Thursday, 27 August 2009

Tailoring for your organizations wants and needs!

By Andre Palmer, Client Relations at Maven Training

I was at dinner at a random restaurant in central London recently and my friend was asking about project management training for his team. A guy sitting at the table beside us leaned forward and asked whether we were talking about PRINCE2 by any chance and what our thoughts on the methodology were. At that point, it dawned on me that when people talk about project management, they automatically think about PRINCE2.

For the fact that PRINCE2 is easily the most recognized project management method this side of the Atlantic, organizations have put entire teams through PRINCE2 training over the last few years with Maven with the aim of making them more competent. Companies are also taken in by the formal qualification that comes with the training – they see the ‘badge’ as value for money. When all this is stripped away though, organizations have to contend with the fact that a PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner qualification per se does not necessarily make project staff manage projects more effectively.

For this reason, more and more corporate clients have been moving towards investing in specially tailored project management workshops/courses to support embedding the PRINCE2 methodology and best practice. Corporate clients are beginning to realize that while PRINCE2 can be used to manage any project under the sun, the real benefits come from its effective implementation in the organization. To this end, organizations are appreciating the section in the new version of the PRINCE2 manual that addresses ‘tailoring’ for example.

We at Maven have been one step ahead of the game for a long time though and have developed hundreds of bespoke events to support the use of PRINCE2 in different project environments for both the public and private sectors. These events have been specifically designed working closely with each client in order to fully understand the level of maturity in the particular project environment so that we are able to yield the greatest possible return on the investment.

We see the PRINCE2 qualification as just the beginning and gone are the days when ‘sheep dipping’ the whole organization was perceived as an effective approach to project management. The real test is whether projects are being delivered on time, within budget and with the forecasted benefits. If an honest assessment shows that your company is ‘failing the test’, then the expertise of Maven training is just what you need.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Current Professional Opinions on Project Management Training & Qualifications

Our friends at Arras People – project management & project office recruitment specialists – Carried out a very interesting survey over the last week through the help fo twitter, Linkedin and their blog asking how project management qualifications relate to project management job roles.

The survey was both a mixed open and closed affair giving people the freedom to comment on what their thoughts were on the importance of project management qualifications.

When asked "Please pick a statement that closely matches your motivation for taking a qualification", over 85% of respondents gave answers that reflected on the enhancing virtues a PM qualification provides (i.e. 'Gives me an advantage when applying for new roles', 'Shows that I am a fully competent PM professional').

Perhaps most intriguing were the responses to the question, "Has the qualification been beneficial to you in any tangible way?" Nearly 60% of respondents answered 'Yes', while 18% answered 'No' and 23% stated they were 'Unsure'. Some 'Yes' responses would seem to speak to the importance of project management hiring personnel place on qualifications.

To read the full article and explore the other survey results such as 'missed opportunities from not taking qualifications' and 'biggest motivator in not taking the qualification' please click here

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Fancy a career move into programme Management?

Project managers wishing to take their careers to the next stage often think about becoming programme managers. Although it can be a successful career move, it’s important to understand the differences between the two disciplines. Some people mistakenly believe that programme management is about running groups of projects, but programmes and projects are quite different by nature and require distinct skill sets.

As programmes are concerned with transformational change, they are ongoing and do not have a definite duration like projects. Project managers wanting to move into programme management must be prepared to be less hands-on.

While projects focus on outputs and have a controlled start through to controlled end, programmes focus on benefits and will be disbanded once these benefits have been realised.

Melanie Franklin, CEO, Maven Training, has helped many public sector organisations improve their project and programme management capability. Some of the organisations she has worked with include Knowsley Borough Council, the Children’s Work force Development Council, the London Pension Funds and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Melanie says: “Projects are about doing things right, whereas programmes are about doing the right things. Projects are expected to deliver outputs, deliverables or products to time, cost and quality. On the other hand Programmes are about leading and embedding change, and they introduce new ways of working.”
She says it’s valuable for project managers and programme managers to understand how their roles complement each other.

"Programme managers who have taken the PRINCE2® qualification are able to communicate with and understand project managers more easily. Projects are usually part of a programme, whether project managers know it or not, so the MSP™ (Managing Successful Programmes) qualification gives project managers a breadth of understanding. It helps them recognise how their hard work on a project fits into context.”

Friday, 14 August 2009

Maven Training partner with Women in Technology

We are please to announce that Maven Training have become official partners with Women in Technology. Our relationship has gone from strength to strength in 2009 with Women in Technology heavily supporting our 'PRINCE2® for Girls Initiative' which was an astounding success.

In accordance with this, we are now offering a 10% discount to members of Women in technology in gaining crucial priject and programme management qualifications to secure that next job opportunity.

Abit more information on Women in Technology is a networking and recruitment organisation committed to helping women build successful and satisfying careers in the technology profession and since their launch in 2005, they have grown into a network of over 5,200 individuals. They run regular networking events and training courses, host an online job board and provide a recruitment service for employers and job seekers.

Lastly we would like to say to any organisations who are in support of personal development and education/training to give us a call or drop us an email in becoming an official partner of the future!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

BCS Interview – Melanie Franklin and Emma Jones on the PRINCE2® 2009 changes»

The recent refresh of PRINCE2® has led to changes in the content of training courses and exams. Maven Training’s CEO Melanie Franklin and the Chief PRINCE2® Examiner Emma Jones were invited by the BCS (British computer Society) to explain what has been altered.

Click here for more BCS podcasts