Non-Childish Games for Builders of the Future

The Challenge of Egypt business game was played at Istochnik private school of Volga-Dnepr Group on 25 October and marked the ending of students’ theoretical training in project management with the next practical learning stage of implementing a children’s work project “The Golf Course” to follow.

The Challenge of Egypt is a business simulation game very popular around the world. Volga-Dnepr Corporate University, as an accredited partner of the game’s developer – a Dutch company GameWorks, extensively employs this technology for training company employees on fundamentals of project management.

The game simulates an entire project of building a Egyptian pyramid. The training moderator acts as the pharaoh and takes up the role of project originator. The project team should arrange all the work and finish construction within given budget and time limitations. There are certain quality requirements applicable to the pyramid, which should also be dealt with in the course of work. Weather and treacherous neighbor countries would surely interfere in the construction process and, without a doubt, the pharaoh himself would intervene at intermediate results and make changes to the approved project plan...

The game is the most effective and entertaining training format, where each player finds own optimal ways to resolve management and other critical challenges through simulation of a specific situation.

But it is intended for adults. An adapted version for children was developed after a decision was made to use educational potential of The Challenge of Egypt in the final project session at Istochnik school.

The game was run in two stages — 17 and 25 October. Its ultimate goal was to erect the most famed and biggest of Egyptian pyramids – the Great Pyramid of Khufu. However, the construction, as a project, required doing work within assigned budget and deadlines. To deal with such a complex task, the work was divided into several phases and each project member acted in a typical project environment and performed a specific role, such as project sponsor, project manager, rock crusher, etc. All kinds of risks affected the process, and each had to be properly countered...

According to the deputy director of Corporate University and playing coach Victoria Lapshina, students effectively coped with the task: “The children not just built the Great Pyramid, but a pyramid for pharaoh’s wife, the Great Sphinx and a creatively designed temple as well. Not many adults had such success!”

Children also gave their opinions about the training: today I learned... “how hard it is to be an architect”, “how to interact with colleagues in project activity.” As well as: now I will... “know more about grown-up life and doing business”, “work in Volga-Dnepr project division and “build pyramids”.”

The game participants solidified theoretical knowledge received in the course of project training and now would possess skills to apply them in real projects. We wish them to manage risks and cope with all unfavorable events and challenges in future project activities with the same ease!

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