May 9, 2024

Global Grant Brings the World to the Smith School Through PM Simulation Update

An innovative and experiential learning simulation for project management (PM) students at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland was updated thanks to a #KeepGlobalSmith grant from the Center for Global Business (CGB).

Paul Shapiro
Associate Clinical Professor Paul Shapiro updates a project management simulation to include international business dynamics, benefiting over a thousand students.

Paul Shapiro, an associate clinical professor teaching courses in managing information systems, systems analysis and design and project management, was awarded the grant in 2023 for the Global Project Management Simulation. 

The project management simulation gives students hands-on experience of a realistic project, reinforcing current learning outcomes related to planning and managing projects. Since its development in the summer of 2020, over a thousand students across 35 courses and eight semesters have utilized it. Shapiro said student achievement is “directly assessed by the simulation through a performance-based ranking system of project management constraints.” 

The grant allowed Shapiro to update the PM simulation by incorporating international business dynamics. For example, students will now oversee projects that challenge them to distribute their workforce across multiple regions worldwide. 

“For me, the question is every semester that I run the simulation, what is something that could make it more inclusive of the content of the course and what could make it more realistic to a real-world project that you are managing,” Shapiro said.

Shapiro highlighted two specific functionalities in the global PM update required to simulate an international project: region-specific resources and distributed team productivity. These improvements challenge students to optimize their budget by strategically allocating organizational members abroad and also update the “productivity computations to include considerations of working in different time zones and team cohesiveness.”

Shapiro said that allowing students to alter team compositions and learn how to optimize those changes adds potential layers of complexity and new learning outcomes to the already robust simulation. “It gets to another level of being more realistic when you are actually factoring in that behavioral aspect.”

Initially deployed during a summer 2023 MBA project management course, the new global features have since appeared in seven courses—two undergraduate and five graduate—with over 350 students. The courses address fundamental concepts of successful project management, including technical and managerial issues and project management methods and techniques

The #KeepGlobalSmith grant is supported and funded by CIBE, a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education that the center was awarded in 2022. The #KeepGlobalSmith grant is used to support and encourage teaching innovations in global learning that leverage how ubiquitous communication technologies enrich student experiences.

Media Contact

Greg Muraski
Media Relations Manager
301-892-0973 Mobile 

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

Back to Top