Action learning for simulation design in project portfolios


  • Shankar Sankaran
  • Elyssebeth Leigh University of Technology Sydney
  • Julien Pollack


Action Research (AR) (alternatively called Acton Learning), Decision-making, Project Portfolio, Uncertainty


Accessing reliable data from within organisations is become more difficult as the business environment becomes ever more complex and there are increasing concerns about breaching 'commercial in confidence’ requirements. Research that explores important project portfolio management problems are similarly complex due to confidentiality issues faced by businesses. This paper discusses lessons learned from the development of a simulation called HOOSHMAND-1 (meaning ‘Intelligent’ in Persian) in response to the question: how could an Action Learning approach help to develop a more robust simulation as a research method?

It explains how several cycles of Action Learning contributed to the development of a role play simulation which now aids in learning about decision making processes in complicated and complex conditions while making decisions on project portfolios. The process delivered a new research tool and demonstrated how appropriate use of Action Learning cycles can enable researchers to conduct innovative research when real world contexts are not readily accessible.



How to Cite

Shalbafan, S., Sankaran, S., Leigh, E., & Pollack, J. . (2021). Action learning for simulation design in project portfolios. Action Learning and Action Research Journal, 27(2), 65–91. Retrieved from