The ultimate 1-day team building and learning experience…
Mencken Madness is a one-day project management simulation that provides a fun, engaging and highly effective means of building team unity and cohesion, whilst developing knowledge, skill and experience in project management.
Over the course of the day, participants work together in teams to manage a project across the entire project life cycle, from the Initiation Phase, through to Planning, Implementation and ultimately Closure. Set against a backdrop of the 1960s New York advertising industry, the simulation sees participants compete in teams, as rival advertising agencies, to pitch for a key account. Along the way, they are challenged by limited resources, strict deadlines, ambiguous quality requirements, limited access to stakeholders, emerging threats and opportunities, and unexpected issues.
Participants will learn about best-practice project management concepts, terms, processes, tools and techniques, in line with the global standard for project management theory – the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK 6th Edition). The simulation can be preceded by The Pitch as part of a stepped learning program or ongoing game; alternatively, it can be combined with project management training to embed knowledge and add an experiential component to the program.
Why Use Simulation?
Gamified simulations are at the leading edge of adult education as they provide a bridge between theory based learning and work based application. Project simulations deliver kinaesthetic learning (“learning by doing”), put participants in the ‘flow zone’, enhance retention and are an ideal adjunct to 70:20:10 frameworks. Unlike computer-based simulations, team-based simulations deliberately brings people together to develop the soft skills and behavioural competencies known to underpin successful projects and high-performing teams, such as trust, communication, reflection, problem solving, innovation, negotiation, collaboration and more. Moreover, these scaleable high-impact events provide infinitely more value compared with traditional team building events, such as bowling and pup-lunches.
Project simulations are ideal for:
- Team building
- Launching a new project
- Training and skill development (e.g. soft skills, project management capability, agile methodology)
- Embedding change in transformation programs
- ‘Nudging’ culture
“This was a brilliant way to kick-off our project. It really does simulate a real project – dealing with stakeholders, juggling the budget and schedule, managing issues… There was a lot of laughter, but we were also definitely focused on completing the project successfully! We still joke about things that happened in the simulation, and have found so many of the learnings are relevant to our real projects.” – WC, Project Manager, Suncorp.
For every problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong
Henry Mencken was an American social critic in the 19th and 20th Century. Although the disciplines of change and project management didn’t explicitly exist when he wrote this infamous quote, it holds relevance today – as a forewarning about the importance of managing people as part of change management.