Computational Simulation as an organizational prototyping tool

This case study deals with a redesign effort to face the overcrowding issue in an Emergency Department (ED). A multidiscinary group of healthcare professionals and engineers worked together to improve the actual processes. We integrate the simulation modeling in a humancentered design method. We use the simulation technique as a learning and experimentation tool into a design thinking process: the computational descrete event simulation helps explore the possibile scenarios to be prototyped. We used the simulation to create a virtual prototyping environment, to help the group start a safe ideation and prototyping effort. Virtual prototyping injected into the organizational context the possibility of experimenting. It represented a cognitive low-risk environment where professionals could explore possible alternative solutions. Upon those solutions, we developed organizational prototyping tools. Top management and head physicians gained confidence for a more grounded decision making effort and important choices of change management and investments have been made.


Dosi, C., Iori, M., Kramer, A., Vignoli, M. Computational Simulation as an organizational prototyping tool. Technical report, DISMI, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2019.



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