The activity deals with the steps that have to be followed during a project. The students are asked to develop a prototype product (“Instant Soup”) that they will then have to sell to their colleagues.

Aims and objectives

  • to learn how to present a project
  • to discuss the main aspects of a „project cycle“
  • to introduce the concepts of „project cycle“ and „project management“
  • to connect the results of the workshop to available project management experiences in projects of the participants

Material needed

  • Little snacks
  • Balloons
  • Sheets of paper
  • Pins
  • Paper clips
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Glue
  • Flipchart
  • Fake dollars (5 per student)


Get the materials ready and divide them according to the number of groups (4-5 students per group).

Step by step description

  1. Start with an icebreaker activity. You can find a lot of ideas in the aces Toolbox.
  2. Give a short introduction outlining the purpose of the exercise and check the expectations of the participants.
  3. Split the group into smaller teams (4-5 students). Each group should find a name and is given a package including the snacks, balloons, white sheets of paper, tape, scissors, pins and paper clips.
  4. The teams are asked to produce (or „cook“) a prototype product („dish“) using the materials. This prototype would later be produced on a larger scale and then sold. Give the teams 5 minutes. Then they present the prototype to you. Once you have approved it the participants start producing on a large scale and they prepare a marketing strategy in order to sell the product later.
  5. After 15 minutes the selling activity starts: Hand out to each participant 5 fake dollars. They are only allowed to buy the product from another team (not their own) and they should try to sell as many products of their own group as possible. The selling activity should last about 7 minutes.
  6. Close the selling activity and ask the teams to present their products and their sales revenue.

Reflection with the students / questions for debriefing

Get all students together in a circle and pose the following questions:

  • What did you observe during the exercise?
  • What was surprising? Or frustrating?
  • What were the critical moments?
  • Which competences were useful during the course of the exercise?
  • If we would repeat it, what would you do differently?
  • Are you currently involved in a project?
  • Is the experience connected to your reality?
  • How could you use what you have learnt in daily life and in implementing the projects you are involved in?

Suggestions for adaptations and variations

As a follow-up activity you could give a theoretical input on project cycles and project management (see further tips).

Reference / original source of the method

Luciana Bold Popescu facilitated this method in her workshop of the same name at the aces Kick-Off Meeting 2013 in Bucharest, Romania.

Further tips and resources

You can find a great number of icebreaker activities in the „Methods“ section of the aces Toolbox.

Survival Kit. Managing Multilateral Projects in the Lifelong Learning Programme