With the rapid rise of computers and advanced technology in the classroom have come new pedagogical approaches to teaching. One of the most powerful of these approaches is the use of computer simulations to demonstrate “real world” business practices, the inter-relatedness of various business functions, and the role of competitive decision-making in business. Computer simulations encourage team development, collaboration, global thinking, and a predilection to consider the ramifications of decisions and their effect on the bottom line—in other words, many of the skills that are useful to project managers and team members in business. The purpose of this simulation is to tie together many of the salient challenges of project management in order to give students the deepest possible understanding of the complexities involved in undertaking a project. The goal of the simulation will be to have students manage a project from initiation to completion. Within this framework the student will need to employ and develop skills pertinent to personnel selection and training, motivation, conflict management, and stakeholder management. Students will be required to use planning and scheduling techniques, such as work breakdown structures, PERT/CPM, scope development, and risk analysis. The topical coverage will have approximate coincidence with the Project Management Institute’s Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), insuring that the students gain exposure to those topics recognized by the key professional organization for project manager. Although perfectly useful as a stand-alone piece of software, this simulation can be bundled with either of any project management books, discounting both bundled items. An especially attractive option is to bundle it with the Second Edition of Project Management: The Managerial Process by Gray and Larson. Great pains were taken to coordinate the revision of this book with the development of Pinto and Parente’s simulation. One of the four scenarios used in the simulation has been cast in the form of a continuing case used in the book, thus making a tie in between the book and the simulation.
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Samuel and Elizabeth B. Breene Fellow and Professor of Management. Author of 10 books and numerous research articles.
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