An interactive Project Management workshop
The Challenge of Egypt
The scenario plays during the fourth dynasty in ancient Egypt, about four thousand years ago. Zoser's pyramid has just been completed; work on Cheops' pyramid has yet to be started. Egypt was one of the most important civilizations of that time, and structures were built a long site Nile that would continue to astonish people for millennia to come. How could the Egyptians do this? We are going to find out in the interactive workshop, The Challenge of Egypt, in which we are going to build a pyramid ourselves. To do that, we are going back in time and will meet the pharaoh. He has given his vizier Hainunu instructions to build a pyramid, so that he can make the journey to the hereafter along with everything that is precious to him. Hainunu finds a suitable location for the pyramid, a quarry for the stone and a village for the workers. He also arranges for the infrastructure between these locations. And it is your responsibility to get the job done. You will have to set up a project organization, analyze risks and create a plan.
What has Project Management got to do with Egypt?
The ancient Egyptians built enormous structures in a fairly short time. This cannot be done without proper project management. How are you going to get millions of stones to the right place and to make sure that tens of thousands of people work as efficiently and effectively as possible? Obviously this didn't just happen all by itself. Furthermore, the process was continually subject to the changing demands of the pharaoh, the weather, diseases, wars, etc. You need to have the project management skills and instruments do deal with all of these issues.
During the four rounds of this interactive workshop, the most important aspects of best practices project management will appear and be experienced. This is done actively, and interactively. The building process for a pyramid will actually be simulated letting the participants experience the control elements of good project management. During the building process, all participants have a role within the project management environment. The project team is given the task of building the pyramid within a fixed time. The process is affected by real-life events that actually occurred in that period of time. During the building process there will be several reflection moment to learn from the Egyptians and from the teams own experience. At the end of the project, when the pyramid has been built, there will be a project evaluation and all the instructive points will be listed.
What will you learn during this interactive workshop?
How the most important parts of project management theory are practiced into practice.
Setting up a project organization with the associated roles, tasks and responsibilities.
Analyzing the project risks and finding countermeasures.
Carrying out work packages in the role of project leader and monitoring progress.
Monitoring the tolerances (budget, time, scope and quality) of a project or subproject.
Resolving project issues.
Managing the project.
Dealing with changes within the project.
Dealing with the project board.
Evaluating a project.
Insight in the knowledge, skills and behavior to manage successful projects.
Who is the interactive workshop aimed at?
There are four target groups:
You are a member of a management team in an organization and you would like to know what the capabilities and benefits of structured project management approach are (e.g. PRINCE2), what the consequences are for your organization and what it can mean for you. After this workshop, you can decide whether using a structured project management approach might help you and your organization to make projects more successful.
In your role as project manager, you either want to work using a structured project management approach or you already do so. During The Challenge of Egypt you will find the answers to questions such as: What is my role as a project manager? How can I setup my projects? How do I control successful projects? How do I create an effective project organization? How do I use a project board? How can I use PRINCE2 in the most effective way.
The team leader plays a very important part in projects. During this workshop, you will learn what your tasks and responsibilities are within a large and complex project, and you will discover how you can manage your tasks within a project using the instruments which are part of the project management method your are using.
Others involved in projects
Team members within project have to deal with all kind off standards, procedures, rules and workflows. In this workshop they will learn all about this.
What level of knowledge is required from the participants?
Knowledge of project management theory is not required. Affinity with project management is desirable, of course.
How this workshop does fits within your organization?
The way in which The Challenge of Egypt fits within your organization depends on how project management is applied. The following possibilities are perfectly reasonable:
You use The Challenge of Egypt to setup a project management approach in your organization (create awareness).
You use it to test the quality and effectiveness of your current implementation of your project management method or approach (assessment).
You see it as a way to put everything that has been learned in a project management training courses into practice. After the project evaluation, you will have a valuable list of points for improvement to the implementation of your project management approach (supports knowledge transfer).
You can use the workshop do develop desired project management soft skills in addition to the current knowledge of your project management method (PRINCE2)
You have not yet implemented a project management method or approach and you see The Challenge of Egypt as an exploratory workshop to study the usefulness of one and to determine what the benefits of this method or approach may be for your organization.
Other features of the game simulation
The team consists of eight to twelve participants.
The team carries out various instructions. Some of the instructions are carried out as a team; others are done by those allocated the corresponding roles.
The construction of the pyramid is actually simulated. The team leaders build a genuine pyramid and the project manager runs the project. The construction is affected by realistic natural events that the project team has to respond to.
Making it all fit
Prince2 Accredited Training Organizations (ATO) can use this simulation within their regular and accredited training courses. They will use their own accredited course material to support the theoretical aspects of Prince2. They can also use the interactive workshop to let their training participants 'play' with their newly learned Prince2 knowledge.
Project management experts can use this simulation as part of their projects. They can fit in their own methods and projects to solve all kind of issues. Or they can use this workshop as a Kick-off of their projects or as a workshop to analyze the current way of dealing with project management issues. Project management training organizations can use this simulation in all kind of project management courses to create soft skills like communications, teamwork, control and leadership.