Learning by playing – the role of serious games in competence development in project management
Authors: Sobah Abbas Petersen, Siva Ekambaram,
Presented at the 26th IPMA World Congress 2012, Crete, Greece.
Globalisation and changes in work environment call for new perspective on managing projects. Project Managers are increasingly challenged with skills that require management of multi-cultural and distributed teams that go beyond the technical project management skills. The challenges emphasize the importance of soft skills such as communication, building trust and engaging all the stakeholders of the project for the benefit of the project. Current training approaches are focused on certification and provide the basic training to manage projects. The skills and experience to manage large, international projects are acquired from several years of managing such projects. Serious Games is a means of supporting rapid competence development for project managers and can facilitate experiential learning for fresh project managers to gain a variety of project experiences in a virtual environment. Designing serious games or similar virtual environments for supporting project managers to acquire their necessary soft skills requires a fresh look at the training approaches that are currently available. In this paper, we propose an approach for describing project management competences which takes into account an individual's abilities and personality, the knowledge-areas that the individual deals with, organizational factors and environment factors that define a specific situation; the OKEI (Organisation, Knowledge, Environment and Individual) Competence Modelling Framework. In this paper, we will present descriptions of soft skills in project management and how serious games can be used to support rapid competence development for project managers. This work has been conducted in the European Project TARGET, Transformative, Adaptive, Responsive and enGaging EnvironmenT).