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Arcadia Consulting - Remote People Management Simulator

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2016, Click to Enter The 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer service

Company: Arcadia Consulting, Cittadella, Padova, Italy
Company Description: Arcadia is Italy's leading edtech company. It is renowned for its innovative teaching methodologies and frontier technologies. It assists companies with digital transformation by using personalized digital learning objects, VR, AR & mixed reality scenarios, behavioral simulators, etc. It was founded by Orazio Stangherlin in 2001. It has 34 employees and received serveral awards.
Nomination Category: Products & Product Management Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best New Product or Service of the Year - Software - Human Capital Management Solution

Nomination Title: Remote People Management Simulator

Tell the story about this nominated product or service (up to 650 words). Describe its function, features, benefits, and performance to date.

UniCredit has expressed the need to train and develop the skills of its managers in the organisation of “Virtual Teams”, consisting of staff working in Italy and abroad, within the company office and working remotely, with heterogeneous professional backgrounds and cultural differences, yet all under the same managerial responsibility. It was the evidence that groups of people in remote management may be underperforming. Arcadia Consulting’s response was the “Remote People Management”, an adaptive simulation and an implementation of the AAL framework, already winner of the Digital360 Awards in 2016.

The technological solution adopted consists in SBL - Scenario Based Learning. This is a scenario-related design with the 3C (Challenge-Choices-Consequences) method, the definition of rules and the activation of different trigger types that guide the user experience from one scenario to another. By way of Content Authoring Tool, Storyline 2 was used, through expert and “dramatic” utilisation of interactive features: states, triggers, layers, variables.

The Virtual Team Manager is presented with a situation described by emails, voicemail and WhatsApp messages, Skype4Business communication, external social media, and document repositories received by 5 employees and the Director. In each situation described, the manager is called to select the best solution at each level, obtaining scores/badges, receiving positive or negative feedback from the characters and a non-player character tutor. He or she is awarded an extra bonus by effectively responding to the most difficult questions. The decisions made modify the management Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which can be viewed in the simulation dashboard. At the end of the simulation (over 15 scenarios articulated over 5 levels), the player is profiled on 5 levels of increasing performance and invited to repeat the simulation to face new challenges.
A Focus Group with a sample of real Virtual Team Managers provided the framework for simulations and challenges to be played out. The storyboard describes 75 different alternative decisions and their consequences. The simulation has undergone 11 levels of prototyping and an accurate testing on UniCredit’s My Learning (Success Factors) platform.

The behavioural simulator allows to map, develop, and guide the skills of managers responsible for managing people not in attendance, which are to: 1. Be accessible and ready; 2. Be transparent; 3. Coordinate and share; 4. Foster communication; 5. Give and solicit feedback; 6. Strengthen bonds.

The KPIs to be evaluated are:
1. Cooperation;
2. Convergence;
3. Coordination;
4. Sharing of knowledge;
5. Communication;
6. Cultural compatibility.

Additionally, the following benefits exist for customers and users:

- The realism of scenarios, consistent with the group’s experience
- Repetition of simulation that is unique each time, extending the lifecycle of the learning object and implementing the concept of adaptive learning
- On-demand administration
- More effective management of people who are not present
- Training skills in a manner which is innovative, uses simulation and is faster than traditional methods

This method is currently used by 150 Virtual Team Managers for improvement in engagement, persistence rates and completion that is 3 times higher than international research on the effects of learning by simulation. There is no analogous simulation engine on the market capable of reproducing the digital behaviour of leaders and collaborators in a virtual team situation. The distinctive features are:

-Applied learning scenario: custom scenarios tailored to business practice
-Immersive learning: every decision has consequences for those involved, on reputations and performance
-Bite-size learning: each game lasts for a maximum of 20 minutes
-Adaptive learning: the combination of situations changes with each game
-Mobile learning
-Rich media: start with a video that introduces the player to the story
-Advanced storyboarding: narrative techniques that increase the inclusion rate
-Flat and minimal graphics
-Gamification elements

Analytics: the probability of maximum score after the first game is less than 5%, with the game supported by an embedded analytics system that provides more meaningful

In conclusion, this is a simulation in perfect balance between a serious gamification experience and significant learning.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief features and benefits of the nominated product or service.

REQUIREMENT: Management of “virtual teams”, consisting of staff working in Italy and abroad, within the company office and remotely, with heterogeneous professional backgrounds and cultural differences, but under the same managerial responsibility.
SOLUTION: Remote People Management - an adaptive simulator

-Situations described by emails, voicemail and WhatsApp messages, Skype, external social media, and document repositories received by 5 employees and the Director. 5 levels of increasing performance.
-Mapping and developing skills: Accessibility and readiness; Transparency; Coordination and sharing; Fostering of communication; Giving and soliciting feedback; Strengthening bonds.
-KPIs that can be assessed: Cooperation; Convergence; Coordination; Sharing of Knowledge; Communication; Cultural Compatibility.

Benefits - distinctive elements:

-The realism of scenarios
-Repetition of simulation - different each time
-On-demand administration/mobile learning
-Bite-size learning
-Adaptive learning
-Rich media
-advanced storyboarding
-Flat and minimal graphics
-Gamification elements
-Embedded analytics
-Immersive learning: decisions have consequences on the people involved, on reputation and performance