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Tesis Modelo de Simulacion Para Acelerar El Proceso de Aprendizaje

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A Simulation Model to Accelerate the Learning Process of Project Management Competencies. Zoloxochitl Aquino Campos 1 ; Luis Berges Muro Mexican Petroleum Institute 1 ; Zaragoza University 2 ABSTRACT In the current business environment, where competition is a key element, the economic survival of individuals and corporation depends upon their competence. The research reported here explains how the theories on project management knowledge and practice, the learning framework
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  A Simulation Model to Accelerate the Learning Process of Project Management Competencies. Zoloxochitl Aquino Campos 1 ; Luis Berges Muro  Mexican Petroleum Institute 1 ; Zaragoza University 2 ABSTRACT In the current business environment, where competition is a key element, the economicsurvival of individuals and corporation depends upon their competence. The research reportedhere explains how the theories on project management knowledge and practice, the learningframework, the basis of simulation games, the results obtained from a intervention in a “pilotorgani!ation and a survey of learning practices in exican and #panish project$orientedcompanies, have been translated into a #imulation odel to develop %roject anager &% 'competencies and to speed up the learning process. 1 INTRODUCTION %roject management has become a well$accepted way of managing organi!ations.(orporations as )T*T, icrosoft, +ell )tlantic, otorola, #-, ovartis, (itibank, #hell,+%, and others, re/uire their employees and subcontractors engaged in project managementactivities to be % %0s. This means that the number of people with % % certification aroundthe world increases every day. #ince 1234, over 32.456 % % 7  certificates have been issuedworldwide &% I, 8994'; I% ) has certified 6,:13 persons in level ( since 1223 &I% ),8994'; and )I% has a total number of 339 egistered %roject anagers since the beginningof the programme in 126< &)I% , 8994'. %roject anagers must demonstrate that they have enough competencies to manage their  projects successfully. They must be able to handle conceptual knowledge of methods, toolsand practices in this area, but also they must be able to apply this knowledge effectively incomplex operating environments. =fficient learning methods are re/uired to enhance projectmanagement knowledge and to allow experimentation; by these means, % >s are able to testtheir conceptual knowledge by applying it into specific situations.  This paper addresses this topic, explaining how the theories on project managementknowledge and practice, the framework of experiential and organi!ational learning and the basis of simulation games have been translated into a #imulation odel for a *?organi!ation in the petroleum industry. It also presents the mechanisms and practices used inthe simulation process to obtain accurate knowledge and skills in project management and togenerate rapid learning in this area. 2 RESEARCH METHOD This research has focused on an empirical study based in three fields@ a' theoreticalframework of the learning process, simulation games, learning laboratories and experientiallearning; b' general re/uirements of project management competencies and; c' learning practices used in organi!ational environments to promote learning. These concepts are blended to construct a #imulation odel oriented towards developing project managementcompetencies and, in addition, towards creating a useful experimentation tool to accelerate thelearning process. 2.1 Theoretical framework  The purpose of this study is to explore practices and methods for rapid learning. It is based onthe analysis of simulation techni/ues, procedures which allow the learning process andelements and mechanisms for fast learning. The main theories analy!ed are@ experientiallearning, learning style &Aoney and umford, 8999', creation of knowledge through theinteraction and conversion between tacit and explicit knowledge &onaka and Takeuchi1222', and the basis of simulation games &reenblat (. 1232'. The #imulation odel has been established within this framework. 2.2 e!eral Re #ireme!t$ of %ro&ect Ma!a'eme!t$ Com(ete!cie$ There are several professional associations devoted to building up a body of projectmanagement knowledge based on “best practices, such as the International %roject anagement )ssociation, the %roject anagement Institute and the )ustralian Institute of %roject anagement. These associations normally offer certification schemes for %roject anagers such as the I% )0s (ompetence +aseline, the %roject anager (ompetency?evelopment, and the ational (ompetency #tandards for %roject anagement. Bne of themain features of these project management certification models is that they have focused onthe essential competencies, skills and knowledge, of a %roject anager. Aowever,competence re/uirements can be specific to each company, thus the general framework must be aligned to the company0s values, culture, processes and practices. Brgani!ations musttherefore develop their own definitions of % >s (ompetencies, creating a customi!edframework designed for the specific environment in which their projects take place.In relation to this topic, an intervention was made in a *? organi!ation in the petroleumindustry that manages its operations by projects &)/uino C, 8994$8'. The intervention processwas based on the theoretical framework of )ction #cience &)rgyris (. et al, 1235', and its aimwas to identify the re/uired competencies for % >s in this particular organi!ation in order todevelop a customi!ed training tool. The anagement (ompetencies odel of thisorgani!ation includes 85 units of competencies, aligned with its core business and strategicactivities, such as catalysis, geophysical, chemical, product development, etc. =ach of itsemployees &about :,999' belongs to one of these units according to hisDher technical expertise.In addition to their technical area of competence, :36 employees are % >s so they also belong  to the “project management competence unit. This unit defines a standard for %roject anager (ompetence that is aligned with the three dimensions of competencies established by % I@ %roject anagement -nowledge, %roject anagement %erformance, and %ersonal(ompetency. This standard also establish other specific re/uirements such as proficiency inhandling #)% system, subject$specific competencies, knowledge in specific legislation, proficiency to manage /uality systems and knowledge of business processes. This unit of competence is in charge of following up %roject anager (areer prospects and providing amethod of identifying the critical aspects of this job. These two tasks provide an essentialframework to analy!e and identify project re/uirements, to establish performanceexpectations, to assess career development, and to plan continuous training for % >s. 2.) *ear!i!' %ractice$ a!+ %ro&ect Ma!a'er *ear!i!' St,le Today is widely accepted that competencies are sustained not only by knowledge, but also byskills, attitudes and behaviours, that are normally obtained and reinforced through knowledgeapplication and experience. ) training process can be a valuable tool to apply knowledge inspecific situations, however, in order to be effective, a training programme must consider thelearning profile of trainees and their learning method preferences. In this context, a surveywas carried out in a sample of 64 %roject anagers from 84 companies that manage their operations by projects &)/uino C, 8994$1'. The purpose of this study was to investigate%roject anager learning styles, learning methods preferences and organi!ational learning practices. Eith this information it is possible to assess and select the most suitable learningmethods for a particular learning style, such as, analytical reviews, lectures, reading, self study, etc. In the survey, participants consider that Fformal methodsF such as seminars,courses, congress, conferences, etc., are the most common learning tools in their organi!ationto promote the learning process. Aowever the respondents also believe that FinformalmethodsF are more useful for their learning process. Eith regard to the learning style of %roject anagers, it has been found that the predominant style is clearly the eflector,followed by the Theorist, the %ragmatist and, finally, the )ctivist. These data provide ideasabout the kind of exercises and the environment that could be developed in the #imulation odel, for example, interaction with colleagues, working sessions, working by doing, visualand audio supports, etc. ) THE SIMU*ATION MODE* The #imulation odel is based on the simulation laboratory for the analysis of the change process in industries &#med , 1223' and also on the project management simulationlaboratory &(ano G.H, 899:'. The #imulation odel aims to integrate the re/uirements for %roject anager (ompetencies, but also suitable elements that promote an acceleratedlearning process. +y means of an experimentation tool, this model expects %roject anagersto be able to apply their knowledge in an organi!ational environment, for a particular project,so that they can gain an understanding of the whole dynamics of the company. The #imulation odel has been designed as a modular system. =ach of its four modules has a specificfunction to support the learning process of project management tools and the best practices inthis discipline. The inputs identified in the empirical study are translated into every module asre/uirements and specifications to promote rapid learning in the project management field,see figure 1. This information is also useful to create a friendly environment that motivateslearning. The next sections provide details of each of the modules that the odel comprises.   Inputs   ExperimentationModule PIPPIF Memory Result Module   Memory Result ModuleAnalysis   AnalysisTraining Requirements   Training Requirements IPIOOSPOO Outputs P K P   P K P ImplementationModule ©   © Learning Performance Evaluation   Learning Performance EvaluationSimulationAssessment   SimulationAssessment Assessment Module ProjectManagement Knoledge   ProjectManagement Knoledge !earning SimulationT eories   !earning SimulationT eories   ProjectManagement Knoledge   ProjectManagement Knoledge !earning SimulationT eories   !earning SimulationT eories!earning Style   !earning StyleOrgani#ational Practice   Organi#ational Practice!earning Met odPre$erence   !earning Met odPre$erenceOrgani#ational Practice   Organi#ational Practice!earning Met odPre$erence   !earning Met odPre$erence Requirements   RequirementsSpecifcation   Specifcation I = InstructorP = ParticipantO = ObserversPKP = Participant Knowledge ProfilePIP = Initial Participant's ProfilePFP = Final Participant's Profile SPO = Simulation Performance Outcomes ?    ?   -i'#re 1. Sim#latio! Mo+el =xperimentation odule@ The main element of this module is an interactive simulation game,named sIMProj % ; this game is a customi!ed computer$based experimentation tool for the*? organi!ation. This game incorporates project management competencies &general andorgani!ational re/uirements', % >s learning style and learning methods. The sIMProj % includes scenarios, a situation booklet and solutions. It also integrates some elements andmethods that promote an accelerated learning process, such as Flearning by doingF, visualsupports, and case study &Hyinn, .# et al 899:'. It contains the description of severalsituations showing the key aspects of particular projects for this kind of organi!ation. ?uringthe simulation, the users play the role of %roject anager; they must analy!e the bookletinformation and take the best decision according to their tacit knowledge and experience. The sIMProj % creates opportunities to experience the dynamics of strategic issues normally foundin real projects, so that %roject anagers can demonstrate and practice their knowledge and behaviours.)ll the situations are grouped into nine fields related to all knowledge areasidentified in % +B-. The topics are explored using various teaching techni/ues, whichinclude lectures, and case study analysis. Eith these clusters the performance results can beobtained in a global report or by fields of knowledge, in order to identify the areas in which participants have improved their performance and those in which they do not show any progress.Implementation odule@ This module establishes and defines the didactic mechanisms. Itdescribes how to use the sIMProj % . It also presents the objectives, the answer sheet, and thescoring key. The game is designed on the bases of the learning laboratory that provides anexperimental environment in which users share their knowledge and obtain insight into project management practice.)ssessment odule@ In order to measure the learning progress &knowledge and skillsac/uired', the #imulation odel uses two sources of information :  the performance of  participants during the simulation, obtained from their individual score, and the ser0s
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