By Kate Anticic, Kepner-Tregoe

Learning the theory of problem solving is one thing. Putting theory into practice is the challange. Kepner-Tregoe has embraced 'learning by doing' with the release of their new Troubleshooting Simulation learning too.

Simulation learning has taken the training world by storm in recent years, for good reason. Simulations give students a safe place to practice in a real-world environment; somewhere to learn from mistakes without doing any damage.

One of the first industries to take on simulation training was, for obvious reasons, aviation. Here pilots experience and react to situations and conditions that they may encounter during flights, without risking lives. Anyone who flies commercially can appreciate the value of the hours of simulation training undertaken by pilots.

A well-constructed simulation allows students to answer the question, “If I do this, what happens?" It provides learners with an opportunity to test out different scenarios to see what works and to understand how they arrived at the right and wrong answers. This trial-and-error approach gives students the knowledge and confidence they need to apply their new skills in the real world.

The best training gives students a good grounding in the theory of the subject, as well as knowledge and understanding of the topic. But this is seldom enough to build the practical skills that will provide real value to the organization funding the training. This is where simulation training comes in, reinforcing the learning with opportunities to apply theory in a realistic scenario where the consequences of getting it right—or wrong—can be experienced. The value of simulation training in an organization is further enhanced by following up with a mentoring program. Mentoring partners the emerging problem solvers with more experienced practitioners within the organization. As in-house capability is still being developed, this program of ongoing support helps to firmly establish in-house problem solving expertise.

The web-based, KT Troubleshooting Simulation training tool integrates KT Problem Analysis and Situation Appraisal processes for effective root cause analysis. It provides learners with digital, robotic problem scenarios that they use KT methodologies to solve. There are over 15 scenarios  with varying levels of difficulty. The simulation can be used to develop individual problem solving skills or to build effective problem-solving teams. Actual, physical robots are available to enhance the experience during simulation training.

Would you like to know more about how our simulation could work for your organization?