Simulation is a training mechanism that uses a “synthetic” practice environment to impart competencies to learners and improve performance (Salas et al., 2009). Some of the benefits of simulation are that it can teach both theory and enable practice, accelerate the development of expertise and provide a complex model of reality within which learners can practice skills relatively risk free (Salas et al., 2009). DecisionSim is a technology platform that provides a highly effective way to deploy this type of training to your organization. 

One of the reasons I am passionate about my job and our platform is there are so many potential applications—regardless of the industry. Our clients both in healthcare and outside of healthcare are using DecisionSim in the areas of communication skills, human resource negotiations, scheduling, ethics, and immigration policy.

Most people readily see the benefits of using DecisionSim to allow learners to learn and practice skills in a risk-free environment. However, many struggle when it comes time to define specifically how they will leverage the platform in their organization. If you aren’t sure where DecisionSim would fit in your organization, start by thinking about the challenges you discuss around the proverbial water cooler. While simulation isn’t a silver bullet, chances are it could be a component of the solution. For example, you can use DecisionSim to:

  • Provide scenarios that employees may encounter infrequently. For example, the application of ethical guidelines that have “grey areas” of interpretation.
  • Transfer decision-making expertise from senior to junior staff by creating simulations based on the more complex decisions they have made over their career. Junior staff can use these simulations to gain experience quickly without taking time away from senior staff.
  • Allow employees to see the downstream consequences of their decisions. For example, how a decision made in procurement impacts the production process.
  • Train learners how to handle crises or unexpected events where outcomes are high stakes and learning on the job is not ideal, such as a scenario where public safety is at risk. 

Many common training challenges can be mitigated by DecisionSim as well. In today’s environment, it can be difficult for employees to carve out time to attend training, not to mention how costly it can be. DecisionSim training can accomplish a lot in a short time frame: simulations can be a few minutes in length and most never exceed 20-30 minutes. Additionally, it can be difficult to determine if training has had the desired impact on employees’ knowledge or behavior. DecisionSim’s data capture capabilities provide actionable insights to organizations to assess improvement and identify needs. Perhaps most importantly, DecisionSim allows you to easily create training that is engaging and interesting for your learners.

Our team would love to brainstorm with you about how DecisionSim can help you improve outcomes.  If you’d like to discuss your needs, please reach out to us at

Reference: Salas, E., Widman, J. & Piccolo, R. 2009. Using Simulation-Based Training to Enhance Management Education. Academy of Management Learning & Education 78(4): 559-573.