An Approach to Assess Knowledge and Skills in Risk Management Through Project-Based Learning

An Approach to Assess Knowledge and Skills in Risk Management Through Project-Based Learning

Túlio Acácio Bandeira Galvão (Federal Rural University of Semi-Árido (UFERSA), Brazil), Francisco Milton Mendes Neto (Federal Rural University of Semi-Árido (UFERSA), Brazil), Marcos Tullyo Campos (Federal Rural University of Semi-Árido (UFERSA), Brazil) and Edson de Lima Cosme Júnior (Federal Rural University of Semi-Árido (UFERSA), Brazil)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/jdet.2012070102
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The increasing demand for Software Engineering professionals, particularly Project Managers, and popularization of the Web as a catalyst of human relations have made this platform interesting for training this type of professional. The authors have observed the widespread use of games as an attractive instrument in the process of teaching and learning. However, the project of a web-based instructional game that fulfills all pedagogical and technical requirements for training a project manager is not a trivial task. A gap exists between the theoretical concepts that are normally learned in traditional courses and practical aspects required by the real tasks. As such, this paper proposes the use of a persistent browser-based game intended for Risk Management as a component support in the qualifying process of new professionals of Project Management. The game provides to the player some experience in a real context of Project Management, in which new challenges are frequently posed to the enterprises.
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Risk Management

Risk management is increasingly seen as one of the main jobs of project managers. It involves anticipating risks that might affect the project schedule or the software quality of the software being developed and taking measures to avoid or mitigate the impacts arising from those risks (Hall, 1998; Ould, 1999) apud (Sommerville, 2006). So we can understand risk as an unwanted event that has negative consequences (Pfleeger & Atlee, 2009).

In a software project, various risks may exist and they are best understood if we divide them in three categories (Sommerville, 2006): Project Risks, which affect the project schedule or resources; Product Risks, which affect the quality or performance of the software being developed; Business Risks, which affect the software developing or procured by organization. Therefore we can identify particular risk implications in the projects and plan how to deal with these risks if they will or may occur.

Project managers are subject to uncertainties related to the difficulty of defining requirements, time and resources estimating or even to organizational or customer needs changes. To avoid that these risks jeopardize the project, the manager must anticipate them, understand their impact and take the appropriate action. This process consists of four steps (Sommerville, 2006): 1) Risk Identification, in which possible project, product and business risks are identified; 2) Risk Analysis, in which the likelihood and consequences of these risks are assessed; 3) Risk Planning, in which plans to address the risk by avoiding it or minimizing its effects on the project are drawn up; and 4) Risk Monitoring, in which the risk is constantly assessed and plans for risk mitigation are revised as more information about the risk becomes available.

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