Rocket Your Projects: Part 2

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Project management skills have become essential in today’s business world, and almost everyone is expected to play a part in it. However, not everyone possesses the necessary certification or knowledge of tools like Gantt charts or the Critical Path Method. To meet this growing demand, employees need to have a solid skill set that they can apply daily to overcome project management problems and stay up-to-date in the current business landscape.

Rocket: The Project Management Game is a competitive team simulation that emphasizes simple, fast, and flexible techniques for ensuring project success. During the game, participants will learn how to leverage their strengths to improve project communication and apply the DARE model of project management. The game’s objective is to build a rocket according to specific requirements, including budget and time. However, as with all HRDQ simulations, things are not always as they seem. As information is revealed, team dynamics and pressure will emerge, adding to the game’s tension.

Don’t miss this intriguing
webinar from HRDQ-U

Don’t miss this intriguing webinar from HRDQ-U

Project Management 101: Develop a More Successful Team With ROCKET

How to Play Rocket

Using colored popsicle sticks, blueprints, small screws, and nuts, individuals and/or teams (depending on Covid) jump into building the Rocket. It’s a kid’s toy – how hard can it be? What do you think is the first problem that occurs?

Within 15 minutes or so, someone yells, “We’re done!!!” and the facilitator goes to check on the results. As the facilitator looks over the built Rocket, she/he tells the builders that the blueprint shows that they are wrong, primarily because of haste and competition. This continues until each team has completed the task.

Remember clearly what caused the build of this project to be threatened:

  • No one asks why they are building a rocket.
  • No one asks any questions.
  • It’s a race between teams, even though the facilitator didn’t say it was.


Taking tight screws off a popsicle stick rocket is frustrating and difficult for adult fingers that are trying to fix the mess they made. Others improv, making beautiful, creative colors that aren’t needed and were not budgeted for. This is what we do every day in our work.

Game Results

After the activity, the facilitator will conduct a debrief session where participants will discuss their experiences during the simulation and uncover the DARE model of project management. The gameplay approach rapidly teaches participants the importance of each phase, from planning to completion. This way, they can practice what is referred to as a “flexible structure” and how to overcome project management problems.

Check out Rocket: The Project Management Game for your next training session.

Headshot of Lou Russell smiling
Lou Russell

Lou Russell is the director of learning services at Moser Consulting. As an executive consultant, speaker, and author, she channels her passion to create growth in companies by growing their people. Lou inspires greatness in leadership, projects, and teams. She is the author of popular books on leadership, teams, and project management. Lou blends her stories with practical ideas, so you solve complex problems. Encouraged by Lou’s upbeat and practical style, you’ll leave with new tools and renewed hope. You will be laughing, participating, and challenged. Most importantly to Lou, you will learn.

Connect with Lou on LinkedIn, Facebook, and at

Recommended Webinar
Project Management 101: Develop a More Successful Team With ROCKET

Project Management 101 – learn the basics and discover the four key steps of project management and how to get your teams working together effectively.

Rocket the Project Management Game | HRDQ-U Webinar
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