Hands-on, Active Learning of
Project Risk Management

Face it, anything with a title that sounds like risk management is apt to be boring, so, if you need your folks to learn it, then go buy a truckload of strong coffee, burn their eyeballs out with PowerPoint and forever scare them away from this topic …OR…


What exactly is SlackMaster Learning Lab?

SlackMaster is an entire Risk Management Learning Package… while it’s off the shelf, it’s customized to your team your needs.  The learning is part listening, part talking and… a big part is DOING.  That’s why it’s called the Lab…because it sure isn’t a lecture!

The Learning Lab is a…game!   It’s got lots of nerdy science hiding underneath, but what you get to do is try to get project tasks done, mitigate their risks, manage people, manage the project, convince the customer that you’re doing a great job…all the while having a few laughs.

In the Learning Lab, you will be work…ok, play… as a project team trying to get tasks accomplished, but life rarely goes as planned.  Easy tasks may backfire and difficult tasks may go smoother than expected.  Acting as a project team in this Lab, folks will need to wrestle with managing risk, biting their nails in suspense to see if they planned well and getting the option to run around in panic trying to abate those risks so they can complete a project on time and in budget.

Why a Game?  People love to play games, and when we play them, we learn more about the world and those with whom we play.  And playing is not just for kids, and even if it was, who cares!  Play is just another term for experiment, and experimenting is how we learn, so experimenting, i.e. playing, is what we do in the Lab.  So, when we play this Learning Lab, we experiment with how to manage risk and how our team members perceive and manage risk.

In project management, one of the many balls that the project manager must keep in the air is managing risk.

Risk is risky !   and managing risk is as much art as science!  It’s about prediction, about assumptions, about perceptions more than it is about crunching data or scheduling tasks.

Risk is something that each person approaches differently, making team dynamics unique in this area of project management.  Some team members risk everything on a gut feel, to the horror to those that meticulously plan each move.  The SlackMaster Learning Lab will bring out the risk posture of the team members and get them talking about their perception of risk.

Who benefits from using this Learning Lab?

  • Project Teams: Depending on how the Learning Lab is focused, the Project Team can learn to evaluate risks, develop a risk management plan, a risk strategy, a team definition of risk terms, or a communication plan.  Team cohesiveness and understanding also increases after playing in the Learning Lab.
  • Project Management Offices
  • Process Improvement Professionals
  • Organizational Development Professionals
  • Academic Teams

How is it used?

  • The most common use of the SlackMaster Learning Lab is to reinforce instruction on risk management principles.
  • This Learning Lab is flexible!  With a few changes in rules, the Learning Lab can demonstrate and develop many team skills like communication and trust.  Check out the SlackMaster Pro package to get instructions on taking SlackMaster to the next level!
  • Learn from others to see how they use SlackMaster Learning Lab!

Why is this Learning Lab effective?

Adult Learning:  Actually, adult learning is as much about un-learning as learning.   As professional facilitators, we often have the cool challenge to teach old dogs new tricks.  Adults have vast experience databases that either confirm or conflict with the new idea you are presenting.  When there is a conflict with the currently held paradigm, the evidence has to be convincing to replace the old trick with a new one.

How do we do this?   The same way that we learned as kids…through games where we can experiment, test our abilities and tease our minds… all the while having fun, laughing and realizing whether any of us are sore losers…or worse, annoying winners.

This is what SlackMaster Leaning Lab does for you.   In the game, the players get to flex their risk mitigation management muscles, get to either tackle risks or run away from them.  There will be lots of outbursts, both frustrated and happy…and these are the sounds that brain neurons are getting challenged. the risk management concepts are learned, tested, experimented and the participants gain individually and collectively.

This is called Active Learning.  This will stay in the brain longer than lecture learning and burns more calories.

This is also called Learning in Play.  Science is now helping us see that the act of play is very good for us adults.  It turns out that creativity and innovation skills are developed in play.  Remember all those games you made up as a kid?  Those probably taught you more than a lot of classroom hours.