Project Risk Game Resources

The Project Risk game can be played successful in many different formats and venues. This section of the web site is dedicated to providing you with best practices to help make your training experience rewarding and enjoyable.


Thinking Outside the Game Box

Most instructors purchase Project Risk to help teach risk management strategies, project management fundamentals, and earned value status reporting. However the game is also a great way to capture team members working patterns as they apply to these topics

  • Decision making
  • Risk Psychology: Understanding Risk Personality Types and their implications for project decisions
  • Reserve analysis and usage
  • Leadership
  • Strategy
  • Willingness to work productively with competitors
  • Dealing with stress
  • Rescuing troubled projects
  • Communication
  • Stakeholder management



Using the Project Risk Game to Teach Earned Value

An optional Earned Value exercise comes in each Project Risk box.

In addition to using the Project Risk game to teach good project management practices and risk management, it also can be used to teach earned value.  Learners can track their actual cost and earned value based on their game performance. Only one sheet is needed per team.

Here are a few tips when teaching earned value in conjunction with the Project Risk game:

  1. When calculating the actual cost, remember that although the value of most of the steps is 1 chip, the value of the executing steps is 5 chips each.
  2. When calculating the actual cost, DO NOT factor in the project funding – which consists of the 50 chips to start at Initiation, and then the additional funding of 10 chips upon passing each additional process group.
  3. When calculating the actual cost, DO factor in the cost of implementing your risk strategies.

Set-Up Tips

  • Stack the chips in piles of 10. This makes counting faster.
  • If you are using the Earned Value sheet (optional) lay a red and a black pen on top of the sheet so they don’t have to search for them later.
  • Open the workbook cover up next to the gameboard so that it is displaying the roadmap graphic. That indicates that learners are supposed to use it as opposed to holding the workbook for later.
  • Lay the instruction sheet right on top of the game board and encourage early arrivers to read the instructions.
  • If you have teams competing against each other, consider using a flip chart to track the period progression of the teams.

Team Chip Rewards for Learning

One flexible method for the instructor to reinforce learning and to help dispurse funds to struggling teams is to offer chips (usually in quantities of 2-5) for teams who volunteer first to take a test. Then when the first team volunteers you tell them they must look at you during the Q&A;, and not at the game board.

Ask the team to do one of the following:

  1. State the 5 process groups in order
  2. State the 4 negative and 4 positive risk strategies
  3. Look at Risk Card X and give a real-life trigger example

Tips for Playing with Large Groups

The Project Risk Game has been successfully played with groups sizes up to about 45 with one instructor. However it can get to be challenging to field all of the questions and to control the game play. Here are a few tips to consider when your group size exceeds 4 game boards:
  1. Instead of having each team roll their own dice, you can have one announcer (possibly you/the facilitator) roll both dice. This helps ensure that the teams will follow your pace, it helps you direct them with each “period” saying “Have your project manager pawn move forward 4 spaces and pay the bank now.” Then roll the black dice, and together read what the risk card rolled says.
  2. Consider having a co-facilitator help you by walking around and assisting all of the players. You can train your own co-facilitator, feel free to contact us. We love to come out to assist with Project Risk play.
  3. If you don’t have a co-facilitator, request that the questions get asked publically instead of individually so that you don’t spend time answering the same questions over to each team.
  4. Consider skipping the optional Earned Value part of the game to help simplify the process.

Alternative Approach for Learning the Lingo

If the game is being played to help reinforce the workbook and terminology THEY HAVE ALREADY LEARNED, consider playing with this additional twist. For each “period” the pawn lands on a step. A player on the team must define what that step is. Rotate the assignment to state the definition between players. Instruct teams to select who will be the first definer before they begin. Briefly (and in your own words) define the step. If player can define it without resources, there is no penalty. If they have to look it up in the glossary, they should look it up – read it and as a penalty, take one team member pawn off the game board.

Gameboard “Seconds” Available

We have a batch of gameboards that we set aside because they didn’t pass our quality inspections.
You have to contact us directly in order to take advantage of this offer, but if you are just ordering the Project Risk game to evaluate it’s potential future use or if you have a quick and dirty session planned, you may want to just order one or a few of our Project Risk game seconds.

Seconds boards cost $10 plus shipping

Please contact us if you want to take this tremendous cost savings and order seconds.

Some instructors have used the seconds boards to allow their game participants to actually write on the boards with Sharpie pens as they track their game progress, and occasional regressions, in the end providing them a visual overview of the period-by-period progressions.


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