Posted: September 19th, 2022

Activity 3- Executing the Project

Complete a 1-page document that explains your strategy for acquiring resources in the simulation and in real life?

  • Use of proper APA formatting and citations. If supporting evidence from outside resources is used those must be properly cited. A minimum of 7 sources  from scholarly articles or business periodicals is required.
  • Include your best critical thinking and analysis to arrive at your justification.
  • Approach the assignment from the perspective of a project management of a company.

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PLAYER USE

SIM4PROJECTSTM

A Project Management Simulation for Classroom Instruction

PLAYER QUICKSTART MANUAL
Version 3.0

Players’ Manual for use with Sim4Projects™ V 3.0 Jeffrey K. Pinto, Ph.D. and Diane H. Parente,
Ph.D. ISBN: 978-1-4507-6673-9

Published by SimProfessionals LLC. Copyright © 2013 Copyright McGraw Hill Irwin ∧ 2000-2009.
All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or
stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written consent of SimProfessionals,
LLC, including, but not limited to, in any network or other electronic storage or transmission, or
broadcast for distance learning.

www.sim4projects.com

S 1-4 F1_16

http://www.sim4projects.com/

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Players Preface
Sim4ProjectsTM is a web-based computer simulation that is intended to teach the principles of
project management. It allows an instructor to set up a simulation, form teams of students (or allow
them to play individually), and to illustrate and practice “project management.”

This manual is a primer for players to supplement the instructor’s lectures.

The authors especially recommend that Players include reading the Appendix in your review of the
Player Quickstart.

Too many current project managers continue to learn their craft through baptisms by fire, with
minimal advance preparation. This approach is expensive to their companies and discouraging to
these individuals. In the past, this approach was necessary because formal project management
training was often lacking and options such as project simulations nonexistent. Fortunately, this is
no longer the reality. Sim4ProjectsTM is a valuable tool for training successful generations of
future project managers.

We genuinely hope that you find Sim4ProjectsTM a valuable, thought-provoking, and useful
component for learning project management. We wish you the best of luck and success with all
your projects!

Table of Contents
Preface
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2

Table of Figures

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
4

1. Quick Reference Guide
………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

1. Overview of Sim4Projects
………………………………………………………………………………………………

1. What are the technical requirements of the simulation?
………………………………………….. 6

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2. How is the simulation structured?
………………………………………………………………………….. 7

2. Players
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

1. Registering as a Player
………………………………………………………………………………………. 8

2. Making Decisions
……………………………………………………………………………………………. 10

3. Interpreting the Results
……………………………………………………………………………………….. 25

3. Analytical Capabilities
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..
3

1. Exporting
……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 33

2. Sorting
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 34

3. Selection
……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 35

4. Grouping
……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 37

4. Summary
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
8

2. Appendix to Player Quickstart
……………………………………………………………………………………………..
9

2. Appendix 1: Auto Assignment
……………………………………………………………………………………
… 39

3. Appendix 2: No Auto Assignment
……………………………………………………………………………………
… 46

Table of Figures

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Figure 2 New
Player
Registration

…………………………………………………………………………… 8

Figure 3
Registration
Code Screen

…………………………………………………………………………… 9

Figure 4
Security/Profile
Information

…………………………………………………………………………… 10

Figure 5
Player
Decision
Screen

…………………………………………………………………………… 11

Figure 6
Period
Decision-
Making Screen

…………………………………………………………………………… 11

Figure 7
Resource Pool

…………………………………………………………………………… 12

Figure 8
Resource Pool
of Quality
Engineers

…………………………………………………………………………… 12

Figure 9
Making an
Offer

…………………………………………………………………………… 13

Figure 10
Resource
Bidding

…………………………………………………………………………… 13

Figure 11 Offer

…………………………………………………………………………… 14

Figure 12

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Resource
Offer Made

…………………………………………………………………………… 14

Figure 13
Available
Resource Pool

…………………………………………………………………………… 15

Figure 14 My
Resource Pool

…………………………………………………………………………… 15

Figure 15
Resource
Results

…………………………………………………………………………… 16

Figure 16
Removing
Resources

…………………………………………………………………………… 16

Figure 17
Choosing a
Resource for
Removal

…………………………………………………………………………… 16

Figure 18
Specific
Resource
Removal

…………………………………………………………………………… 17

Figure 19
Verify
Resource
Removal

…………………………………………………………………………… 17

Figure 20
Send
Resources to
Training

…………………………………………………………………………… 18

Figure 21
Training …………………………………………………………………………… 18

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Catalog

Figure 22
Training
Assignment
Screen

…………………………………………………………………………… 19

Figure 23
Managerial
Actions

…………………………………………………………………………… 19

Figure 24
Managerial
Actions
Catalog

…………………………………………………………………………… 20

Figure 25
Managerial
Action
Assignment

…………………………………………………………………………… 20

Figure 26
Assigning
Resources to
Tasks

…………………………………………………………………………… 21

Figure 27
Period Tasks

…………………………………………………………………………… 21

Figure 28
Resource
Assignment to
Task

…………………………………………………………………………… 22

Figure 29
Resource
Assignment
Percentage

…………………………………………………………………………… 22

Figure 30
Resource

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Assignment

…………………………………………………………………………… 23

Figure 31 Task
Assignment
Results

…………………………………………………………………………… 23

Figure 32
Period Task
Assignment

…………………………………………………………………………… 24

Figure 33 Task
Assignment
Completion

…………………………………………………………………………… 24

Figure 34
Submit Period
Decisions

…………………………………………………………………………… 24

Figure 35
Dependencies

…………………………………………………………………………… 25

Figure 36
Team
Standings

…………………………………………………………………………… 26

Figure 37

Cost

Detail

…………………………………………………………………………… 26

Figure 38 Prior
Period Results

…………………………………………………………………………… 27

Figure 39
Milestone
Information

…………………………………………………………………………… 27

Figure 40
Financials &
Statistics

…………………………………………………………………………… 29

Figure 41

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Period
Highlights

…………………………………………………………………………… 30

Figure 42
Period
Results
Interpretation

…………………………………………………………………………… 31

Figure 43
Exporting
Features

…………………………………………………………………………… 33

Figure 44
Export to
Excel

…………………………………………………………………………… 34

Figure 45
Sorting –
Step 1

…………………………………………………………………………… 34

Figure 46
Sorting –
Step 2

…………………………………………………………………………… 35

Figure 47
Selection –
Step 1

…………………………………………………………………………… 35

Figure 48
Selection –
Step 2

…………………………………………………………………………… 36

Figure 49
Selection –
Step 3

…………………………………………………………………………… 36

Figure 50
Selection –
Step 4

…………………………………………………………………………… 36

Figure 51

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Grouping –
Step 1

…………………………………………………………………………… 37

Figure 52
Grouping –
Step 2

…………………………………………………………………………… 37

Figure 53
Grouping –
Step 3

…………………………………………………………………………… 38

1 Quick Reference Guide
1.1 Overview of Sim4Projects
Conceptually, players manage a project. The project Gantt chart is the foundation for a simulation.
You may think of the project Gantt chart as residing within Sim4Projects. Players make decisions
as to which resource to hire or fire, whether to train a resource to improve their individual
attributes, when to invoke a variety of managerial actions for motivation (e.g. hold a pizza party),
and which resource to assign to each of the tasks.

During processing, Sim4Projects takes the decisions made and calculates the “actual” time and
cost for each task based on the decisions. Sim4Projects then interacts with Microsoft ProjectTM to
create the project file (.mpp file) including the actual results from each round as it is played.

One common problem with computer simulations is that students may obtain information from
prior students that will allow current students to have a competitive edge. We call this “simulation
carryover.” In order to minimize this phenomenon, Sim4Projects sets up simulations that are as
different from each other as in standard practice. A new and different simulation is generated by
Sim4Projects each time an instructor creates a simulation for a class. There are almost an infinite
number of variations on the simulation’s basic templates.

1. 1.1 What are the technical requirements of the simulation?

Sim4Projects is a web-based computer simulation used to enhance instruction of project
management. Sim4Projects works with MS Project in a Windows environment. Please note that
MS Project must be installed on the computer accessing Sim4Projects or be available on
computer lab machines if students are using a lab environment. MS Project need not be open as

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Sim4Projects will call and open MS Project as it is needed. However, new security measures on
Internet Explorer make it necessary to download the mpp file to a local drive and open using MS
Project from the local drive. Using IE, you will be able to open the mpp file but you will not be able
to use the total functionality of MS Project. If you use another browser, you will be able to interact
with Sim4Projects and download the MS Project file in exactly the same way. A Windows platform
is needed to use MS Project.

However, you may also use a MAC platform. The browser will work in exactly the same way and
you may save the mpp file to a local drive. Since MS Project is not available for a non-Windows
platform, you should be prepared to use different project management software capable of reading
the mpp file. OpenProj is open source project management software that is capable of reading an
mpp file.

1. 1.2 How is the simulation structured?

Sim4ProjectsTM is organized in two parts. The first part is called Pre-Play in which resource
bidding takes place. The second is Period Play or Round Play. This is the formal part of the project
from the Start node to the Finish node. Pre-Play is the portion of the simulation prior to the
beginning of play that allows players to staff their virtual project team. If the instructor chooses this
mode of no auto-assignment, players will have one or more rounds in which they bid on resources
to staff their projects. On the other hand, auto-assignment is the mode in which players are given a
set of resources. They start period 1 of the project immediately with a fully staffed, randomly
appointed set of virtual team members.

The portion of the simulation that occurs before the “Start node on the Gantt chart” is called Pre-
Play. The only decisions that can be made in Pre Play are the selection of resources. Players may
bid for virtual resources during the pre-play periods. Your instructor

may run as many pre-play rounds as he/she chooses prior to beginning play. (Note that instructors
may also choose to begin the simulation with Play and not

participate in resource bidding and selection rounds. The simulation will automatically populate
each team with resources if that option is chosen.)

The virtual project begins during “Play” or at the Start node on the Gantt chart.

The underlying Gantt chart of the project is divided into 12 periods. Once the simulation play
begins, the teams compete against each other, period by period.

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The length of a period in the simulation is not measured in traditional units such as weeks or
months. All teams must complete all of the tasks for each period. They must reach the next
milestone. In the simulation, the amount of time it takes for each team to accomplish this is a
period. The length of time for a period is the amount of time between milestones on the Gantt
chart. All teams start each period at the same point on the Gantt chart. It will simply take the teams
differing amounts of time to complete the period tasks and that is the length of a period for that
team.

1.2 Players
An overview for players is presented in the pages that follow.

1. 2.1 Registering as a Player

On the website at www.sim4projects.com in the area for New User, players click on “register as a
player” as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2 New Player Registration
1. A registration (or access) code is a unique 9-digit code that each player is

required to have to participate in the sim. Generally, schools will arrange for
their bookstores to carry the codes. The codes may also be available from
various online sites. However, be sure that the code acquired (from
whatever source) is ISBN 978-1-4507-6673-9 and that the item is “new”.

http://www.sim4projects.com/

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Only codes with this ISBN will be supported. (Note that codes are one-time use only!) The 9-digit
code should be entered into the boxes marked by the red arrow in Figure 3.

2. The instructor will provide the entire class with the Simulation Code that
was generated for your specific class. Players enter the 7-digit Simulation
Code into the boxes marked by the green arrow in Figure 3.

3. Players then click on New User as indicated by the blue dashed arrow in
Figure 3.

Figure 3 Registration Code Screen
4. You will then be presented with the Security/Profile Information in Figure 4.

You will be prompted to create a user ID and password that will be used to
enter Sim4Projects. You will not need the Registration Code or the
Simulation Code again. Just in case you cannot remember your
information, the instructor can access it for you. However, you should write
it down so that you have immediate access to your simulation.

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Figure 4 Security/Profile Information
Once players register, your instructor will assign you to teams. You must be assigned to a team
before you are able to see the simulation. Once you are assigned to a team, and your instructor
has initiated Play or Pre-Play, you can use your User Name and password to enter the class
simulation and make decisions.

1. 2.2 Making Decisions

Players may make four types of decisions:

Resource decisions – add or remove resources from the project
Training decisions – send resources to training classes

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Managerial actions – take management actions to influence resources
Period tasks – assign one or more resources to each task for the period

When players select the simulation, they are presented with the Project Information as shown in
Figure 5. They can click on Make Period Decisions as shown by the red arrow. . (Please be sure
to click on the Submit Period Decisions as shown by the blue dotted arrow once all your period
decisions are made.)

Figure 5 Player Decision Screen
After moving down in the screen, players choose one of the decision-making options shown in
Figure 5. In the next sections, we will walk through the selections for Bidding on Resources,
Removing Resources from Team, Sending Resources to Training, Making decisions on
Managerial Actions, and Assigning Resources to Tasks. This will be a natural order for your
decision-making.

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Figure 6 Period Decision-Making Screen
1. 2.2.1 Making Resource Decisions

A resource decision to add virtual team members is made by clicking on the Bid on Resources
shown by the red arrow in Figure 6. You will then be taken to the Resources Pool as shown in
Figure 7.

Figure 7 Period Decision-Making Screen
All of the available resources in the pool are shown in multiple pages, approximately 10 resources
per page as shown in Figure 7. Since resources of the same category (i.e.

Quality Engineer) do not always appear on the same page, you may want to show all of the
Quality Engineers together by selecting within the category. Enter the name of the category in the
box shown by the red arrow in Figure 8.

The Resource Pool of Quality Engineers will be presented to the player as shown in Figure 8. You
may see additional attributes of a particular resource by clicking on one of the names in the

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Resource Pool or the Make Offer button on the right side of the screen, say for example selecting
the resource shown by the blue arrow in Figure 8.

Figure 8 Resource Pool of Quality Engineers
1. 2.2.1.1 Adding a Resource
2. the player decides to bid on that resource, they click on Make Offer or the name as shown by

the red arrow in Figure 9.

Figure 9 Making an Offer
More specific information about the resource will appear as noted in Figure 10. The player should
determine the hourly rate for which they will attempt to hire the resource. It may be at the standard
rate or above or below the standard rate. Remember, just as in real life, if you bid too low, you run
the risk of not hiring the resource.

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Figure 10 Resource Bidding
At this point (Figure 10) when learning more of the details on the virtual resource, the player may
elect not to bid on this resource. The player may then either return to the

Resource Pool (shown by the blue arrow) to look for another resource or go Back to the
Dashboard (shown by the green arrow).

If the player elects to bid for the resource, they click the Make Offer button which brings them to
the screen in Figure 11. Then they enter the bid in the box shown by the red arrow.

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Figure 11 Offer
Once the bid is made, the player hits the submit button shown by the blue arrow in Figure 11. Then
you will be brought to the screen in Figure 12.

Figure 12 Resource Offer Made
This screen will allow you to change or remove the offer quickly by clicking on the appropriate

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button. If you are satisfied with the offer, you will choose View Resource Pool (you want to bid on
more resources). The Available Resource Pool is shown in Figure 13.

Figure 13 Available Resource Pool
You may also choose Back to Dashboard (you would like to move on to the other decision options
for the period). Scrolling down on the Dashboard screen to My Resources brings you to the screen
in Figure 14. Offers (shown by the red arrows) will be noted on the players’ screens as “offered”
but will not be placed on a particular team until the instructor processes the bids in either Pre-Play
or Play. Other players may have bid on the same resource.

Figure 14 My Resource Pool
It is during the processing that the resolution of which team wins the bid for a specific virtual player
is determined. Players are advised in the Results/Resources screen such as that shown in Figure
15 as to whether they obtained the resources in the competitive bidding and, if not, why not.

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Figure 15 Resource Results
There is a table in the software that defines the optimal number of each resource category to
complete the project. That number, by definition, is always either one (1) or two (2) depending
upon the resource category. You are allowed to try to hire up to two (2) times this optimal number
for your virtual team. The software will restrict you from bidding for more than you are allowed to
carry on your team.

Resource Decisions may be made in either Pre-Play or Play. However, only

Resource Decisions may be made in Pre-Play rounds.

1. 2.2.2 Remove Resources from Team

As shown in Figure 16, you may remove resources from the team.

Figure 16 Removing Resources
Once you click on the button as shown by the red arrow, you will be brought to the screen in
Figure 17where you can click on the Remove at the red arrow.

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Figure 17 Choosing a Resource for Removal
When you click on the Remove button in Figure 17, you will see the resource data as shown in
Figure 18.

Figure 18 Specific Resource Removal
Clicking on the Remove Resource button shown by the red arrow in Figure 18 brings up the
screen in Figure 19 which asks that you confirm your desire to remove the resource.

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Figure 19 Verify Resource Removal
As stated in the message, the resource will be removed immediately – even before the instructor
processes. You will not be able to rehire that specific resource for two periods.

1. 2.2.3 Making Training Decisions

Players may make Training Decisions during the Play rounds. Under the Dashboard, you will see
the screen in Figure 20. Select the training as indicated by the red arrow.

Figure 20 Send Resources to Training
Players may view the Training catalog as shown in Figure 21. In this graphic, they can see the
duration and cost of the specific training event in addition to the total number of slots available and
the number remaining. Finally, the graphic will show how many persons on their team are
assigned to the training event.

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Figure 21 Training Catalog
When the player clicks on the training session as shown by the red arrow in Figure 21, more
information appears on the assignment screen shown in Figure 22.

Figure 22 Training Assignment Screen
A player may assign a virtual resource to training by highlighting the name in the right box, as
shown by red arrow #1 in Figure 22, then clicking on the Add button as shown by the red arrow #2,
and moving the name to the left-most box as shown by red arrow #3. When players assign
resources to training, they must plan for the time and cost of the training. They also must
remember that training occurs first in a period. Therefore, assigning any resource to training and to

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the first activity in a period will, by definition, delay the completion of the period. Finally, you will be
charged for the resource’s salary while they are at training.

1. 2.2.4 Making Managerial Action Decisions

Managerial Action decisions may be made in Play rounds. Begin with Central/Dashboard and
scroll down to the screen in Figure 23. Click on Make Managerial Actions as shown by the red
arrow.

Figure 23 Managerial Actions
Players may view the Managerial Actions available as shown in Figure 24. In this graphic, they
can see the name of the managerial action and the cost per resource.

Figure 24 Managerial Actions Catalog
They can also see how many resources have been assigned to each Managerial Action within the
entire simulation. The # assigned is updated immediately and will reflect the number scheduled
even before the instructor processes.

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Players may select a Managerial Action by clicking on the name of the action as shown by the red
arrow in Figure 24.

Figure 25 Managerial Action Assignment
Players can view additional information about the Managerial Action at the top portion of Figure
25. A virtual resource may be assigned to the Managerial Action by highlighting the name in the
right-hand box shown by red arrow #1 in Figure 25, clicking the Add button shown by red arrow
#2, and the name will then appear in the right-most box shown by red arrow #3.

At this point, you may do one of the following:

Assign another resource to the managerial action
Return to the managerial actions list to assign resources to another managerial action, or
Return to the Dashboard

1. 2.2.5 Making Period Task Decisions

The last of the four possible decisions that may be made by players is the Period Task Decision or
the assignment of virtual resources to tasks for the period. When clicking on Assigning Resources
to Tasks as shown in Figure 26, the screen in Figure 27 is displayed.

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Figure 26 Assigning Resources to Tasks
In order to assign resources to a task, players must first select the task. In the example shown in
Figure 27, the player clicks on Finalize plans and develop estimates (as shown by the red arrow)
to assign a resource to the task for this period.

Figure 27 Period Tasks
When the player clicks on the task, the Resource Assignment screen appears as shown in Figure
28. Additional information on the task is shown under Task Information. Players can see the
estimated or budgeted hours and cost, task description, and task dependencies at the point when
they are assigning resources.

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Figure 28 Resource Assignment to Task
Resources may be assigned to tasks by clicking on the resource name as shown next to the red
arrow in Figure 28, clicking Add as shown next to the green arrow, and then the resource moves to
the left-most box as shown near the blue arrow.

Figure 29 Resource Assignment Percentage
When the Resource Allocation screen (Figure 29) appears, players will allocate the percentage of
time the virtual resource will work on that task. A percent allocation of 100% means that a
resource will work 8 hours per day on that task until the task is done. (Note that the default value is
100%.) If they assign less than 100% and there is no concurrent task, the resource may be

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wasting the balance of their time without progressing on tasks.

After checking the percent allocation for the task (Figure 29), players click Assign at the bottom of
the screen as shown by the red arrow in Figure 30. Please note that you may assign up to two
resources to each task.

Figure 30 Resource Assignment
The system returns the player to the screen in Figure 31 which confirms the assignment of the
resource.

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Figure 31 Task Assignment Results
Clicking on the Back to Period Tasks button returns the player to the screen to assign resources to
other tasks as shown in Figure 32.

Figure 32 Period Task Assignment
Players can proceed to assign resources to each task. When all tasks have been assigned

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resources, the player can see the entirety of the resource assignment shown in the example in
Figure 33.

Figure 33 Task Assignment Completion
When all task assignments are complete (see Figure 33), players may scroll up on the screen and
Submit Period Decisions as shown in Figure 34 to complete the process and record the time and
date that decisions were submitted to complete the process. Thus, your instructor is sure that you
have met the submission deadline.

Figure 34 Submit Period Decisions
One common mistake of students in the resource allocation process is that they fail to treat this
activity as a real project and pay no attention to the Gantt chart for the project. They totally
disregard concurrent tasks.

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Figure 35 Dependencies
You can see the predecessors and successors for each task by clicking on the Dependencies tab
as shown in Figure 35.

All four of the decisions types may be made in Play rounds, although the only required decision
type is Period Tasks or assigning resources to tasks. If resources are not assigned by the team,
the simulation will assign resources in a random manner which usually results in a lower score.

1. 2.3 Interpreting the Results
2. ) The TEAM STANDINGS CHART is found by going to the main menu and selecting Results

and Summary as shown by the red arrows in Figure 36. The results are displayed for each of
the four key factors: Cost, Time, Functionality and Stakeholder Satisfaction. In addition, the
Overall score is provided. The scores for each of the four key factors as well as the overall
score is the calculated percentile for the teams with 100 as the best and 0 as the worst of the
set. By clicking on the Team Name, you can see your individual results. You may also see
the results for all periods to date by clicking on the blue arrow to change the period number.

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Figure 36 Team Standings
Remember that the scores are displayed on a PERCENTILE basis. One advantage of using
percentile scoring is that it provides teams with a relative score compared to the other teams. The
team with the best metric will be shown with a score of 100%, while the team with the worst metric
will be shown with a score of 0%. (It does not mean that the team has a “score” of 0%.)

The authors suggest that you look at the four factors (Cost, Time, Functionality, and Stakeholder
Satisfaction) separately.

Cost

The cost metric is measured by a deviation from budget that rewards a team that is

closest to the budget. The Results/Summary page provides the budget status, as well as the

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Figure 37 Cost Detail
detail behind the budget charges for the period (shown in Figure 37).

Figure 38 Prior Period Results
You can also go back to any previous period by clicking on the Summary section in Figure 38 as
shown by the red arrow, changing the period number from 2 to 1 as shown by the blue arrow. MS
Project also provides many reports that can be used to analyze the team’s Cost performance.

Time

The simulation calculates the actual time for each task based upon the decisions made and then
sends the data to MS Project. MS Project performs the load-leveling task and returns the elapsed
time for the period to Sim4Projects. The Finish Date is then displayed in the Milestone section of

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the page shown in Figure 39. The team with the earliest finish date is awarded a score of 100 in
the Time measurement. MS Project has many reports that can be used to analyze the Time
performance of the team.

Figure 39 Milestone Information
Functionality

In the real world, the measure of Functionality is whether the project achieves what it was intended
to do. Since this is a subjective factor, the simulation uses a proxy for scoring purposes.

Functionality is the measure of the average % completed for every task up to the current period.
The percent task completed is determined by how much of the task the resource completed during
the estimated time. For example, if a task is estimated at 40 hours and the team finishes it in 50
hours, the percent complete would be:

(estimated time/actual time) * 100 = (40/50) * 100 = 80%.

The most important factors in achieving a good functionality score are whether you are assigning
the right category of resource and if those resources are completing the tasks on budget.

Stakeholder Satisfaction

Like Functionality, Stakeholder Satisfaction is also a rather subjective factor. Satisfying
stakeholders on a real project is a function of whether the stakeholders are pleased. Both external
and internal stakeholders are considered. The external stakeholder score is impacted by time,
cost, and functionality scores (or how consistently the tasks are completed during the estimated
time). The internal stakeholder score is impacted by how often the team met milestones, the
interpersonal skills of the virtual team and the management style of the virtual team. Therefore,
this is a result of whether the project is coming in on time and if the interactions with the project
team are positive.

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2. ) MS Project files for the period are accessed by clicking on View MS Project Plan (as shown
by the button in Figure 36). MS Project provides a wide variety of reports including a budget
variance on a task by task basis. All of the reports that are provided by MS Project provide
the team’s virtual project data. The reports will provide information to diagnose project
performance.

3. ) In the following section, we discuss additional information/reporting areas. In Figure 40,
Team Efficiency is shown by the red arrow.

Figure 40 Financials & Statistics
Team Efficiency

In a real world scenario, Team Efficiency would be a measure of a number of factors. These
include how well the team is performing in terms of meeting the milestones, as well as how well
they are managing the process. This would include such factors as how well the team gets along
(cohesion), the managerial style developed within the team, the team composition (e.g. diversity of
skills, age, experience, gender, and ethnicity), the movement of personnel on and off the team
(longevity of core), and how well the team implements rewards and discipline (managerial
actions). The score for Team Efficiency is given as a percentage and displayed on the in the
Financials and Statistics portion of the page (Figure 40).

Team cohesion is how well the team gets along, as determined by the various individual attributes.
The higher the score, the better.

Team composition has to do with diversity: diversity of gender, diversity of skill levels, and diversity
of ethnicity. Too much diversity is not good, nor is too little.

Team longevity is a measure of how much the team is “churning” resources. A low percent score
indicates significant turnover of the virtual team or the core of the team has not been together for
as much of the project as a higher score. Research shows us that teams with a low longevity

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score are less efficient since they are constantly forced to bring new people up to speed. Likewise,
a longevity score that is too high indicates that the team has brought on people and just kept them.
As such, those resources cannot always be effectively assigned, resulting in a lower Team
Efficiency score.

Figure 41 Period Highlights
Period Milestone achieved (Figure 41)

In the real world a team would either achieve or not achieve a milestone. The simulation gives
credit in the scoring to a team for coming close to their milestone. As shown in Figure 41, the
milestone is achieved (shown by the red arrow) when the Team Score (green arrow) is greater
than the Cutoff Score. The cutoff (80% in this example) is set by the Instructor when they create
the class simulation.

Unallocated Resources (Figure 41)

If you hire a resource in the real world, your budget is charged for their rate whether you assign

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them to a task or not. The simulation reflects this “bench penalty” with an Unallocated Resources
charge (shown by the blue arrow). If you do not assign a resource to a task or training for at least
25% of the budgeted elapsed time for the period, the team will be charged the difference between
the actual assignment time and 25% of the budgeted elapsed time for the period. This charge will
appear in the Costs section of the Period Highlights portion of Figure 41.

Period Results Interpretation (Figure 42)

The next sections discuss the relevant portions of Figure 42 which is obtained by the
Results/Tasks path.

Figure 42 Period Results Interpretation
Effectiveness rating (a)

Effectiveness refers to the assignment of the best category of resource to a task (e.g.

Did you assign a plumber to perform plumbing work?). While all virtual resources can perform all
tasks, there is a single best category for each task. The higher the Effectiveness is for a task, the
closer you were to assigning the right category for the task and the better your overall score.
Effectiveness is shown by red arrow (a).

Allocated Hours (b)

When a resource is assigned to a task, the sim asks what percent of the time of that resource is to
be allocated. If the team assigns the resource for 100%, that means the resource will work on the
task for eight (8) hours a day until the task is complete. The allocation percentage is shown by red

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arrow (b).

This reveals the concept of work or man hours and elapsed hours or duration. The sim calculates
the work hours needed for a task and the elapsed hours it will take the actual person assigned to
come up with the elapsed hours or duration. Then, the elapsed time it will take to finish the job will
be based on the number of hours per day will be put on the task.

If the team is not doing well in the TIME metric, it may be that they are allocating resources on a
lower percentage. As such, it will take longer to complete the task.

Efficiency rating (c)

While it is important to assign the correct category of resource, all resources in the same category
are not equal. In other words, all engineers are not created equally in the sim or the real world.
The virtual resources all have different individual attribute scores. Not all (say) engineers work the
same. Some are more efficient than others. Red arrow (c) reflects a composite score for each
individual based on their attributes. To increase the score in this area, consider Training or
Managerial Actions that may increase efficiency.

Estimated Time (d)

The estimated or budgeted time in work hours is given for each task. The blue arrow

(d) illustrates the budgeted hours for each task by resource. Actual Time (e)

The actual time (shown by the second blue arrow e) is the number of hours taken to complete the
task by the resource assigned. The actual hours are calculated by taking a weighted average of
effectiveness, efficiency, and team efficiency and applying it to the estimated time. For example: if
the weighted average of effectiveness, efficiency, and team efficiency is 70% and the estimated
task time is 40 hours, the ACTUAL hours would be 57 (or 40/.7).

In the example in Figure 42, applying the first coat of asphalt is budgeted for 24 hours. Guy Sitze
took 27 hours to complete the task based on his effectiveness (100%), his efficiency (70%), and
the team efficiency.

Estimated Cost (f)

The estimated cost is the budgeted number or hours (d) multiplied by the average cost for the
ideal resource for the task. If the ideal resource is a Project Manager, the average cost may be

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estimated by the average cost of Project Managers in the resource pool. The estimated cost is
shown by green arrow (f).

Actual Cost (g)

The actual cost is shown by green arrow (g) and is calculated by the actual time (e) multiplied by
the cost that the team is paying for the resource assigned.

1.3 Analytical Capabilities
Sim4ProjectsTM has analytical capabilities for students that facilitate the Player’s ability to analyze
the results of your decisions. These capabilities include exporting to Excel and pdf, sorting,
selecting, and grouping. We will demonstrate using the Resource Pool although these features are
available throughout the simulation and may be used to analyze tasks, training, and managerial
impacts.

1. 3.1 Exporting

One feature that needs little or no explanation is the ability to export data to an Excel spreadsheet
as shown in Figure 43 by the red arrow (a).

Figure 43 Exporting Features
Clicking on the Export to XLS brings up the graphic in Figure 44. You may either open or save the
file. In either case, you will be able to manipulate the data to help you make decisions. You are
also able to export data to a pdf file if you choose by clicking on the button immediately to the right
of the Excel export.

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This feature might be used by players to download the entire resource pool as shown. Players
may then do analysis about which virtual resource might be appropriate for their team’s strategy.

Figure 44 Export to Excel
1. 3.2 Sorting

The blue box in Figure 43 highlights the column headings. The next feature we will discuss is
sorting. You may click on the heading title which will sort by the factor chosen. In the example in
Figure 45, we have sorted by Age by clicking on the word. The small triangle is pointing upward
which indicates that the sort is ascending by age.

Figure 45 Sorting

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If you click on the heading again, the sort order reverses as shown by the downward triangle in
Figure 46.

Figure 46 Sorting – Step 2
As an example, you may want to increase the diversity of your team by adding, say, older or
younger team members.

1. 3.3 1.3.3 Selection

The second feature we will discuss is selection or choosing a subset of the data presented. You
are able to select a VALUE, for example, the category Electrician, as shown by the red arrow in
Figure 47. By being able to display a subset of the data, you may analyze or choose a resource
that helps to balance or diversify your team. You may return to the original full list by deleting the
selection in the box.

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Figure 47 Selection – Step 1
Selection in a numeric category becomes even more intriguing. In Figure 48, the red arrow is
pointed toward the selection of age as 30. Immediately, the graphic shows only the resources who
are 30 years old.

Figure 48 Selection – Step 2
By clicking on the key next to the white box containing “30”, the pop up box of Boolean
expressions appears as shown in Figure 49. You may click on any one of the choices and the
return will reflect your selection as shown in Figure 50.

Figure 49 Selection – Step 3
Note in Figure 50 that we see only those resources who are older than 30.

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Figure 50 Selection – Step 4
1. 3.4 Grouping

The final enhanced feature is called GROUPING as shown in Figure 51. This action allows you to
put all of a specific component of the simulation into groups that are then easily viewed, analyzed,
and manipulated.

You may place your cursor on the column heading and drag it into the bar above. The action is
shown by the two red arrows.

Figure 51 Grouping – Step 1

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The results of the action in Figure 51 are shown in Figure 52 with the categories of resource
between the two blue arrows.

Figure 52 Grouping – Step 2
By clicking on the “+” next to the category, you are able to expand that category as shown by the
red arrow in Figure 53. You may collapse the category by clicking on the “-” (minus sign). The blue
arrow illustrates a compressed category.

Figure 53 Grouping – Step 3
Grouping is used when you want to do further analysis such as selecting and sorting within various
groups easily. Scrolling across screens is also minimized by using the grouping feature.

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In conclusion, the analytical features of sorting, selecting, and grouping should provide a rich
learning experience in your study of project management.

1.4 Summary
The Quickstart Manual will help you to navigate the basic decisions of the simulation. The
simulation is extremely realistic. As such, if in doubt about a decision, treat the simulation as a real
life project. Good luck with your play!

2 Appendix to Player Quickstart
The purpose of this section of the Quickstart is to help Players transition from Registration for the
simulation to the first decision-making period.

Background
Your instructor selects the parameters that define your class virtual project. There is a wide range
of options that allow the Instructor to match the simulation to your class makeup.

The first decision your Instructor makes is whether to Auto Assign the virtual resources to your
virtual project or to allow the Players to hire their virtual team.

The startup to the simulation is slightly different depending upon which option your instructor
selected.

If your Instructor selected “Auto Assignment,” please go to 2.1 Appendix Auto- assignment on
page 40 of this document. If your instructor selected “No Auto Assignment” please go to 2.2
Appendix 2: No Auto Assignment on page 46 of this document.

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2.1 Appendix 1: Auto Assignment
Simulation Overview

The simulation is a flexible, parameter driven, team based exercise facilitated by your instructor.
Once you have registered, your instructor will assign you to a team. You cannot access any of the
simulation functionality until your instructor assigns you to a team and starts Play.

Simulation Concept
Student teams compete against each other to obtain virtual resources. Your mission is to obtain

and manage those resources, including assigning the resources to complete the virtual tasks of
the project in an optimal manner.

Your decisions are evaluated by the simulation in four (4) areas: time, cost, functionality, and
stakeholder satisfaction. The team with the best score in each area is given a ranking of 100% and
the team with the worst score is given a ranking of 0%. Other teams are pro- rated. This percentile
scoring provides you with the exact positioning of your team on a relative basis rather than just the
“place” of your team.

Please note that the four scoring areas are “weighted” in their importance in scoring the completed
project. The simulation allows you to take the concepts taught by your instructor and obtain “hands
on” experience completing a challenging and realistic virtual project.

Period Play
There are a maximum of 12 decision making rounds (periods) in the simulation. You may play less
than 12 rounds due to the length of your semester. Your instructor will provide a schedule,
including the deadline times for submitting your team decisions each period.

Each of the periods is played discretely, but the sum of all the decisions will comprise the

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completed project.

In order to insure uniformity in the tasks completed, the tasks for each period are defined by the
simulation. The tasks are the same for each team, and each team MUST complete the tasks for
each period.

The point at which the tasks for a period have all been completed is known as a milestone. A
period for the simulation is the amount of time it takes a team to complete the tasks for that period.
In other words, it is the amount of time it takes to reach the next milestone.

Staffing of resources
When your instructor creates the teams, the simulation creates a pool of virtual resources. You will
use this pool to bid on resources you wish to hire. The resources you hire can be assigned to the
tasks that must be completed.

The simulation will create enough of each category (type) of resource to insure all teams the
potential of hiring the resources they want.

However, to get you started prior to period 1, the simulation assigns one of each category of
resource, at random, to each team. When your instructor starts Period Play, you will be in Period
1.

Period Decisions
There are four (4) types of decisions that you MAY make each period.

1. Hire/release resources
2. Assign resources to tasks and control the (%) allocation of their efforts
3. Send resources to training to increase their skills
4. Take various managerial actions that affect your virtual team

The only mandatory decision is assigning resources to the period tasks. You may be satisfied with
your virtual team and you do not have to hire or release anyone. Likewise, you do not have to take
managerial actions…nor send anyone to training.

Resource Management

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How do you know what type of resource to hire…and
which specific resource to hire?
The simulation provides information that you must use in order to address that question. There are
no pre-determined answers to the question. There is no “perfect” solution. There is simply your
development of a resource management strategy and the implementation of that strategy.

However, there are steps you can take to optimize your play of the simulation:

1. Click on Central/Simulation to familiarize yourself with the information provided about your
specific virtual project.

2. Click on Central/Tasks to see all the tasks that you must complete. Click on the name of any
task and you will be provided with specific background information about that task. This
includes the task description, task group, period, and estimated hours required to complete
the task. By clicking on the Dependencies tab, you will see the predecessor and successor

relationships for each task.

3. Click on Central/Resources to obtain a description of the virtual resources available to the
team. Additionally, you may click on the View Resource Categories button for a description of
work that each type of resource category performs. Use this information to try to match the
best “type” of resource to each period task.

4. On a real project, one would not wait until the start of a period to try to hire the necessary
resources for that period. Likewise, a simulation rule is that you cannot hire AND assign a
resource to a task in the same period. Therefore, plan ahead and see what tasks have to be
completed to try to obtain the resources you will need. You must bid for resources no later
than the period before you wish to assign them to a task.

5. The simulation cannot predict your resource strategy and therefore staffs your initial team
with one resource from each category. If you do not need or want any of the resources
assigned to you, you may remove them from your team as soon as your instructor starts
Play. Likewise, if you want to bid on different resources, you may do that during the decision
making process for any period. If you have the winning bid, those resources will be awarded
for the start of the next period. However, remember that you must assign your resources to
tasks in Period 1, so do not remove all of the resources you were assigned. Resources are
removed instantly and you may be left with no resources to assign to the tasks in Period 1.

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6. There is no right or wrong answer as to which resource to try to hire and how much to bid.
This process is a function of your resource management strategy. Be flexible. As you
observe your bidding results you may need to adjust your strategy.

Consider:
A. The resource bidding is competitive with the other player teams. If you try to hire the best

resource in a category, other teams may also be bidding for that resource. You may not be
successful in trying to obtain that resource….or, you may have to bid above the standard
rate in order to win the bid.

B. The information for each virtual resource includes a “standard rate”. That rate is only a
guideline to help you bid. You may bid less, but you run the risk of being outbid, or not
meeting the minimum bid. You may bid more than the standard rate if you are concerned
about being outbid. Remember that all resources are not equal in ability. Generally, the lower
the standard rate, the less efficient the resource will perform.

C. A required task might have a high number of estimated hours. If so, your strategy must
reflect whether you assign one resource to that task or whether you hire and assign multiple
resources to that task in order to complete it more quickly. Another option is simply to
allocate the resources assigned at a higher percentage.

D. In the real world, if you hire a resource and do not assign them to a task, you must still pay

that resource. The simulation reinforces that concept with a “bench penalty” called the
Unallocated Resources charge. You must assign all resources to

tasks or send them to training for at least 25% of the budgeted elapsed time of the period.
Otherwise, your budget will be charged up to 25% of their salary. This charge may influence the
timing of a hiring decision. If you hire a resource too far in advance and do not use them, your
budget will be charged with an Unallocated Resource charge. At the same time, you may be
willing to absorb this charge by hiring in advance of need and being assured of obtaining the
resource.

E. When you assign a resource to a task, the simulation will ask you to allocate the percent of
time the resource works on that task. A 100% allocation means the resource will work 8
hours per day until that task is completed. A 50% allocation means that the resource will
work 4 hours per day until the task is completed. The lower the allocation, the more days it
will take to complete the task.

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F. You may elect to Remove a resource if you no longer want them on your virtual team. When
you Remove a resource, they are deleted from your team immediately. That is, it will happen
before your instructor “processes” for the current period. If you Remove a resource, you may
not hire back that same resource for two periods. However, if you Remove a resource, that
resource is placed back into the Resource Pool and may be bid on immediately by another
team.

In addition to Resource Management decisions, you may also make Training decisions and take
Managerial Actions in any “play” round.

Training Decisions
All virtual resources in the simulation have 9 attributes such as training, experience and work
ethic. Just like the real world, not all resources in a category have equal ability.

The simulation scoring metric uses these attributes to determine how efficiently a resource works
on a task when you make your resource assignments.

The simulation provides a Training section with different Training courses that are available. You
may send a virtual resource to training in order to impact their abilities and therefore influence your
score.

Training Decision Considerations

You are provided certain fundamental information about each course and you should also be
aware of the following:

1. Training takes place FIRST in a period. If you send a resource to training AND assign
them to a task that period, they cannot work on the task until they complete the training
course.

2. The simulation treats training like the real world. However, you are not given the values
for impacts of your training decisions. Additionally, be aware of the following training
concepts:

Period Lag

A resource does not necessarily have improved abilities immediately after finishing a course. The
impact may lag for one or more periods.

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Lasting Effect

Simply sending a resource to training does not guarantee the new skill set will last forever.

Diminished Returns

Sending a resource to the same training twice does not necessarily make them “twice as good”.

How does one know the impact of training?

You are not provided the impact values of a training decision in advance. Your challenge is to look
at the course description and the attributes of the resource you want to train. Ask yourself if you
would send the resource to training in the real world.

Remember, not all 9 attributes are necessarily impacted by any training course.

Managerial Actions
The simulation provides the ability for your team to take certain Managerial Actions. Unlike training
decisions which only impact the virtual resources, managerial actions impact both the individuals
and the virtual team.

In the real world, managers are not necessarily certain what impact managerial actions will have
on their project. Likewise, in the simulation, you are not given the values of the impacts of your
managerial actions. In fact, it is possible that certain actions might partially impact a project
negatively.

Additionally, you should be aware of the following concepts:

Period Lag

An action may not have an immediate impact.

Lasting Effect

Different actions will have differing lasting effects on your project.

Diminishing Returns

Implementing an action a multiple times may result in diminished impact of the action.

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How does one know the impact of a managerial action?

You are not provided the impact values of the managerial actions in advance. This follows the real
world where a manager often cannot be certain of the impact their action may have on the project.

Ask yourself if you would take the action in the real world. Remember, no one action will impact all
of the resource attributes or all team measurements.

If you would normally expect an action to have a certain impact in the real world, it is likely to have
that impact on the simulation.

Make Period Decisions
In order to initiate decisions, go to Central/Dashboard and scroll down to Make Period Decisions.
The Player Quickstart Manual provides a step by step description of how to make your
decisions….and the system will prompt you as you make your decisions. After you make your
decisions, you must click on the Submit Period Decisions button in order to complete the decision
making process.

Simulation Goals

The simulation is meant to add context to the Instructor’s classroom content by providing a “hands
on” application of the concepts taught, stressing planning and budgeting. Plan ahead and try to
match your decisions to the budgets provided.

Enjoy the simulation!!

2.2 Appendix 2: No Auto Assignment
Simulation Overview

The simulation is a flexible, parameter driven, team based exercise facilitated by your instructor.
Once you have registered, your instructor will assign you to a team. You cannot access any of the
simulation functionality until your instructor assigns you to a team and starts Pre-Play.

Simulation Concept
Student teams compete against each other to obtain virtual resources. Your mission is to obtain

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and manage those resources, including assigning the resources to complete the virtual tasks of
the project in an optimal manner.

Your decisions are evaluated by the simulation in four (4) areas: time, cost, functionality, and
stakeholder satisfaction. The team with the best score in each area is given a ranking of 100% and
the team with the worst score is given a ranking of 0%. Other teams are pro- rated. This percentile
scoring provides you with the exact positioning of your team on a relative basis rather than just the
“place” of your team.

Please note that the four scoring areas are “weighted” in their importance in scoring the completed
project. The simulation allows you to take the concepts taught by your instructor and obtain “hands
on” experience completing a challenging and realistic virtual project.

Period Play
There are a maximum of 12 decision making rounds (periods) in the simulation. You may play less
than 12 rounds due to the length of your semester. Your instructor will provide a schedule,
including the deadline times for submitting your team decisions each period. Each of the periods is
played discretely, but the sum of all the decisions will comprise the completed project.

In order to insure uniformity in the tasks completed, the tasks for each period are defined by the
simulation. The tasks are the same for each team, and each team MUST complete the tasks for
each period.

The point at which the tasks for a period have all been completed is known as a milestone. A
period for the simulation is the amount of time it takes a team to complete the tasks for that period.
In other words, it is the amount of time it takes to reach the next milestone.

Staffing of resources
When your instructor creates your virtual project, the simulation generates a pool of virtual
resources. You will use this pool to bid on resources you wish to hire. The resources you hire can
be assigned to the tasks that must be completed.

The simulation will create enough of each category (type) of resource to insure all teams the
potential of hiring the resources they want.

You will start your simulation in Pre-Play or Period 0. The entire purpose of Pre-Play is

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to allow you to bid for your initial set of virtual resources. Pre-Play may last several rounds at your
instructor’s discretion. Your instructor will advance the simulation from Pre-Play to Play once
teams have had an opportunity to obtain their resources. Bidding for resources

is competitive, even during Pre-Play. The only type of decision you may make in Pre-Play is to hire
or remove resources.

Period Decisions
There are four (4) types of decisions that you MAY make each period.

1. Hire/release resources
2. Assign resources to tasks and control the percent (%) allocation of their efforts
3. Send resources to training to increase their skills
4. Take various managerial actions that affect your virtual team

The only mandatory decision is assigning resources to the period tasks. You may be satisfied with
your virtual team and you do not have to hire or release anyone. Likewise, you do not have to take
managerial actions…nor send anyone to training.

Resource Management
How do you know what type of resource to hire…and
which specific resource to hire?
The simulation provides information that you must use in order to address that question. There are
no pre-determined answers to the question. There is no “perfect” solution. There is simply your
development of a resource management strategy and the implementation of that strategy.

However, there are steps you can take to optimize your play of the simulation:

1 Click on Central/Simulation to familiarize yourself with the information provided about your
specific virtual project.

2. Click on Central/Tasks to see all the tasks that you must complete. Click on the name of any
task and you will be provided with specific background information about that task. This
includes the task description, task group, period, and estimated hours required to complete
the task. By clicking on the Dependencies tab, you will see the predecessor and successor

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relationships for each task.

3. Click on Central/Resources to obtain a description of the virtual resources available to the
team. Additionally, you may click on the View Resource Categories button for a description of
work that each type of resource category performs. Use this information to try to match the
best “type” of resource to each period task.

4. On a real project, one would not wait until the start of a period to try to hire the necessary
resources for that period. Likewise, a simulation rule is that you cannot hire AND assign a
resource to a task in the same period. Therefore, plan ahead and see what tasks have to be
completed to try to obtain the resources you will need. You must bid for resources no later
than the period before you wish to assign them to a task.

5. You may bid on resources during any decision making process for any period. If you have
the winning bid, those resources will be awarded for the start of the next period.

6. There is no right or wrong answer as to which resource to try to hire and how much to bid.
This process is a function of your resource management strategy. Be flexible. As you
observe your bidding results you may need to adjust your strategy.

Consider:
A. The resource bidding is competitive with the other player teams. If you try to hire the best

resource in a category, other teams may also be bidding for that resource. You may not be
successful in trying to obtain that resource….or, you may have to bid above the standard
rate in order to win the bid.

B. The information for each virtual resource includes a “standard rate”. That rate is only a
guideline to help you bid. You may bid less, but you run the risk of being outbid, or not
meeting the minimum bid. You may bid more than the standard rate if you are concerned
about being outbid. Remember that all resources are not equal in ability. Generally, the lower
the standard rate, the less efficient the resource will perform.

C. A required task might have a high number of estimated hours. If so, your strategy must
reflect whether you assign one resource to that task or whether you hire and assign multiple
resources to that task in order to complete it more quickly. Another option is simply to
allocate the resources assigned at a higher percentage.

D. In the real world, if you hire a resource and do not assign them to a task, you must still pay

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that resource. The simulation reinforces that concept with a “bench penalty” called the
Unallocated Resources charge. You must assign all resources to

tasks or send them to training for at least 25% of the budgeted elapsed time of the period.
Otherwise, your budget will be charged for 25% of the budgeted elapsed time of the period at their
hired rate. This charge may influence the timing of a hiring decision. If you hire a resource too far
in advance and do not use them, your budget will be charged with an Unallocated Resource
charge. At the same time, you may be willing to absorb this charge by hiring in advance of need
and being assured of obtaining the resource.

E. When you assign a resource to a task, the simulation will ask you to allocate the percent of
time the resource works on that task. A 100% allocation means the resource will work 8
hours per day until that task is completed. A 50% allocation means that the resource will
work 4 hours per day until the task is completed. The lower the allocation, the more days it
will take to complete the task.

F. You may elect to Remove a resource if you no longer want them on your virtual team. When
you Remove a resource, they are deleted from your team immediately. That is, it will happen
before your instructor “processes” for the current period. If you Remove a resource, you may
not hire back that same resource for two periods. However, if you Remove a resource, that
resource is placed back into the Resource Pool and may be bid on immediately by another
team.

In addition to Resource Management decisions, you may also make Training decisions and take
Managerial Actions in any “play” round.

Training Decisions
All virtual resources in the simulation have 9 attributes such as training, experience and work
ethic. Just like the real world, not all resources in a category have equal ability.

The simulation scoring metric uses these attributes to determine how efficiently a resource works
on a task when you make your resource assignments.

The simulation provides a Training section with different Training courses that are available. You
may send a virtual resource to training in order to impact their abilities and therefore influence your
score.

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Training Decision Considerations

You are provided certain fundamental information about each course and you should also be
aware of the following:

1. Training takes place FIRST in a period. If you send a resource to training AND assign
them to a task that period, they cannot work on the task until they complete the training
course.

2. The simulation treats training like the real world. However, you are not given the values
for impacts of your training decisions. Additionally, be aware of the following training
concepts:

Period Lag

A resource does not necessarily have improved abilities immediately after finishing a course. The
impact may lag for one or more periods.

Lasting Effect

Simply sending a resource to training does not guarantee the new skill set will last forever.

Diminished Returns

Sending a resource to the same training twice does not necessarily make them “twice as good”.

How does one know the impact of training?

You are not provided the impact values of a training decision in advance. Your challenge is to look
at the course description and the attributes of the resource you want to train. Ask yourself if you
would send the resource to training in the real world.

Remember, not all 9 attributes are necessarily impaced by any training course.

Managerial Actions
The simulation provides the ability for your team to take certain Managerial Actions. Unlike training
decisions which only impact the virtual resources, managerial actions impact both the individuals
and the virtual team.

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In the real world, managers are not necessarily certain what impact managerial actions will have
on their project. Likewise, in the simulation, you are not given the values of the impacts of your
managerial actions. In fact, it is possible that certain actions might partially impact a project
negatively.

Additionally, you should be aware of the following concepts:

Period Lag

An action may not have an immediate impact.

Lasting Effect

Different actions will have differing lasting effects on your project.

Diminishing Returns

Implementing an action a multiple times may result in diminished impact of the action.

How does one know the impact of a managerial action?

You are not provided the impact values of the managerial actions in advance. This follows the real
world where a manager often cannot be certain of the impact their action may have on the project.

Ask yourself if you would take the action in the real world. Remember, no one action will impact all
of the resource attributes or all team measurements.

If you would normally expect an action to have a certain impact in the real world, it is likely to have
that impact on the simulation.

Make Period Decisions
In order to initiate decisions, go to Central/Dashboard and scroll down to the Make Period
Decisions section. The Player Quickstart Manual provides a step by step description of how to
make your decisions….and the system will prompt you as you make your decisions. After you
make your decisions, you must click on the Submit Period Decisions button in order to complete
the decision making process.

Simulation Goals

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The simulation is meant to add context to the Instructor’s classroom content by providing a “hands
on” application of the concepts taught, stressing planning and budgeting. Plan ahead and try to
match your decisions to the budgets provided.

Enjoy the simulation!!

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