Project Management Skills Take Flight as SimulTrain® Becomes Foundation for Blended Learning Trio

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Simulation meets classroom instruction, e-learning and computer simulation for Kittim Consulting’s end-to-end project management training

Kittim’s agreement with The STS Co. means project managers can benefit from a methodology that has a proven history.

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SimulTrain, the computer-based project management simulator that has trained more than 85,000 project managers in more than 50 countries, is now available, for the first time, as the cornerstone to Kittim Consulting’s blended training model.

Through a partnership with United Kingdom-based Hemsley Fraser and its Swiss subsidiary, The STS Co., Atlanta-based Kittim Consulting combines the prolific simulator with e-learning and classroom instruction – a blended learning format that puts participants through real-world scenarios that can arise during any project.

Kittim Consulting is a management and technology firm that helps companies improve efficiency through strategic planning, enterprise program management and off-shore development centers.

“Kittim’s agreement with The STS Co. means project managers can benefit from a methodology that has a proven history,” says Kathleen King, PMP, managing principal at Kittim Consulting. “Our blended learning format is scalable to any level of project manager – from the beginner to the more experienced – and extracts the best parts of classroom instruction, e-learning and computer simulation.
Scenarios and training techniques can be adapted to any industry and for any scale of project.”

Participants begin with a series of Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) based e-learning exercises that are completed individually in four to six weeks. PMBOK is an internationally recognized standard that provides the fundamentals of project management for a wide range of projects, including construction, software, engineering and automotive.

A Kittim Consulting project management expert checks in with each participant during the e-learning phase to evaluate progress and offer initial hands-on coaching. Upon completion of the e-learning and preliminary evaluation, training culminates with project-management simulation, facilitated by SimulTrain and a Kittim Consulting classroom instructor.

SimulTrain then integrates technical training with human-resource supervision to replicate the obstacles managers are likely to encounter throughout a project’s life cycle – from management tools and budget overruns to deadline dependencies, quality control and staffing issues.

“This training system has proven to be an effective resource in Europe,” says Roland Sauter, Ph.D., PMP, managing director at The STS Co. and whose thesis, A Model of Human Factors in Project Management, is the foundation of SimulTrain model. “It has helped to train thousands of project managers, which is a testament to its value as a learning tool.”

Extreme situations also force quick decisions as the system simulates urgent phone calls, voicemails and e-mails participants would encounter while managing a program. Participants immediately see how their decisions can positively or negatively affect project outcomes – from delayed deliverables to improved team morale.

Upon completion of the blended course, users will be able to:

  • Plan project resources;
  • Use project-management tools;
  • Control the progress of a project;
  • Make team decisions, including situations of stress; and
  • React properly in typical situations of project management.

“The goal is for participants to complete the project on deadline and within budget,” King says. “Just as flight simulators are used to train pilots, this project simulator trains project managers to deliver quality task implementation by effectively managing people and real-world variables that come into play.”

Companies in Europe such as International Business Machines Corp. (IBM); The Coca-Cola Co.; Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP); The Bayer Group (Bayer); IKEA; Eastman Kodak Co.; and 3M Co. have used SimulTrain to enhance project management performance.

SimulTrain is available in 17 languages. The first version of SimulTrain was released in Europe in 1996 for the Macintosh. Since then, a new version with new features has been released every two years. SimulTrain Version 7.2 was released in October 2009; runs on Windows, Macintosh, Linux; and is available in online and desktop versions. For more information visit http://www.kittimconsulting.com, call 1-877-554-8846 or follow Kathleen King on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/kittim_kathleen.

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