Friday, 26 June 2009

Best Practice showcase – the Maven Trainers’ point of view

Following the APM Group’s 7th annual The Best Practice Showcase, Maven Training’s Client Relations Director, William Franklin, has asked Maven Training Trainers, a community of experts, to take some time to reflect on the most relevant finding from the event and share them with you. Here are some comments from our dear trainers Susan Tuttle, Tiffany Childs and Paul de Havilland.

Susan Tuttle, who delivered four out of our five Birds of a Feather sessions on the next steps for Project and Programme Management, said that the two questions that were most posed by the attendees were: “Project Managers – to professionalise or not to professionalise?” and “I need a training course on how to manage my manager – managing up and how that affects the effectiveness of a Project Manager”

Tiffany Childs was surprised at the level of interest/general appetite for P3O – several government organisations were keen to discuss and debate their current situation and were particularly looking for suggestions on how to improve the structure of their Portfolio/Programme/Project Offices. Given the current economic climate, the focus of conversation was on the need to maintain the functionality and credibility of the support office(s) while working with reduced access to resource. She goes on saying that there was little discussion on the upcoming launch of the P3O Practitioner qualification, but it would still be interesting to see what the uptake of this qualification will be, nonetheless – people seemed to be searching for answers!

As I'm a member of the APM, Paul de Havilland often mentions to delegates on courses the moves towards chartered status for project managers. He said he has not yet come across a delegate who's heard of this before my mentioning it! In fact, I find it's a minority of delegates who are even aware of the APM, as opposed to the PMI which seems to have much wider recognition – especially with people from multi-nationals. He also said that he’s personally enthusiastic about chartered status because, amongst other things, it could help to change decision makers' perceptions of project management to that of it being a discipline in its own right, with its own distinctive set of skills. One upshot of this might be for organisations to be more selective about who they entrust projects to – no one would consider the appointment of a an accountant with no qualifications or experience, yet this happens all the time in project management (he’s lost count of the number of nervous delegates who say 'I've just been moved into a project management role and I have no idea what it entails'). However, given the increasing profile of PMI, will even chartered status be enough to make the APM the natural 'professional body of choice' for UK project managers?

What about you? what did you think of the event? Please leave your thoughts and comments here!

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