DEVELOPING COMPETENCIES IN IT PROJECT ESTIMATION: A SIMULATION-BASED TRAINING USING LEGO®

Simon Bourdeau, Marie-Claude Petit, Sylvain Goyette

Abstract


Accurate estimates of the scheduling and functionalities of information technology (IT) projects are essential. However, making accurate estimates is challenging, as estimators may lack the necessary historical data, experience, methodologies, knowledge or skills. Students enrolled in IT and project management courses need to be made aware of the challenges, obstacles and key elements of estimating, namely the need for rich, high-quality information and appropriate expertise and experience. To support the acquisition of estimation competencies, we combined the affordances of simulation-based training (SBT) with those of the LEGO® bricks to develop and test a project estimation SBT. We explain why LEGO® bricks were used and present a general description of the simulation’s modalities. In addition, observations and data collected from 123 undergraduate students enrolled in the “IT Project Management” course at a North American university over four semesters are presented. The results show that students had a positive and enriching learning experience. In terms of educational validity, the simulation provides a realistic representation of the real-world business environment where students can develop their estimation competencies and know-how through learning by doing.


Keywords


IT project management ; estimation ; experience-based learning ; simulation ; LEGO®

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.9876/sim.v25i2.1016

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