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At the end of the simulation participants should be able to:
- Plan the resources in a project.
- Use the project management tools.
- Run a project effectively.
- Make team decisions in stress situations.
- React correctly when confronted with typical problems of project management.
The simulator approach
Where traditional training methods place their emphasis primarily on planning and implementation, the simulator allows participants to practice monitoring a project while being confronted, under stress, with a number of situations that regularly arise in most projects.
What do you learn with SimulTrain®?
The SimulTrain® simulator trains in three fundamental areas, divided into various learning points. These three fundamental areas include:
1. Project leadership
Participants learn to lead a project in its entirety, which includes dealing with the project's stakeholders and their, at times, contradictory wishes. They learn that a project functions like a system and that each decision can affect several parameters of the system.
A "technical" decision may have an impact on productivity, motivation, or communication; similarly, decisions regarding the team members and their motivation will have a major impact on productivity and; therefore, on costs and deadlines as well.
Participants learn, on a practical level, how to manage priorities and to select what is important and urgent from the deluge of messages, emails, and requests.
2. Project management
Participants learn to monitor - or rather, manage - a project on a day-to-day basis, by making the countless small decisions that being a project manager requires: the updating, planning, checking of progress; managing quality, and organizing project reviews.
The participants learn how to make decisions as a team. The four learners, who navigate the simulator together, have to make numerous decisions requiring them to negotiate cost, deadline, quality, and motivation goals (each of these four goals is represented by one of the participants). They learn to manage conflict within the team and to take the views of each participant into account.
3. Resource management
Resource management is designed to be of great importance in the simulation. Many project managers have high degrees of technical training, but are very unfamiliar with the problems associated with human resources.
Participants learn how to plan the involvement of resources for maximum efficiency. They learn day-to-day management, including allocating tasks and handling problems; they also learn to maintain team spirit and be mindful of communication and motivation among team members.
Two ways to learn
When using SimulTrain®, participants work in teams of four persons per simulator. Their training takes place on two levels:
- They learn form the simulation itself - from the reactions of the people involved in the project to the decisions made.
- They also learn from the potent interactions that develop in the four-person teams. Each person plays a very precise role (such as supervising the schedule, costs, quality, and motivation), and these roles generate conflict.
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