How A/R period impacts sales? How TQM decisions impact productivity? Who should decide on R&D effort: R&D or Finance or Marketing or…Production…or…? How automation level impacts HR and Finance decisions? Whether a particular product should be promoted through print media or email or direct mail or…? What should be the preferred mode of raising capital: bond or equity or short-term borrowing? Why time is of essence while initiating R&D effort? Several such imponderables are addressed by our managers on daily basis…successfully…and unsuccessfully…

It has been every CEO’s dream to have a Finance head who also understands utility of TQM, and a Production head who understands right A/P policy to ensure continuous supply of raw material, and an R&D head who takes care of difficulties faced by marketing folks, and a TQM head who understands consequences of raising fresh capital, and a Marketing head who understands and appreciates the effort put in by R&D folks…the list is endless…

In one simulation program participants get to appreciate impact everyone of these decisions makes on the overall performance of a company. The Seminar will teach your managers about strategic planning, competitor analysis, internal functional alignment, market segmentation, product positioning, finance and teamwork. At the end of the Seminar, your managers/students shall come to understand the importance of strategy in business and shall come to appreciate the roles played by other function heads i.e. Finance, Production, HR, TQM, R&D, Marketing etc. The Seminar creates simulated environments in which your managers/students face the problems and issues common to a business, and develop the skills they need to solve them.

Why Simulate?

Learning technology has changed. The way adults learn hasn't.

Studies show we retain less than 20% of what we see or hear alone, around 50% of what we both see and hear - but up to 80% of what we interact with.

In the airlines and the military, wherever accurate decision-making and good judgment are critical, simulations are used for realistic training, without the risk.

Malcolm Knowles, a leading theorist in adult education, said there were four key elements to successful adult education programs. Each of those elements is integral to the Seminar simulation:

Adults learn best from hands-on, problem-solving activities: Each team runs a $100 million company from five to eight simulated years - making every key decision from Finance and Production to Human Resources and Quality Management. Participants operate in a competitive marketplace and experience the positive — and the negative — implications of every business decision.

Adults must believe the learning will have a personal benefit: To succeed in business, managers need applied learning and practical skills. The Seminar provides the skills, learning and experiences participants know they can use, in business, every day.

Adults have lifetime experiences that should be tapped and built upon: The Capstone® Seminar simulations are interactive, team building programs, designed to draw out existing experience to be shared in a new environment.

Adults need to apply new knowledge and skills immediately to aid retention: The day your managers walk back into their workplace from a Seminar, they can implement what they've learned. Your people are in business and business is what Capstone® Seminar teaches.

The HR managers world over have been saddled with the difficult task of getting their managers out of those silos that have proven to be many a company’s nemesis. The Capstone® Seminar simulation has proved to be a strong tool in the hands of HR managers in breaking down these Chinese walls among different function heads in their organization, leading to greater levels of productivity and better strategic planning. Capstone simulation has helped countless teams and companies achieve co-ordination level equal to that of an orchestra team.

Most managers have a narrow view of their company. They know their own department, but don't really know how that department fits within the needs of a business. The Production head knows production, but doesn't understand Marketing, HR, Finance, etc. So, his decisions and recommendations are based on his narrow view, and often are impractical for the company. The Seminar teaches managers business, so they have the broad view, and their decisions and recommendations are far more realistic and beneficial. In short, they become much better managers. Better managers make better companies. That's why General Electric runs lots of Capstone® Seminars.

A professor in a mix of software and web based environment conducts the Capstone® Seminar to hone business managers’ business and management skills. It uses a computer "game" to develop understanding of how competing companies impact each other in the market place. The Capstone® Seminar offers advanced optional modules in Marketing, Human Resources, and Total Quality Management.

The Capstone® Seminar simulation has proven itself to be a CEO and HR manager’s dream tool. Companies like General Electric, Boeing, General Motors, Dell Computer, Honeywell, Caterpillar, Bertelsmann and Citibank have turned to the Capstone® Seminar to help their managers hone their skills and make smarter choices. Besides, the Capstone® Seminar is conducted as a ‘must’ finalè in MBA programs of over 400 universities, whereby through the Seminar, in a simulated environment, entire syllabus is covered.

About the Capstone® Seminar:

Studies show we retain

under 20% of what we see or hear alone

50% of what we both see and hear

but up to 80% of what we interact with.

It creates hands-on environments where participants learn to run — and coordinate — several business functions including:




 Human Resources


 Total Quality Management

Each team (up to 6 members in each team) acts as an executive committee responsible for running an electronic sensor company. The games consist of two components:

The Web site — where players download starting market conditions, communicate with team and class members, and upload their corporate decisions;

The software — which runs with Microsoft® Excel. Using the software, players determine product positioning, price, sales and promotion budgets, production levels and financing (stock vs. bond etc.) requirements.

In addition to using the Web site for uploading decisions, coordinating with teammates, and downloading results, students will find extensive help features. All instructions are given in simple, step-by-step form.

Thousands of managers have participated in the Capstone® Seminar. Managers have rated cross-functional integration as the top learning benefit of the simulation. The Seminar emphasizes the interaction between the functional areas of an organization.

Research & Development

The Capstone® Seminar allows students to revise and invent industrial sensors products. Products are assigned a:

     ◊  Size

     ◊  Performance

     ◊  Reliability Rating

R&D efforts vary in length and cost, depending on the parameters of the project. The participants make, inter-alia, following decisions:

   - R&D effort vs. timing of the product to the market

   - R&D effort vs. automation level of the plant

   - TQM practices vs. R&D effort

   - Cost benefit analysis of R&D effort


The Capstone® Seminar addresses:

Segmentation and Positioning

Product Development

Perceptual Mapping

Customer Purchase Decision Making

The 4 P's (Price, Product, Promotion and Place)

The participants make, inter-alia, following decisions:

- impact/no impact of credit period upon sales

- impact on sales of promotion and sales budget


The Seminar examines:

Capital (automation) vs. Labor (overtime) Tradeoffs

Capacity utilization

Margin Analysis

Asset Turnover

Product Introduction

The participants make, inter-alia, following decisions:

- impact of supplier’s credit period on production schedule

- TQM practices vs. automation

- Labor contract vs. automation

- HR practices vs. production/productivity


The Seminar produces:

Balance Sheets

Cash Flow Statements

Income Statements

Students examine capitalization using both stock and bond markets, and explore ratio analysis in detail.

Action Learning at its Best

The Capstone® Seminar Builds Analytical and Competitive Analysis Skills

The results of each round are published in the industry newsletter.

Minimum Printed Material
All simulation rules and scenarios are presented in easy-to-digest booklets. Support documents include handouts, worksheets and help files.

After the simulation rounds are processed, students see the consequences of their decisions.

Group process is at least as important as a team's strategy. The Capstone® Seminar offers methods for groups to organize by function, by product, by segment, or as a board of directors. Much thought has gone into shaping the conversations within a team. For example, tactical questions are resolved through what-if analysis, while the spreadsheets graphs and charts foster discussion of the strategic implications.

The Web site includes several additional resources:

Team Developer Exercise

Peer Evaluation System

Five-Factor Personality Scale

Bonus Questions

Team and Class Conferences

Site Email System


Strategy is the central theme of the Simulation. The participants shall have comprehensive exposure to Financial and Business strategy. Under Financial strategy they shall have the option to select anyone or a combination of more than one from the following as their primary, secondary… goal:

- high stock price

- high market cap

- high return of sales

- high return on equity

- high return on assets

- high net profit

- high asset turnover

- high market share

The participants shall determine, at the beginning of the Seminar simulation, how much weight to be given to each of the above goals while evaluating their performance at the end of the Seminar simulation. In other words, they decide their own evaluation criteria.

Under Business strategy the participants shall have the option to pursue anyone or a combination of more than one from the following as their business strategy:

- cost leader with a product life cycle focus

- differentiation strategy with a product life cycle focus

- broad cost leader

- broad differentiation

- niche cost leader

- niche differentiation

Participants shall learn to dovetail their financial goals with their business strategy and vice-versa. They shall come to acquire a strategic mindset towards business instead of merely looking at it from their function angle.


Each Capstone® Seminar consists of maximum eight rounds. Recommended number of rounds per Seminar is minimum four rounds to maximum eight rounds.

Several Seminars can be conducted simultaneously.

Each Round is equal to one financial year i.e. if a team plays 8 rounds they would have run their Company for 8 years.

Each Seminar ‘theoretically’ can last up to a year i.e. eight rounds to be completed over a period of one year. It is recommended that a Seminar be completed between 1 to 8 weeks to get the best benefit out of it.

Each Seminar can consist of maximum six teams. It is recommended that at least one of the six teams to be the Computer, the remaining to be formed by the managers/students.

The Teams participating in the Seminar may/may not be located at multiple locations.

Each Team is comprised of a maximum number of six managers/students. A team size of four to five is considered optimal. Further, it is recommended that each team member takes up different functions in each round i.e. first round marketing, second round finance…and so forth...and manages different market segment.

Each Member, in a team, is assigned a unique password/ID tied to his/her team.

Number of market segments is five.

Starting number of products per team is five i.e. one product in each market segment.

Maximum number of products per team is eight i.e. teams can introduce up to three new products in market segments of their choice.


- Participants should be familiar with basic concepts of business, finance, marketing etc.***

- Participants should be familiar with usage of desktop/laptop and Internet


Among other benefits, managers will:

Study And Understand The Elements Of Business Planning.

Study And Understand External Factors That Effect Business.

Study And Apply Business Terminology.

Identify And Analyze The Internal Functional Areas Of Business.

Study And Understand Basic Principles Of Business Finance.

Understand And Conduct Competitor Analysis.

Experience The Effects Of Business Decision Making Through Simulation.

Analyze And Understand The Various Elements Of Swot Analysis And Strategic Planning.

Study The Application Of Functional Area Alignment In Support Of A Strategic Plan.

Develop Critical Thinking Skills And Experience Business Decision-Making From a Long-Term, Senior Manager’s Perspective.

Understand Components Of Competitive Intelligence And Practice Competitor Analysis.

Improve Team Skills.

Identify And Apply Principles Of Brand Management.

Identify And Describe The Marketing Role In New Product Development And Release.

List Components Of Competitor Intelligence And Practice Competitor Analysis.

Identify And Utilize Activities Associated With Product Sales And Distribution.

Identify And Utilize Activities Associated With Product Promotion.

Study And Understand The Integration And Application Of Marketing With Other Functional Areas Of Business.

Managers are more aware of the central importance of strategy in driving business decisions.


Financial managers better understand of the needs and demands of the operational areas of the business.

Non-financial managers begin to consider the real financial implications of their decisions.

Participants learn effective group decision-making skills

Managers draw useful information and important analysis out of the data available on their own and their competitors’ businesses.

Participants have a better understanding of the way each department’s decisions impact other parts of the business, and the importance of working across functional areas for optimal results.

The Seminar is reckoned as a powerful tool in breaking down the Chinese walls that exist among different function heads within a company.

Thousands of participants tell us that it is the best training program they have ever experienced. The Seminar’s unique, interactive form of experiential learning makes a substantial difference to the way they go on to approach their jobs.

Many participants admit, they have been reviewing financial statements for years without really understanding their value. Others say that the course gave them their first holistic view of their company, and an appreciation for how the different elements impact upon each other. Some of the comments are:

“The simulation allows you to live the financials, rather than just learn about them.”

“It taught me how important it is to stick to strategy.”

"We get a vast array of data, this has helped me to extract the real lessons from it.”

“I can't believe that we could be risk averse even in a risk free environment!”

“I learned the value of going in hard. There's no point having a strategy if you don't go all the way.”

“This taught me the many areas of law we must be aware of daily.”

“The course, being not in legalese helped me to understand why I need to take a 'stop, look, listen' approach to so many issues.”