SBIR Phase I: Lynchpin Global: an Immersive Massive Multi-Player environment for learning effective team-based project management for information technology in manufacturing envi
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
Workplace Technologies Research Inc.
133 8TH AVE STE 1F, Brooklyn, NY, 11215-1711
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project enables users to rehearse the Project Management skills in the context of implementing enterprise business IT systems, such as ERP, using 3D Virtual World platforms. Participants interact with virtual replicas of actual manufacturing processes and products. They must solve a number of interacting problems, in a team setting, amidst real world production and performance demands (e.g. gathering information through site visits, developing ERP reports, delegating roles and negotiating scope changes). The method has shown success with IBM project managers as a model of immersive, simulation based, outcomes driven learning and training for organizations tackling large IT implementation efforts. However, these participants were already near expert level learners. Our objectives for this grant are to apply the method in an educational setting, deploying the method among novice to advanced beginner learners, as well as resolve a number of questions about the value of delivering such an experience within emerging Virtual Worlds platforms. We anticipate that Virtual Worlds will provide an optimal simulation-based rehearsal environment for training the next generation of project managers who will be facing increasingly complex implementation efforts that require agility and skill sets that go beyond current training methods. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project addresses the long-standing problem of high IT implementation failure rates among large organizations. Using an immersive, simulation-based, outcomes driven rehearsal methodology, this product has the potential to 1) increase the success rate of ERP systems in manufacturing environments, 2) by allowing users to rehearse and test deployment plans without risk and 3) and by providing students new to project management and IT implementation an opportunity to encounter real world problems and develop solutions under pressure in an immersive, experiential manner. Because we use Virtual Worlds as the rehearsal platform, this product will also test a number of questions about the feasibility of using Virtual Worlds technologies for rehearsing IT implementation efforts.
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