Another way to practice your project management skills is by using simulation software. There are several Web-based tools available, including those listed below. Note that all are separate purchases, and you can consult the suppliers for details. The four tools below cost $25- $50 per student. You could have students run the simulations in teams to reduce the cost further. If you find better ones or have suggestions on using these tools, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. My students did a project in 2012 to evaluate several tools, they especially liked the ones by Harvard and Fissure. Check out their project here and final report here.
- Double Masters (www.doublemasters.com) provides a project management simulation for academia. Instructors should contact email@example.com to set up a free account. The price in April 2015 was $25 per student. Most students take about 7 hours to run the entire simulation, and instructors can view detailed reports on student performance.
- SPL (www.simulationpl.com) provides a Simulation Powered Learning tool called SimProject® ($50 for 3 executions). It is a PMI award winning online project management learning simulation used by many academic institutions around the world. Students plan and manage an 11 week, 7 task project from start to finish managing scope, schedule, cost, quality and individual/team productivity. Most students can run the simulation once within 2-3 hours and benefit from running it again, taking another 1-2 hours. (Note: Fissure was the former name.)
- Harvard Business Publishing (http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu) provides a product called Project Management Simulation: Scope, Resources, Schedule V2 for $45 as of April 2015. Instructors can assign up to 6 scenarios, and each run takes about 1.5 hours to run.
- Sandbox Model (www.sandboxmodel.com) also provides several simulation tools. The price in April 2015 was $39 per student for the New Product Development – Project Management Essentials Simulation. Most students can run the web-based simulation within 1-3 hours.