Efficiency Review Survival


Darlene T. Shaw

| Instructional Objective | Learners & Context | Object of Game | Game Materials |

| Time Required | Rules | Design Process | References |

Instructional Objective

The objective is to teach how to perform an Efficiency Review Study for a Navy command. The game includes both concrete types of requirements, such as manpower computations, and soft-skill requirements, such as interview techniques. The game will also fulfill a knowledge management objective by retaining study experience encompassed in current performers.

Learners & Context of Use

The game was designed for new and experienced Navy employees (adults) who haven’t done a study or have done a study, but not recently, are the primary learning targets. This game is for 2-4 players. However, players must include one or more experienced staff who will be able to answer the questions because that is where the learning will occur. Although the cards will contain answers, they should generate deeper discussions regarding the scenarios they prompt.

The game would be used in the office prior to starting an Efficiency Review Study. It can be played in a conference room or any room where a table is available. The game is designed to be played more than once. After the game is played, employees could make use of the references noted on the question cards to learn more, or to refresh their memories, on a particular subject.

Object of the Game

The object of the game is to collect all five required artifacts and be the first player to complete the path through the various phases of the Efficiency Review Study.

Game Materials

Game materials consist of:

  • a board
  • one die
  • five sets of game cards (one for each phase)
  • four tokens
  • five artifacts (4 sets)

The game board design displays a path to follow through the five phases of an Efficiency Review Study. Between each phase is a bridge. The number of squares in each section correspond to the steps of that process to give a sense of time needed for each phase in comparison to other phases. Each phase color coordinates with the cards for that section. The board was done in Microsoft Visio and requires six pages be printed then taped together to create the full board.

The die is the standard type. It is used to determine who goes first and to determine number of squares to move per turn.

The game cards are color coordinated with the board. There are five phases: Planning (Front, Back), Data Gathering(Front 1, Front 2, Back), Data Analysis (Front, Back), ER Study Documentation and Reporting (Front, Back), and Implementation (Front, Back). The questions pertain to the relevant phase. Where possible, the questions have references for further information. Question content includes factual information and soft skill. Some cards are penalty cards and can cause players to lose spaces. Some cards are rewards and can move a player(s) forward spaces.

The tokens for this game are jewelry charms of nautical theme (lighthouse, helm, sailboat, anchor). However, other types of tokens could be used to mark players' movement on the board.

The artifacts are items which would result from each phase of the Efficiency Review Study. They include:

  • Plan of Action & Milestones (POA&M)
  • Statement of Manpower Requirements (SMR)
  • Performance Work Statement (PWS)
  • Efficiency Review Report
  • Documentation

These artifacts are made from small clip art representations which are printed and laminated.

Time Required

The game set up should take five minutes or less. Plan for 1-2 hours to play the game.

The Rules

  1. To begin the game, each player will roll the die. Whoever has the highest number will go first. Play then precedes to the right.
  2. The player to the right draws a card and reads the question and the possible answers to the player who rolled the highest number. If the player answers the question correctly, he/she rolls the die and moves the appropriate number of spaces forward. Note * Some cards are not questions and players should do as the card says in these cases.
  3. Play precedes to the right.
  4. Players MUST land on each bridge with an exact roll of the die. They must then answer a question correctly in order to collect the artifact and move to the next phase.
  5. The player must collect one of each artifact in order to win.
  6. The game may be varied by having players answer the questions without being given the multiple choice answers. This would be useful to make the game more difficult for experienced players.

Design Process

The idea for this game originated with my former workplace. Over the summer, I had the experience of doing a Manpower Study for the first time. If I had been given a “big picture” of the process prior to starting the study, my performance would have been improved.

At first, my plan was to design the game board as a Navy base with different buildings which would be on the route to completing a study. But then my boss provided me with references that showed a well-defined process map and information about each phase of the process. I decided to focus on the phases to give a good overview to this work.

The first draft to the game included airplane graphics to indicate where travel was employed in the process. This proved confusing to the testers so I eliminated the travel aspect. The draft also had the squares on the path labeled with the names of the process steps. Again, this confused the testers. They thought that the steps had actions to take based on the text which appeared on them. I removed the text from the squares and instead made bulleted lists for each phase which appear next to the appropriate squares and are color coordinated with them. Testing the games also highlighted some problems with the game instructions. This allowed me to clarify certain rules.

Originally I had only one set of cards. I changed this to five sets after speaking with my professor, Dr. Bernie Dodge. He had suggested to link the questions with particular sections to reinforce the steps and subject matter of each. I agreed with his thoughts.

The idea I had for questions began with having players fill in the blank. After considering this, I changed the questions to multiple choice. This would allow novices to guess. To make the game harder, players could choose not to hear the choices and instead just state the answer. By experimenting with how to answer the questions, the game could be fairly balanced for new and experienced users.

I looked at games from former EDTEC students when determining the board layout. I also looked at the Candyland web site because one of my testers had compared my game with Candyland. The game board for Candyland gave me ideas for use of graphics on my board. Also, the class readings were very helpful and motivated me to find ways to make the game fun and competitive.

The lessons I've learned from creating this game include the following:

  • games take a long time to develop
  • testing the games is essential to uncover problems
  • when developing a game, a team of people would be helpful
  • subject matter experts are required to supply the content


Books & Journals

  • Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper & Row. Chapter 4: The conditions of flow
  • Keller, J. M., & Suzuki, K. (1988). Use of the ARCS motivation model in courseware design. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.). Instructional designs for microcomputer courseware. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Malone, T. W., & Lepper, M. R. (1987). Making learning fun: A taxonomy of intrinsic motivations for learning. In R. E. Snow & M. J. Farr (Eds.). Aptitude, learning and instruction. Volume 3: Conative and affective process analysis. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Manpower and manning definitions for use in the NETC Claimancy. 2003
  • Navy total force manpower requirements handbook. 1993.



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Last updated October 17, 2004