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Cesim Project Guide Book

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An introduction to the Cesim Project simulation game

An introduction to the Cesim Project simulation game

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  • 1. CESIM PROJECT Introduction Simulation for project management
  • 2. 2 What is Cesim Project? Cesim Project is a team-based, interactive project management simulation. It allows participants to experience the dynamics of managing a project that is part of a broader, multi-project program with manifold cross-project dependencies. The role of each team member is to manage a project and the goal of the team is to complete a program that consists of two or more projects. Through careful planning and execution, teams must complete the program while adhering to quality requirements, budget constraints, and schedules. Cooperation between project managers is essential in order for the program to be completed efficiently. The simulation illustrates and tracks the progression of the program and the individual projects. The simulation is fully browser-based and requires no software downloads.
  • 3. 3 Learning goals To develop capabilities in identifying & analyzing key variables that influence the successful completion of a program and interlocking projects. To increase the participants awareness of the complexity of operating in a diverse team with a common goal of completing a program. To encourage formulating, implementing, and adapting strategies with a focus on avoiding bottlenecks and impediments in progression of the project within a program. To enhance fact-based analytical decision-making by linking the use of resources to bottom line performance. To give participants practical experiences in teamwork and problem solving, and excite competitive spirits in a collaborative program and project management environment.
  • 4. 4 Learning process Concrete experience Applying new ideas Analysis & planning Decision making Observations & reflections Results & teamwork Generalizing from the experience Lectures & discussion
  • 5. 5 Web based solution The simulation is completely web based. There is no need to install any separate applications and the simulation can be accessed from any PC or tablet that has an internet connection. The simulation platform allows team members to work virtually if they wish. Each team member has her/his own account that enables them to make decisions and scenarios on their own. The platform also includes a communications forum that can be used to communicate within teams and between teams.
  • 6. 6 Simulation platform structure The simulation platform includes the following pages: [Home] - Overview page with deadlines [Decisions] - All decisions are made under ’Decisions’ [Results] - Results become available in this area after each deadline [Schedule] - Simulation schedule is available on this page [Teams] - Teams and team members in your market can be viewed here [Readings] - Access to the decision making instructions and case description [Forums] - Access to the discussion forums for team and course
  • 7. 7 Simulation organization The key role in the simulation is the one of the project manager. The project manager is responsible for completing a project with the help of 2-4 virtual team members. The project manager is cooperating with the other project managers who run other projects that are part of the same program. There can be a total of 2-4 projects in one program. One team runs one program. All project managers start with a pre-generated team, with each member having their own particular skill sets. Project managers can switch project members between the projects within one program.
  • 8. 8 Flow of operations Introduction Planning Implementation Decision making Conclusion and Analysis Decision making with the web interface System calculates the results automatically at the given deadline Analysis and planning Results from the previous round become available After the introduction, the teams start to familiarize themselves with the decision making process during the first round. The instructor decides the number of actual decision making rounds, and decision making follows the cycle on the right. Note that it is not possible to modify the decisions after the round deadline. If the team has not made its decisions for a round, the system will automatically use the results of the previous round.
  • 9. 9 Main objective & winning criteria The main objective for the teams is to deliver a program on schedule, on budget, and within required quality level. A balance between keeping expenses within the budget and completing the program on time should be found. For each project and program the simulation tracks the quality, time, and cost. In addition, there are indicators that show details about how well each project manager is able to match their resources with the tasks, how much slack is accumulated within a project, and what is the overall cost performance index of each project and program. Since the simulation is primarily collaborative, special recognition should be made to those teams who demonstrate efficient and constructive collaboration capabilities.
  • 10. 10 Decision making fundamentals I Decision making in the simulation is round based. One decision making period is regarded as one week. In the beginning of the game project managers should familiarize themselves with their virtual team, as well as make the initial budget estimations. The initial team roster is composed of participants whose skill sets are randomly defined by the simulation. The first step in the process should be to find the best matches between the virtual team-member skills and the skill requirements of each project. One team is running one program that consists of 2-4 projects. Each project has approximately 40 individual tasks that can be worked on.
  • 11. 11 Decision making fundamentals II Decisions are entered in the white cells. These will be used in the actual calculation of the results. Checkboxes are used to enable certain optional decisions. Drop-down menus are used in certain decisions where there are some specific options to choose from.
  • 12. Model contents Each project member (project manager and virtual team-members) has certain skills generated for them at the beginning of the game. The project manager should coordinate with the other project managers within the program that members are correctly placed in different projects. 12 • There are 10 skill domains in total, though a single member will not be proficient in all • An individual task requires a combination of a maximum of 6 skills • Project members should be, whenever possible, assigned with tasks that provide the best match between their skill-sets and the task’s requirements. Each project member has a set maximum of working hours per round that can be allocated for tasks, with the possibility of using some overtime hours at the project manager’s discretion. There can be significant changes in any project member’s availability from one round to another.
  • 13. 13 Roles: Project manager Project manager role is the centerpiece of the simulation. Besides planning, the project manager has the following responsibilities. 1. Make a budget proposal in the beginning of the project. 2. Assign individual tasks to the project team-members and to her-/himself. 3. Communicate with the other project managers within the program since the projects are interlocked. 4. Make sure that the project stays on schedule and on budget and delivers the required quality level. If the project is lagging behind the schedule, the manager has the following tools to utilize: i. Grant team overtime hours to team members. Overtime is more expensive than normal hours. ii. Use outsourcing for tasks that are available for outsourcing. iii. The project manager can also negotiate with other project managers about moving team members that are not be fully utilized in the other projects. If needed from the budgeting point of view, there can also be cash transfers between projects within one program.
  • 14. 14 Optional role: Project owner The project owner role is optional. It can be disabled completely, or it can be played by the instructor. The project owner is primarily responsible for reviewing the budget proposals made by the project managers in the beginning of the game, and ensuring that they stay on budget throughout the game. If budgets are exceeded, then the owner must grant the project with a special permission before the project manager can continue with the project. The owner can also be made responsible for approving or denying requests for project member transfers. The owner also approves the project plans/ project charters and follows how well teams stick to them.
  • 15. 15 Decisions
  • 16. 16 Outlooks For every round you should check the program updates from the outlooks page. This page includes any updates regarding your program/project resources and other issues that may have an impact on the project and program overall. On this page you also find the tasks that you need to complete in order to have your project completed. In this example the target tasks are # 39 and # 40.
  • 17. 17 Project map The picture on the left illustrates the task map of the project. With the dropbox selection ”Completion status”, the map indicates by color which tasks are completed (green), and which are yet to be done (grey). Using different dropbox options players can select different information about the tasks, including dependencies between projects, tasks that are outsourceable, tasks that have quality priority, and tasks that have certain skill priorities. Additionally, by hovering the mouse over a task you can see the number of hours and prerequisite for the particular task.
  • 18. 18 GANTT Participants can use the GANTT chart to plan their projects. During the planning stage you fill the planned starting time for the task in the ”Starting time” column. Blue bars in the chart indicate the planned time and duration of a particular task and green bars indicate the actual time and duration of the task. For example, task #5 was planned to be started in the beginning of the project (starting time 0) but it was completed in Round2. When you hover your mouse over a task you will see the prerequisite tasks and duration. In addition, if the task is completed you will see who completed the task. Dotted vertical lines indicate the round deadlines and planned finish (PF) for the project.
  • 19. 19 Tasks On the ”Tasks” page, project manager assigns the tasks for the different project members. The bar chart on the top of page shows the time allocation for each member. Green indicates allocated time and red indicates unallocated time, i.e., ”slack”. Slack should be avoided during the project since it is typically charged as a cost for the project. When you hover the mouse over the bars you can see which tasks have been allocated to different team members.
  • 20. 20 Tasks - allocation Project manager assigns the tasks to different individuals by using the priority boxes in the middle of the page. Each team member can be assigned with max 4 tasks per round. The tasks will be completed in the order they are assigned and in order to assign a task, the prerequisite task must be completed. The table shows the completion-% for last round and this round. In addition, it shows how much time it takes to complete the task for an average team member and for the selected person. The goal is to assign tasks for individuals who can do tasks at less than average times. PM can move from one team member area to another by clicking the boxes with names above (highlighted with a red box).
  • 21. 21 Tasks – selecting the individuals The spider chart visualizes the effectiveness with which project members can complete a certain task by comparing their skills to the average skill level. Closer to the center of the chart indicates better efficiency in completing the task. Put the # of the task in the box above the chart and the chart will show each team member’s ability to complete the task. In order to improve the readability of the chart it is possible to enable/ disable individual project members from the chart by clicking their names.
  • 22. 22 Tasks - summary At the bottom of the page project managers can access a summary table that shows how tasks have been allocated to each project member, how many hours will be spent for the task, and the level of completion. Project managers should be careful to not assign overlapping tasks.
  • 23. 23 Project Team The project team page includes information about the costs for each team member. The labor costs section shows the costs for regular hours, overtime hours, and slack hours. Slack hour charge is typically a proportion of the normal hourly charge. The costs may vary from one round to another. Here you also find the time that is available for the project from each team member during the round. This is subject to variation from one round to another. Overtime hours can be allocated on round-by-round basis. Transfers to other projects within the program can be done here as well. The transfer takes effect during the round following the decision. Project managers can select outsourcing projects on this page. The table shows the included tasks and costs for the different outsourcing projects. Lastly, project managers can also transfer cash between projects if they wish.
  • 24. 24 Tracking - charts Tracking page has charts that depict the round-by-round evolution of costs, time and quality for the project. During the first round the project manager gives estimated budget for the project and when the first round finishes the actual budget gets allocated. Each project has a certain amount of estimated hours that have been allocated for the project. Project managers are not responsible for estimating the hours. Quality is an important factor in the simulation and there are specific quality tasks that need to be completed in order to accumulate quality points. Quality chart shows the accumulated quality points.
  • 25. 25 Tracking - tables At the bottom section of the tracking page you find tables that give detailed information about the hours, costs, and accumulated quality of the project. It is useful to check this table before submitting the final decisions. At least you should verify that you are not accumulating excessive slack hours and you are not using overtime if you don’t absolutely have to. In addition, it is important to check that the project is accumulating quality points according to the plan.
  • 26. 26 Player Skills On the player skills page you can see the skills for each team member compared to the team’s average skills. There are typically 10 skill domains team members have different skill levels in those. You can switch between team members by clicking the boxes that have the names listed. The table at the bottom of the page allows you to rank the team members in the whole program according to the skills. You can sort the individuals in ascending or descending order by clicking the skill name in the title bar.
  • 27. 27 All Projects All projects –page shows the total and skill specific hour requirements for each project. This page can be used when you compare your project team member skills to the skill requirements of the project. In case your project members have different skill sets compared to what the project requires, you should discuss with the other project managers within your program about switching team members between projects. Total number of hours per project is calculated based on average skills. If you are able to match the individuals with the right skills to the tasks, you will complete the project with less than planned hours.
  • 28. 28 Results
  • 29. Program summary page shows the # of completed and remaining tasks, use of overtime hours, and completion levels for each project. In addition, there are indicators that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the project work. Excess hours indicates how well the team has been able to allocate right people for the right tasks. Negative figure indicates that team has managed to complete tasks at less than average hours ”below par”. Relative efficiency measures the same thing as excess hours. Figure above one indicates a favorable condition. Cost performance index is a measure of the expenses spent on the project. This is calculated by comparing the earned value to the actual costs of the project. A value above 100% indicates that we have earned more than we have spent (favorable condition) and a value below 100% indicates that we have earned less than we have spent (negative condition). 29 Results – Program summary Results become available under the Results page after the first round has been completed.
  • 30. Time, cost, and quality page shows the same information for the whole program and each project separately for the round that was just completed (this round), previous round (last round), and cumulatively. Important indicator on this page is the Overall quality%. This shows how much of the available quality points we have collected during the program and projects. Typically the projects have a minimum quality that should be attained during the lifetime of the project. 30 Results – Time, cost, and quality
  • 31. On the budgets –page you find budgets and accumulated costs for the whole program and each project separately. The bars on the left show the proposed budget and approved budget. The blue line shows the remaining budget after each round and the stack bar shows how the money has been spent during each round. You can remove any items from the chart by clicking the relevant chart legends. 31 Results – Budgets
  • 32. 32 More Information Cesim Arkadiankatu 21 A 00100 Helsinki, Finland Tel. +358 9 406 660 www.cesim.com contact@cesim.com Technical Support support@cesim.com