Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Game for Project Managers

How can someone learn the sophisticated skills of planning, budgeting, executing, and keeping on deadline a complex project? ‘On the job’ means that more often than not, they end up learning, by burning more than their hands. Many a times, the PMs don’t even get a second chance to implement what they learned. So 'On the job' is effectively ruled out.

Folks at
Singapore-MIT Gambit Game lab think that project management skills can be taught through a cooperative puzzle game. In Tipping point, players assume the roles of Project Managers, and work together to complete projects before they go too far past their deadline. The game is won by completing a set number of projects without letting any project fail.

While being fun, the site claims that it also ensures that the players are taught the following.

  • Projects are completed through a mix of Concept and Production work. Note: "Concept Work" represents the analysis and planning done in the early phases of a project, while "Production Work" represents implementing the project, such as building a product.
  • The need for a balance between Concept work and Production work.
  • Production work is more useful in the short term. Concept work is more useful in the long term.
  • Understand the benefits of long-term planning.
  • The importance of Collaboration.
  • How to handle multiple projects.
  • One hasty decision can quickly change several small projects into a big mess that is almost impossible to manage.

Try the game and let me know what you think. It is free and can be downloaded from the page above.

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