview." Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

———. "Managing Capacity and Lead-time at Littlefield Technologies." Stanford University Graduate School of Business. (Only available to students of the class.)

For more information about these two documents and the related simulation, see the Littlefield Technology simulation Web site.


A timeline of the exercise is provided in the table below. The actual simulation is conducted over the course of one week.

1 Course Introduction Lecture  
2 Burger King and McDonald's Case  
3 Capacity Lecture  
4 National Cranberry Case  
5 Webvan Case  
6 Inventory Lecture  
7 Barilla Case  
8 Sport Obermeyer Case  
9 Production Control Lecture In anticipation of the simulation exercise, students must have formed their teams and registered them in the simulation Web page by the end of the day today.
10 Hewlett-Packard Case  
11 The Goal Book  
12 Quality Lecture In order to familiarize themselves with the simulation game interface and analyze early demand data, students can access your factory online as early as today. Teams will then receive additional customer orders and gain the ability to manage your factory during the actual simulation exercise.
13 Toyota Case  
14 Process Design Lecture Special tutorial and Q/A session on the Littlefield Technology simulation exercise

Simulation Exercise begins at 6:00 p.m.
15 Global Financial Corp. Case  
16 Supply Chain Design Lecture  
17 Product Design Lecture Simulation Exercise ends at 6:00 p.m.
18 Sega Dreamcast Case Simulation Write-up for group, containing answers to the above questions, due day after lecture 18
19 Simulation and Course Wrap-up Lecture