Preplanning Assignments to Enhance Learning When Using the Sim4projects Project Management Simulation Game as a Capstone Learning Experience

James M. Szot


A key success factor in project management is to first define what needs to be done and then to plan the approach before beginning execution. Unfortunately, unless presimulation planning is built into the curriculum, students may employ less desirable ad-hoc practices when playing a project management simulation game as a capstone activity. This paper describes the Sim4Projects simulation game and the approach used to build project management plan development into the curriculum prior to beginning simulation play. This approach has been used successfully for both a three-semester graduate certificate program in project management which can lead to a MS or MBA with an emphasis in project management, and for a single project management course in a master’s degree program in systems engineering and management. Presimulation preparatory assignments require students to prepare a baseline plan based on the given scenario; a staffing management plan, cost forecast and schedule forecast based on their strategy and the available resource pool; and monitoring, control and closeout plans describing how they plan to evaluate performance during and after the simulation.

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