Business war gaming for new product launch

Case #4: Business war gaming & scenario planning to prepare for new product line launch in the US

Our client, a global vendor of advanced wound care products, was preparing to launch a unique new wound dressing product line in the US. It had the potential to disrupt a significant portion of the market with both its clinical outcome as well as cost-savings implications.The VP of Product Management retained us to prepare and conduct a two-day business war gaming exercise at the company headquarters. The goals were to:

  • Fine-tune pre-launch strategy
  • Prepare post-launch contingency plans based on likely scenarios
  • Strengthen interdepartmental communication and cohesion
  • Improve the ability to react, collaborate and execute at all levels of the organization

We worked with the VP to identify team members, from front-line through leadership positions, for the exercise. Employees were selected from roles spanning across marketing, sales, strategy, finance, legal, manufacturing/quality control, and government/payer relations. We made sure to leverage a mix of employees who had worked for competitors, suppliers, and customers in the past, as well as those with many years of experience working for the client. Participants were divided into deliberate groups. Each was given a detailed dossier on the particular entity their group would represent. Entities included the client, direct and indirect competitors, suppliers, customers (facilities as well as clinicians/physicians), as well as regulators and healthcare payers.

Over the course of two days, we facilitated an interactive, dynamic simulation of movements and countermovements by each entity. Although unable to predict the future, participants leveraged their backgrounds to provide insights and justifications about outcomes that were likely to occur. After each round, the teams processed the strategic movements presented, then presented their next set of movements.

The business war game was considered a great success, and the product launch details was indeed tweaked as a result. Specific outcomes of the business war gaming exercise included (as reported by the client during follow-up):

  • Changes in launch timing and budget allocation
  • A vetted list of contingencies and countermeasures for multiple likely scenarios (price cutting, production delays/quality control issues, new market entrants, etc.), several of which actualized post-launch
  • A better understanding by the VP, Director, and Product Manager, of their priorities for preparing and supporting the succesful product launch
  • Participants having a better understanding of the challenges faced by their colleagues and how to better support them before, during, and after the launch Improved teamwork and collaboration overall

100% of participants rated the business wargaming exercise as “extremely valuable” during follow-up.

Are you interested in increasing your organizational readiness and collaboration for an upcoming new product or market launch? Contact us to discuss how we may be able to generate similar value for your organization by facilitating a business war gaming and scenario planning exercise.