"Must have that Business Intelligence....!" - How to illustrate complex processes by interactive exercises and role playing

  • Mirka Kans and Ia Williamsson

    Teaching on complex processes, such as Enterprise Recourse Planning (ERP) systems procurement, is not easy if you aim at deep knowledge regarding the processes and how different activities and choices will affect the final outcomes. 

    Definition and selection of requirements are two complex ERP procurement activities which are dealt with during a half day exercise in the course “Integrated Business Solutions”. Through role paying the students experience the transformation of theories into practice by identifying, arguing for or against and thereafter agree upon a limited list of requirements, and subsequently suitable candidate systems. The vendor web pages and a consultant’s online search function are used for the systems selection, giving a good basis for discussions regarding how decision making is affected by available information. The exercise is an exemplification of how to create active learning situations that provide hands-on problem solving and analysis experiences. Different skills trained during the exercise are highlighted using the Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate syllabus. Pitfalls to be avoided in this kind of learning situations are also identified.