Project Planning Situation™

Sharpen planning and management skills while improving team decision making.

The Project Planning Situation is an interactive team exercise that teaches participants a process for planning and managing projects while building their consensus decision-making skills. It is available in paper and online in our new digital format for virtual team-building or online team-building applications.

The Situation

Your team has been assigned responsibility for designing a plan for managing a secret project.

The Challenge

Sequence 20 activities in the order they should be followed in managing the project, first as an individual and then as a team.

How it works

Solutions to the Project Planning Situation are developed first on an individual basis and then by groups. Participants then compare their individual and team solutions to the experts’ solution based on the planning, human resource, and management literature. Comparisons between individual solutions and the experts’ solution indicate how well participants are exercising their knowledge, experience, and skills with respect to planning, management, and complex problem solving. Comparisons between participants’ individual scores and their team’s score indicates whether they were able to achieve synergy by fully using and building on their collective knowledge and skills. The exercise takes approximately 1 to 2 hours to complete, including scoring and debriefing.


The Project Planning Situation can be used as an icebreaker, central activity, pre-test/post-test, or follow-up activity for programs focusing on:

  • Planning or managing projects
  • Problem solving and decision making
  • Team development

The exercise can also be used as a tool for:

  • Developing supervisors and managers
  • Evaluating current approaches to planning and human resource management
  • Implementing more effective approaches to planning and management

Who should use the Project Planning Situation?

The emphasis of the Project Planning Situation is on management and planning skills. Therefore, this simulation is applicable to a broader audience than our Project Management Challenge™ (which emphasizes the use of techniques and tools that are specific to project management).

The Project Planning Situation is particularly appropriate for supervisors, managers, project managers, and project leaders, as well as management trainees and students in management, project management, or human resource management programs.

Make the Project Planning Situation part of your team-building initiative

We offer two options:

  • A trained and experienced Human Synergistics consultant can facilitate the Project Planning Situation for you. Simply contact us to find the right consultant for you.
  • You can ‘do it yourself’: receive all the information and tools necessary to complete the exercise as you dedicate somebody from your team to lead the practice.