Gamification of specific aspects of software project management to train students/developers

The motivation behind this project was to demonstrate that a gamification approach in the training of software-project- management skills would be both possible and effective in preparing
software developers for a managerial role.

With this in mind, a scenario representing software projects was implemented to be able to convey the learnings from the game scenario to the actual job. Several aspects of software project management were implemented through the use of game features that would make the training more attractive as proved by [1], [2] and [3], as well as enhance the assimilation of knowledge.

In order that the character of the trainee could be portrayed within the game, the trainee would be required to choose from a list of options representing their specific traits. The trainee would also be required to manage the distribution of all the resources among the appropriate teams, including the developers within the team.

The main part of the game would take place when development commences. As in the real world, issues during the development process would arise depending on the decisions taken. The trainee
would need to address these issues by reallocating any resources as they would deem best. Particular attention should be given to the cost, ensuring that development would remain within the allocated budget. The trainee would be further conditioned by the status of the resources themselves and should ensure that the resources be reallocated according to their properties and that none of the resources would be utilised beyond the usage parameters.

Finally, since time is limited and being a manager requires knowledge and effort, all the decisions taken during the development process would expend energy. It is therefore the trainees’ task to ascertain that they do run out of energy – as this too would lead to an unsuccessful completion of the project.

Figure 1. Early design prototype of the gameplay
Figure 2. Flowchart of the gameplay of the serious game


[1] J. Molléri, J. Gonzalez-Heurta, K. Henningsson, “A Legacy Game for Project Management in Software Engineering Courses”, June. 2018.
[2] B. Marín, M. Vera, G. Giachetti. “An Adventure Serious Game for Teaching Effort Estimation in Software Engineering”. Universidad Tecnológica de Chile INACAP, Santiago, Chile.
[3] A. Baker, E. O. Navarro and A. van der Hoek, “An experimental card game for teaching software engineering,” Proceedings 16th Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training, 2003. (CSEE&T 2003)., 2003, pp. 216-223, doi: 10.1109/CSEE.2003.1191379.

Student: Julian Zammit
Course: B.Sc. IT (Hons.) Software Development
Supervisor: Prof. Ernest Cachia