Team Decision Making and Priority Setting


This game is an exercise in group decision making and priority setting.  Each team will be given a road map of the United States.  Here are the game's goals and rules:




I.   To see which team of four participants can travel the most total miles in their cars in the allotted time.

II.  To see which team can visit more, different states in the United States in the allotted time.  Total number of different states visited by all team members will be added together.

III. To see which team can reach towns or cities the farthest from the starting point in their cars in the allotted time. The farthest town or city reached by each team member will be included in the team total.




1.   Each member of a team must select a type of car (make, model and year) to drive from the following list.  You will be provide cars free, with the restrictions listed below:

a.   Porches and Ferraris are the fastest cars, but they need more service than most cars.  They will be in the shop two hours for every 1,000 miles traveled.  Also, in these faster cars there is a 33% chance of getting caught speeding if you exceed the speed limit by more than 15%.  Your company will charge you a penalty of 10% of the cost of the monthly car lease for driving one of these high-performance automobiles, and they cost 10% more to operate, which you must pay.

b.   Hondas, Toyotas and Nissans are not as fast as the high-performance group of cars, but they are very reliable.  These cars will be in the shop only one hour for every 5,000 miles traveled.  They cannot be driven faster than 70 mph. The company will pay for the cost of operating these cars.

c.   Chevrolets, Fords, and Chryslers can be driven at the same speed (70 mph) and are as reliable as the Japanese cars.  They cost 10% less to buy and to run than the Japanese cars.  Drivers may keep the money they save on leasing operating these American cars.

2.   When drivers reach a new state, they are to call a company official to check in.  These officials will call them back immediately to verify their location. These company officials are available twenty-four hours a day.  Stops take three minutes if you ask no other questions.  Reports from your company about how your and other teams are doing take two minutes per team per goal.  You may not call from where you have stopped for the night.  You must call on the road.

3.   When drivers reach the town or city that is the farthest from the starting point, they must call the company to check in.  A company official will call them back im­mediate­ly to verify their location.  Stops take three minutes if you ask no other questions.  Reports from your company and your and other teams take two minutes per team per goal.

4.   Drivers are required to stop for at least one eight-hour period each twenty-four hours.  There can be no exceptions or hedging on this rule.  You may not have repairs made on your car during this eight-hour rest period.

5.   If a driver gets arrested for speeding, he or she must spend eight hours in jail--no exceptions.  This eight hours is in addition to the required eight-hour daily stop.

6.   Drivers may travel alone or in groups of twos, threes, or fours.

7.   The Mileage Game will run for exactly forty-eight hours. However, participants must plan their time in such a way that their team can begin another game immediately at the end of forty-eight hours, and then another game forty-eight hours later, etc. In other words, the Mileage Game is ongoing, so you cannot exhaust yourselves in the first game and you must be available to start the next game on time.

8.   The game will begin at 8:00 a.m. today, which will be as soon as your instructor tells you to start the game.

9.   The team that is first in achieving each of three goals will receive a reward of $1,000,000 for each goal.  If a team comes in first in all three goals, it will receive a bonus of $1,000,000.  The team that is second in achieving a goal will receive a reward of $200,000 for each goal.  There is no reward for coming in third.

10.  Your home base is Columbia, Missouri.

11.  Each team must prepare a plan, reach consensus on it, and raise their hands.  Your instructor will come to hear, in secret, each team's strategy for winning.  Your instructor will be the final arbiter as to which team wins and which team comes in second on each goal.

12.  You may not start the game until your instructor tells you to begin. When you begin, it will be 8:00 a.m.


HINT: Although this game is an exercise in group decision making and priority setting, it is a metaphor for a sales depart­ment.  Keep in mind appropriate sales organization and sales management techniques.  Also, there are no tricks or hidden agendas involved, just good, solid driving and sales strategy.