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Time to play the game

Should I be lucky enough to have children, and my son asks me in the future: Dad, what did you do when you were a boy? I will proudly answer: Son, I won the Champions League with Peterborough United.

Yes, you read that right. I, like so many others in my generation, was once a slave to the football management simulation game Football Manager.

Winning the Champions League with Posh was perhaps my greatest achievement on the game, but my favourite aspect of Football Manager was developing stadia. As the club grew, the facilities would need to adapt to cope with the demands of success and thats when the player got to play project manager. It was all great fun.

So you can imagine how excited I was to find out that, at this years APM Conference, delegates have the chance to be the project manager of a football stadium development.

On the morning of the conference, a special interactive session will take place in the Evolution stream Hall Two. Guy Giffin, of Prendo Simulations Ltd, will lead delegates through a virtual football stadium project.

The idea was inspired by the gamification phenomenon, which involves applying video game-based thinking to non-gaming areas to maximise engagement levels and add the 'fun factor'. Gamification techniques influence people's natural desires for competition, achievement, status, self-expression, altruism, and closure.

In project management, the goal is to truly engage teams in the long- and short-term deliverables of the project.

As Chinese philosopher Kong Qiu (Confucius) once said: I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."

Gamification allows us to do just that to understand. I understand how, with the means, I can get Peterborough United to win the Champions League, and I enjoyed doing it.

What will you be able to achieve? Join me in the Evolution stream, Hall Two at the APM Conference, where I will be reliving my youth.

What does gamification mean to you? And how can you utilise it to drive success in your project/project teams?

4 comments

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  1. Andrew Hubbard
    Andrew Hubbard 14 June 2013, 01:52 PM

    The APM Conference was a great day and this stream went down particularly well. A full round up of this, and all of the other goings on, will appear in July's issue of Project magazine. Did you go along to the gamification workshop at the APM Conference? If so, what were your thoughts?

  2. Paul Vry
    Paul Vry 05 June 2013, 12:33 PM

    Great post. I would go further and say that playing strategy games, particularly computer ones is a great way to actually practice and develop PM skills. You get placed in decision making scenarios, have to identify possible actions, evaluate a range of options, manage resources, plan your actions and even manage stakeholders. It's basically all the most interesting and challenging aspects of PM without the routine and bureaucracy. And if practice makes perfect then what better way to hone your skills?

  3. Andrew Hubbard
    Andrew Hubbard 04 June 2013, 01:25 PM

    Glad I'm not the only one David. I think this is really exciting stream with an engaging activity that really captures what gamification can bring to project management. See you next week. 

  4. David Prescott
    David Prescott 04 June 2013, 12:18 PM

    Why did I not know this. I want to play. My two favourite things combined.