THE BOSS: A Competitive Game That Shows Some Aspects of the Management of a Software Development Company

Fabio Ferman, Geraldo Xexeo, Luan Barbosa Garrido, Tiago Santos da Silva

Abstract


The Boss simulates aspects of the management of a software development company in a competitive market scenario. It stimulates players to handle different important business functions, such as sales, development, human resources, and administration. During a game session, teams compete for clients, hire employees, control workspace availability, and deal with market variation, from blooming to recession times.

Desiring to have the best company, players must manage their resources and pay attention to the competitors’ actions. Customer relations policies have to be created to better balance the interests of the company and maintain a relationship of trust with current clients. Projects are classified into one of four quadrants of the BCG Matrix, according to their attributes and have to be carefully analyzed, since a declined project can became a treasure in the hands of a competitor.

The game aims at its classroom use at undergraduate courses of entrepreneurship in the context of a computer science or computer engineering curricula; however, one can easily exchange its theme to focus at any human and knowledge intensive enterprise, such as advertising or architecture companies. Several perspectives can be discussed after the game sessions, to reinforce learning: hiring policies, criteria for purchase of services and others. Although designed for education, The Boss also has shown to be fun and entertaining in tests, and has a high replay value.

 


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