I didn’t know I wanted this

Dynaplan Newsletter

October 2020

I didn’t know I wanted this

Over the years I have smiled many times when thinking back at the Christmas eve when our son, then in his fifth year, unwrapped the present from his sister, who had just turned seven. Bursting with pride and expectation she watched her brother reveal the white felt mouse she had made for him. Softly, he uttered:

— I didn’t know I wanted this…

I share this story with you because of its relevance to innovation in the context of planning. Markets normally value solutions according to their score along known dimensions, such as certain features and cost. Solutions that introduce new possibilities may not receive appropriate recognition. Customers might miss out on a solution that would actually help them, just because it is not on the radar of procurement.

COVID-19 comes on top of strong transients caused by digitalisation, automation, climate, and more. Among our customers we observe a growing need for transformation in all areas. New competencies are in demand, while the need for other decline.

Cause-and-effect-based simulation is greatly underestimated as a solution for planning, especially in turbulent times.

— Do organisations know that they want simulation?

As one of our readers, you probably know all this. Under Solutions, further down, you may find some inspiration from two recent examples from sectors under pressure: healthcare and aviation.

If you are a customer with interest in HR, don’t forget to sign up for the HR practice group announced below.

The news just reached us that one of our SWP customers, WFP (World Food Programme), is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020. We are pleased by the decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, hoping that it will lead to more freedom and less suffering.

With warm wishes for your safety and your quality of life,
Your Dynaplan team

Contents at a glance

  • HR practice group & customer initiatives
  • Customer feedback
  • Optimising patient flow during and after the pandemic
  • The aviation industry returning to normal
  • Workforce planning at UK’s leading end of life charity
  • Online gaming with Smia

HR practice group & customer initiatives

Due to travel restrictions we decided to conduct the last HR practice group in the virtual space. This resulted in a record number of participants. The exchange with the community emphasised that scenario based strategic workforce planning can significantly contribute to making the right decisions on the way out of the crisis. As a concrete outcome two initiatives are launched:

  1. Online inter-company training
  2. Depicting digitalisation and automation potentials in SWP

The training helps users make use of advanced features for creating flexible custom charts and getting more value out of their models with only a few clicks. The inter-company setting strengthens the networking in the community, in addition to a better cost-benefit ratio for all participants.

The impact of digitalisation and automation will be covered in a subgroup of our community. This group was fully booked immediately. However, we are looking forward to sharing the results during our next HR practice group.

Please save the date for the next HR practice group on 27 October, again in a remote format including breakout sessions to get room for more interaction as well. As always, the practice group is free of charge and exclusively for our customers.

Sign up now 

Customers give us their feedback

Because our customer promise is: we care, Dynaplan has run a survey with a sample of our customers to further understand how our technology can better serve their needs. We are excited to see how our customers, as they grow in maturity using their planning models, are looking for further improvements in four specific areas: transparency, efficiency, visualisation, and sharing. We are pleased to see that customer feedback centres on core objectives behind Smia, encouraging us to further strengthen these areas.

The feedback has already been discussed and prioritised, and new initiatives are in motion to improve our technology. Dynaplan would like to thank our customers for participating in the survey. We look forward to sharing the improvements in the upcoming Smia releases!


Optimising patient flow during and after the pandemic

– One of the first thoughts that came to mind when we became aware of COVID-19 here at the hospital, was to give Dynaplan a call, says Pål Ove Vadset, head of Section for Health Service Development at Helse Bergen, Norway.

Variation in supply and demand is relevant not only during the pandemic; fluctuations are normal for healthcare service provides. To assist planning in stable as well as turbulent times, two simulation models were developed in the context of COVID-19: Patient flow balancer and Patient flow metrics. The latter provides insight into the as-is situation, while the balancer is used for identifying efficient policies to address current and potential challenges.

The solution can be adapted for use by any provider of secondary healthcare services.

Read more 

The aviation industry returning to normal

Aviation is among the industries that have experienced the largest drop in demand due to COVID-19. Lufthansa uses our models to plan a return to normal within the next years.

As the world market leader for MRO (maintenance, repair, overhaul) services, Lufthansa Technik AG expanded its strategic workforce planning several years ago. The company employs several thousand qualified specialists worldwide, whose training is strictly regulated by aviation law and must therefore be planned well in advance. The current crisis has hit the aviation industry very hard as a whole, and the scenarios for further developments are still uncertain.

The development of strategic workforce planning abilities is now paying off. Planning models are used to clarify the essential HR risks very quickly, considering different possible recovery scenarios, exploring corresponding options, and thus making good HR decisions also in times of great uncertainty.

Workforce planning at UK’s leading end of life charity

Dynaplan and Korn Ferry have partnered to develop a cutting-edge simulation model and process to explore the impact of COVID-19 on key financial and workforce drivers at Marie Curie, the UK’s leading end of life charity. The solution helps the planning team balance the sustainability of workforce and business decisions across scenarios of low, medium, and high impact of COVID-19. In particular, it:

  • leverages the job family mapping from Korn Ferry’s Talent Hub, as well as external trend data on market disruption
  • offers a user friendly yet powerful “slice and slide” user interface to efficiently navigate cross-sections of the workforce
  • provides an innovative dual perspective of liquidity (short term) and solvency (long term)

The approach dramatically reduces the lead up time in SWP, places the planner in the driver’s seat, and ties workforce and financial planning together. Furthermore, the toolset can be applied to organisations undergoing disruptive changes or responding to major external trends beyond COVID-19, such as companies merging, responding to digitalisation, etc.

Currently in the final stage of the project, the solution will be placed in the hands of Marie Curie’s operational directors to accurately anticipate challenges, enable critical thinking and aid decision making as Marie Curie faces further disruption relating to COVID-19. Now more than ever, we cannot predict the future, but we can use simulation to experience it, and shape it.


Online gaming with Smia

The step from strategic business simulation to business gaming is short; both can be labelled “serious play”. At their best, both provide interactive, engaging, creative, motivating, eye-opening, and fun learning experiences.

For a long time, Dynaplan has offered “serious games”. In the SWP transition game, you compete to find the best ways to transform the workforce in a company introducing automation. The VUCA game is another example, where players join as teams with a mission to steer a company operating in an environment of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.

Demand for working and participating remotely has risen dramatically in recent times. Therefore, we have expanded our gaming support from LAN (and VPN) networks to the Internet as well. With online gaming, you can participate in gaming sessions held anywhere via encrypted channels. The feature will be available in the upcoming Smia 2.0 service release 1, to be released this fall.

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