FAQs    or     RAQs     and our MUAs

Frequently asked questions, rarely asked questions and our made up answers for having an awesome experience with SlackMaster – the hands on way to experience and enjoy learning Risk Management

SureThing - web

On this page we’ll yak about:

  • how to prepare a group
  • preparing to deliver the Learning Lab
  • managing the reins of the Learning Lab
  • whether to buy bagels or donuts
  • recommended reading

How long should the facilitator spend giving the team directions on how to play?

If you’re craving to be the center of attention, then spend lots of time.  Otherwise, show the videos, walk through the roles (handing out copies of the pages from the Facilitator Guide), hand out the Tally sheet and Manager Metrics and then get ready to rock and play.  Think of keeping all this to less than 15 minutes.

Not all the groups have the same number of workers.. what do we do?

Either buy some mannequins or 1) have groups with different sizes, it doesn’t affect the game flow or validity or, 2) if the workers want to be two workers at once, that is possible.  This would work if the ones who do double duty have done SlackMaster before.

What if there is a tie between the Challenge level and the total Capability + Risk Mitigation?

Worker wins all ties!  Finally, odds that are in our favor!

 Should we serve drinks with SlackMaster?

Yes, but only in spill proof cups.

Should I show everyone what’s in the card deck?

A reasonable question, but there’s nothing to gain from that. Explain that the midpoint is seven.  Here’s the picture found in the Learning Lab Facilitator Guide.  It’s best to just tell them to realize it’s a deck that replicates real life, not a deck of cards.  If someone actually studies this picture, that means you will find a geek member card in his or her wallet.

distribution curve for cards

We ran out of money but didn’t finish our project… what do we do?

Hide.  You’ve made some folks called bosses and customers pretty mad.  Or change the rules and get a loan… but not from anyone wearing black and white shoes and a pin stripe suit.

What do the workers do while the Project Manager is giving out cards to other groups.

Usually plan their work and pay attention to how the project is doing overall.  Hah!  Usually they scheme and plot how to beat the game.

Is betting allowed?

Betting is rarely allowed but always enticing.  Betting between workers and managers is in bad taste.  Having the groups bet against each other will be fun but actually ruins the idea that a Project Team works together.  This would make a good government funded study on the effects of money on performance…oh wait, we already know and ignore the answer to that.

One of the managers just stood around – how do we get them engaged?

Maybe they’re following the maxim: “do no harm”.  Getting him or her engaged?  Ok, that’s a different game, not SlackMaster.  This actually shows you a lot about their management style.  Let him or her play it out.

I gave away one of the capability cards in the bar last night as a calling card.  Is the game still valid?

Assuming you mean the SlackMaster game and not your dating game, yes.  One or two cards missing will not seriously erode the game’s nerdy statistical validity.  As far as your dating game, thank goodness this nerdy statistical stuff is hidden by those cool pix… things are looking good for you there also.

What’s the best snack to serve with SlackMaster?

Things that don’t crunch..it will be noisy enough.  If they had donuts for morning snack, get the chocolate out.  Keep the sugar high going, even though SlackMaster is exhilarating all on its own!

It seems like we could use this to help team communications… is there a way to do that?

Yes.  Contact cio@enthusaprove.com.  We have lots of ways to modify this game.   We love questions like this… so much so, we made this one up.  

What is the difference between the “for-profit” version and the “not-for-profit” version?

In the for-profit version, your job is to make money…i.e. don’t spend away your profit covering your fears, oops, I mean risks.  In the not-for-profit version, your job is to come in at budget, or the taxpayers or patrons will be wondering why you’re driving that Lexus.

Why two stages to each phase?

Because we like to make it clear that we want you to measure twice and cut once… not measure once and cut twice.  So the Learning Lab reinforces the need for planning in the entire lifespan of a project.

Will I become a certified PMP by doing SlackMaster?

If you survive the day, we’d like to say that you’re certifiable, but then again, your friends may have told you that already.   Doing SlackMaster will improve your expertise, but you’ll need to do more test taking to get those fancy initials after your name.

What’s with that Red, Yellow and Green matrix thing?

Watch the video.  This is not an FAQ…this is actually what you’ll learn in SlackMaster day!

Aren’t the Major risk mitigation cards always worth twice as much as the Minors?

On average, they are.  But then again, on average Pro players are supposed to be better than minor leaguers… but we know that in reality, it’s not that clean.  Risk Mitigation is never a sure thing…the best laid plans of mice and men are oft turned to stuff that you shovel.  The SlackMaster Learning Lab lets us learn that without the shovel.

Why do we keep score?

It makes the betting that you’re not supposed to be doing easier.

Why are there phases?

Projects typically have phases…concept, build, outfit, test is a typical sequence.  The sneaky reason it’s built into the Learning Lab is to allow you to take a breather and have a huddle…that’s where the learning occurs.  It also makes for more fun.

Are workers allowed to talk to each other?

Of course.  Otherwise, how will they conduct the betting they are not allowed to do.

Are the managers allowed to talk to each other?

Of course. But it’s a big secret.  Like most real world projects, those managers are so nose down, butt up that they forget to do their job and help their part of the project align with the speed and progress of the rest of the project.

Is the facilitator as omnipotent in this Learning Lab game as he/she is making it sound? 

The facilitator is the deus ex machina* for this event.  In other words, that person is pretty much omnipotent even if not omniscient.

What is deus ex machine?

It’s a phrase we’ve been dying to use in these instructions.  It also is a term for when something can happen out of the blue… like when Little Red Riding Hood is magically saved by a wandering woodsman.  The facilitator can be that woodsman, leaving the wolf role open for others.