ارزیابی ارزش تمرین آموزشی شبیه سازی مدیریت پروژه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2953||2003||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Project Management, Volume 21, Issue 3, April 2003, Pages 199–205
This research addresses an important question: to what extent is project management training actually improving the project management knowledge and skills of participants. This question is examined through use of a team-based simulated project exercise as part of a graduate level course in project management. Findings indicate that the simulation exercise improves participant knowledge levels as well as the ability of participants to apply that knowledge. The educational benefits to participants are not dependent upon team performance or team dynamics in the exercise, but are contingent upon the amount of participant project work experience. Suggestions for future research are offered.
Training and development of project managers is challenging for at least two reasons. First, the relevant knowledge base is quite large. As identified in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) , project management encompasses a large set of project management-specific knowledge areas. In addition to these knowledge areas, the project manager must have an understanding of the relevant industry, technology, and general management issues likely to be encountered on projects. Second, the discipline of project management is both theory- and practice-based. It is not enough for the project manager to have an abstract, conceptual knowledge of project management methods, tools, and practices. The project manager must also be able to apply this knowledge in complex operating environments. As noted by Boyzatis , Parry , the International Project Management Association , and the Project Management Institute , competence in an area presumes both a strong knowledge base and the ability to effectively apply that knowledge base on the job. Kolb  and Raelin  have noted that individuals learn through a process of conceptualization and experimentation. In conceptualization, the individual uses theory to build mental models of the knowledge domain. This type of learning is typically linked to traditional classroom methodologies such as lectures and the use of textbooks. Experimentation, on the other hand, is the process of testing conceptual knowledge by applying it to specific situations. Classroom methodologies such as case studies, simulations, and role playing focus more on enhancing learning through experimentation. Ideally, concepts focus the experimentation and experimentation refines the concepts in an iterative process over time, leading to a grounded set of knowledge, skills, and abilities. The challenge, then, is to offer training programs that use conceptualization and experimentation to enhance project management knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge. This paper attempts to address this issue by examining the use of a project management simulation exercise in an academic classroom setting. The simulation exercise is used after project management concepts have been taught, which allows participants to apply their conceptual knowledge through experimentation. The learning effects of the simulation exercise are then assessed. The following sections describe the details of the research setting, present hypotheses to be tested, and examine the results of statistical tests on the hypotheses. The paper concludes with recommendations for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
5.1. Summary findings The results presented in this paper lend support to the educational value of the project management training exercise. As a group, participants in the exercise came away with heightened levels of project management knowledge and heightened abilities to apply that knowledge. So at the most basic level, there is an educational value to the training exercise. Further, individuals with varying amounts of project work experience all appear to gain educational benefits from being involved in the training exercise. This indicates a robustness in the training exercise, providing some value to relative project novices and experts alike. However, the specific educational value received is a function of the amount of participant project work experience. Less experienced participants appear to make more substantial gains in knowledge level than do more experienced participants, while all participants improve similarly in their abilities to apply their project management knowledge. Finally, neither a team's time and cost performance nor the quality of its team process seem to affect the educational value delivered to exercise participants. The training exercise appears to provide educational value to individuals in good and not-so-good teams. 5.2. Future research This paper examines a simple question of great importance to training firms that provide and organizations that purchase project management training. The question, at its most basic level, asks whether a project management training course delivers educational value to its participants. This question is studied in the context of a single training exercise used by a particular set of participants in a specific environment and context. As such, this study only scratches the surface of what needs to be investigated in future research. An important extension to this research would be to further examine the contingent value of project management training. We have examined the effects of prior project work experience, team performance, and team process on perceived educational value of a training exercise. There are many other potentially important individual, team-based, and contextual factors that are worthy of examination. Individual factors that may effect the educational value of a project management training exercise include a participant's past performance on actual projects, educational background and areas of expertise, quantity and quality of project management training previously received, and initial levels of motivation and interest in participating in the training exercise. In addition, demographics and personal characteristics of participating individuals, such as age, gender, personality traits, and so on, may influence the amount of educational value received. At the team level, the individual factors listed above may work separately or in combination to affect the perceived educational value of the training exercise, depending on the mix of participants in a team. Other factors, such as whether team members are from the same industry and/or company, and whether team members know and have worked with each other prior to the training exercise, may all play a role in affecting educational value. Teams of individuals can be organized homogeneously or heterogeneously with respect to all of their individual factors. These team profiles can be systematically varied to see how they influence the degree of educational value received by participants. The context within which the training is delivered may also be critical to learning. Because academic classroom training is often different in nature than corporate training, the participant learning gains may be contingent on the setting. Both the corporate facilitator and the academic facilitator are there to maximize the learning of all participants. However, the academic facilitator often plays the additional role of critical evaluator, since course grades have to be assigned. Does this role of critical evaluator affect how participants work in teams and make decisions? Another important contextual factor is whether the training is delivered in a single block of time, or spread out over a number of days, weeks, or even months. Will participants retain enough detail to make a training exercise effective when it is delivered in discrete, separated blocks of time? If so, then firms will benefit by having more flexibility in the scheduling of their employees for training. Finally, there are measurement issues that may be explored further. This study allows participants to self-report their pre-exercise and post-exercise levels of knowledge and ability to apply that knowledge. While perceptual measures are often reliably used in social science research, there are limitations inherent in using a single type of measure to gauge training effectiveness. Is the inclusion of additional measures warranted? These additional measures can include perceptual evaluations from other team members, perceptual evaluation by the training facilitator, or more objective pre-testing and post-testing of participants. To conclude, the objective of this research is not to examine a particular provider's training exercise. Rather, it is to add to a body of research that takes a critical look at the educational value of project management training. As more research accumulates, it should be possible to categorize training offerings by their more fundamental underlying characteristics, and begin to match the effectiveness of certain types of training experiences to participant characteristics and training context. It should also be possible to learn more about the complementary roles and educational potential of conceptual versus experimental project management training. Over the long term, this will provide a valuable service to both providers and purchasers of project management training. Training providers will gain research-based insights into the types of participants most likely to benefit from their specific training offerings, allowing them to tailor their training offerings to maximize participant learning. In turn, the purchasers of training will gain by an improved ability to focus their training expenditures more effectively to match the target audience. Ideally this will result in a steady improvement in the effectiveness of project management training.