Virtual Workshop Environment Introduction

Dr. Deasun introduces his virtual workshop environment, the perfect platform for project management and team training. You can view the video or read the text of the video below. Enjoy!

Text of video:

Hello, I’m Dr. Deasún Ó Conchúir from Scatterwork, and I’m here to introduce our virtual workshop environment, which we use for project management and team training. Each participant team of four has access to a project simulator like you see on the screen in front of you, and these teams run in parallel.

Each team is connected by its own web conference, and the web conferences of the different teams are also connected together so that when there are discussions about learning and coordination and so forth they can be done by everybody together, so several teams run in parallel.

The teams find that when they move into this that they have a project which has been partially planned, and the challenge is to adjust the plan so that the project can complete in the eleven scheduled weeks and within budget.

You’ll see some people have already been assigned to tasks, and the grey bar is the original plan, but when they assign people maybe the critical path gets longer, because for example maybe somebody has been assigned when they’re not available.

The people available to us we see here, and we can see the activity network here, and we can also see the budget. All those databases are updated live as we make assignment changes. I’ll make one here, for example, we might say on activity seven we’d like to apply Fred, so we go into Fred, and we put him on activity seven, and when we go back to the Gantt Chart we see his name was already added in.

Let’s go back to the office. The way it works is that each team plans like that, it takes maybe an hour or so of interaction, and they try and put it together so that when the project simulation runs they have a reasonable chance of finishing in the target time.

Then the clock is started, I’m just doing that now. You’ll notice that the clock here in the top left hand corner is beginning to tick away. While it’s ticking away, we can still continue with the planning, but sometimes we get held back in our tracks because messages come in. You can hear the knocking on the door, the lady comes in and she has a message.

The first message is “The project team suggests a two hour kickoff meeting.” Then we have four options, the team will discuss these options and decide which one it likes, and then vote on one of them. Then it will get advice from the coach, in this case they didn’t make the very best decision. While we’re doing that, time is still ticking, and you can see this green bar here represents the real time. The first simulation runs for about ninety minutes and then all teams stop and each team debriefs.

This is where the learning is from, experience. Did we have a good project manager? Was our communication good between ourselves? Did we agree? Did we make good decisions when we had options presented to us? These four answer environments, and so on. Then we can come together as a big team, all the teams in parallel will also come back and learn from each other.

That’s one of the reasons that this is a synchronous training method, because people learn from each other in a very dynamic way by interacting, mainly by voice over IP. Then they go into a second planning cycle, and the simulator runs much faster the second time. Whichever team gets there first stops the simulation, and then we come back and we have another debriefing session.

That’s the basis of it, it’s experiential learning, and it brings real results and is much liked by the participants. We hope you’re going to join in, thanks very much.

Also, if you have any queries that you’d like answered before going ahead with the virtual training program with us then please do tell us. Use our FREE, no-obligation phone conference to contact us at anytime.

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