The successful implementation of a software projects is a difficult task. Both, technical and organizational, problems must be solved, and less experience in project management usually yields to failed projects. Therefore, it is useful to provide trainees the opportunity to take the role of a project manager during their education. By simulations, the anxiety about project failure and the worry about the associated consequences should be taken from students.
Purpose of the Project
In general, students of economics and informatics learn project management in theoretical lessons. Universities and Colleges claim to train students for project management, but in classical lectures this cannot or only under specific circumstances be achieved.
The AMEISE project, as part of the "New Media in teaching on Universities and Colleges" initiative of the bm:bwk/Austria, addresses this issue. AMEISE is an acronym for "A Media - Education Initiative for Software Engineering".
The AMEISE system provides students of computer science and business economics (as well as other subject-related university or college studies), the ability to collect project management experience on a simulator. Comparable to the training of pilots in a flight simulator, critical situations can be defined and trained, without bringing real project in danger. Whereas a real-life project would take several months, AMEISE allows for managing projects by trainees in a few hours. They are nevertheless faced with the typical problems in software projects and these situations needs to be solved during the simulation run. The heart of the AMEISE system was developed at the Universität Stuttgart, and it is called “SESAM simulator”.
In order to simulate a project, a model must be loaded in the simulator first. The model defines the project. Thus, by assuming appropriate models available, any type of project could be simulated by SESAM.
In addition to theoretical knowledge, especially practical skills should be learned by using the simulator. Therefore, students are put into the role of a project manager (as they would in a real project), allowing for practicing planning skills and acquiring important project management skills.