Operations Management Exercise

Multiple-Server Queues

$50 / seat

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Simulation Overview

Students manage several configurations of a hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU), including multiple specialized units or a larger pooled unit. Variability in arrival times, service times, and resource utilization are configurable, and all impact patient waiting times. The exercise illustrates trade-offs between cost, patient experience, and clinical quality in queuing systems. This exercise includes two configurable scenarios and an assessment quiz built in to the exercise.

Learning Focus

  • Understand the relationship between utilization and waiting time in a service organization
  • Manage variability in arrival and service times in a service organization
  • Identify advantages and disadvantages of using pooled systems vs. specialized systems
  • Understand the levers for improving performance of queuing systems

Topics Covered

  • Capacity Utilization
  • Operations Management
  • Queuing

Additional Information


1 to 3 hours including introduction and debrief

This simulation is by Harvard Business School Publishing and Forio

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