Lessons Learned from the Project Management Simulation.

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Copyright © 2013 Harvard Business School Publishing. PM v2: How to Play Audio Script Page 1

Project Management Simulation: Scope, Schedule, Resources v2

“How to Play” Audio Script

In this simulation, you assume the role of senior project manager at Delphi Printers &

Peripherals. You are tasked with assembling and managing a product design team which must

develop a new and innovative printer that is superior to the competitor's.

The objective of the game is to successfully complete the project or projects that senior

management assigns to you. Your project must meet stringent criteria and your performance

will be rated using the following metrics: scope, resources, schedule, and team process.

When you first login, you will see the “Prepare” section, as well as the “How to Play” sidebar.

The “How to Play” sidebar includes quick instructions on how to begin the simulation, as well

as project specific information located at the bottom of the screen. Make sure to open these tabs

to learn about the intricacies of your current project.

On the prepare section side of the screen, please note that there are five links – “Simulation

Summary,” “Managing Your Project,” “Team Process,” “Tasks,” and “Scoring.” Take care to

open all links as they provide important information regarding how the project management

process works at Delphi. After reviewing all project information, click on the green “Play

Now” button, located in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, to begin.

Once you click on the “Play Now” button, you’ll notice that the “How to Play” side bar is

replaced with the “Decisions” sidebar. This is where you’ll make decisions affecting the

parameters of your project as you advance through the simulation. Your first task as Project

Manager is to make decisions for week 1.

You’ll see your project targets on the left side of the “Decisions Sidebar” and Senior

Management targets on the right side. You can adjust numerous project targets every week

including:

 project scope, which allows you to choose which kind of printer you’d like your team to

work on;

 schedule, which allows you to adjust your target completion week;

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 resources, which allows you to choose your team size, overall skill level of your team,

and to outsource any tasks;

 process, which allows you to call meetings and allow overtime; and

 review, which affords you the option of building prototypes along the way.

You will also notice the weekly cost total presented on the sidebar. All decisions that you make

will affect this total. Once you’re satisfied with your project parameters, decide how many

weeks you’d like to advance the simulation, and click on “Submit Decisions.”

After preparing a project plan and entering initial decisions on the Decide tab, the Analyze tab

will be populated with several screens that display critical information regarding project and

team status.

The “Dashboard Overview” screen provides you with a snapshot view of the results incurred

from prior decisions and your overall project progress. Clicking on each of the section headings

will bring the user to the corresponding Analysis screen.

The “Project Overview” screen shows the number of tasks completed, tasks remaining, and new

problems discovered over the course of simulation play in both graphical and tabular formats.

Throughout the “Analyze” section, click on the “View Data” button in the upper right-hand

side of the screen to view the data in an alternate format.

If you wish to do further analysis, clicking on “copy to clipboard” pastes the data from the

screen onto the clipboard of your computer. You can then paste this data into your spreadsheet

program of choice, most typically Excel.

The “Project Resources” screen displays data regarding the team composition, team

productivity, and weekly cost.

The “Team Process” screen shows the team’s overall level of stress and morale, as well as data

on how time is spent.

The “Management Targets” screen presents a comparison of the user’s project performance

compared to the project objectives set by senior management.

The Decisions History screen provides users with a breakdown of all decisions that have been

made during each period.

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After advancing and analyzing results, make sure to revisit the “Decisions Sidebar” to make

any necessary changes to project parameters before advancing further.

The simulation continues until the product team has either completed the necessary amount of

tasks associated with the desired target scope, or the schedule reaches week 25. Alternatively,

you can decide to prematurely end your project. But beware, doing so may result in a

performance penalty!

If assigned more than one scenario, you can choose to either play the same scenario again, or

start the next one from the final rating page.

This concludes the overview of how to play the Project Management simulation. Good luck

managing your project!