Publications / 2003 Proceedings of the 20th ISARC, Eindhoven, Holland

The Use of a Simulation Model as a Game for Teaching Project Control in Construction

S.H. Al-Jibouri, M.J. Mawdesley
Pages 563-568 (2003 Proceedings of the 20th ISARC, Eindhoven, Holland, ISBN 978-90-6814-574-8, ISSN 2413-5844)

Construction management education, like most education and indeed, most things, is changing rapidly. There is a move towards student centred learning which is intended to allow students to gain knowledge at their own pace and develop transferable skills during the course of their education. In Construction Project control is an essential task of management of projects and good planning and control have long been recognised as having beneficial effects on the success of a project. However the efficacy of control techniques that are widely taught in management courses is almost impossible to prove. It is also very difficult on a theoretical basis to help students to understand the effects of their decisions and thereby enable them to learn the mixture of science and art, which is project control. The use of management games for teaching in construction has the advantage of enabling participants to be put into complex, realistic project situations without incurring the financial and time penalties, which would accrue if real projects were used. This paper describes a simulation model of an earthmoving project, which is used as a management game, to provide players with experience in the management and control of construction projects. The model contains many of the aspects of a real project including planning, decision-making, uncertainty, environmental effects, finance and a realistic physical model of the project and resource operation. The paper draws conclusions both on its effectiveness for control and on its use for teaching and learning.

Keywords: Construction; Management Games; Project Control, Simulation