Tag Archives: PMI Credentials

Project Controls Round-Up Melbourne, Australia and the World

During the last couple of months whilst we have been busy updating our PMP, CAPM and PMI-SP training materials to align with the new PMI examinations lots has been happening on the project controls world.

AIPM have re-launched the Project Controls Community of Practice

The aim of the PC-COP is to provide a direct link between all of the various specialist groups and the more general project management community and is planned as a free to join open forum. Currently centred in Melbourne, the plan is to expand nationally. To get on the mailing list and/or contribute email Mark.Ruffell-hazell[at]defence.gov.au

PMOz introduces more innovation and excitement

The PMOz conference in Melbourne on the 17th and 18th September is shaping up to be a really engaging and fun event – Offering the highest intensity of PDUs of any Australian conference this is a not to be missed opportunity, see: www.pmoz.com.au One of PMOz’s core themes is project controls.

Having said its ‘not to be missed’, unfortunately the dates clash with an ISO Committee meeting in Sweden where I will be representing Australia and working on the development of a proposed standard for Project, Program and Portfolio Governance.

Planning Planet Guild News:

PP now has an area on the site for Guild questions and weekly news updates The Guild of Project Controls (GPC) Forum – Chris Carson the Chief Editor brings us all up to date and occasionally, PP will also give updates some of which are pending… http://www.planningplanet.com/forums/guild-project-controls-gpc
The Guild Standards have so far received great reviews.

PRINCE2 & APM Group Qualifications

In what is likely to be the biggest shake-up in project management good practice in 13 years, the UK Cabinet Office is partially privatising its good practice guidance materials in a new joint venture with Axelos, a subsidiary of the UK based Capita group.

So far nothing has been announced regarding the existing international ‘ecosystem’ of training providers APMG has carefully cultivated since its inception 13 years ago. Currently / formerly APMG accredits the very successful PRINCE2, ITIL, MSP and Agile Project Management Practitioner examinations amongst many others. What impact the Capita behemoth have on these certifications is anyone’s guess.

Axelos’s stated strategy is to exploit “the relational aspect of play linking human activity with the activity of the world”, in other words, ‘gamifying’ learning so that it sinks into people’s brains faster. If they are focussed on “investing and developing new products and delivering new methods of learning” – who will be the examining body? Will APMG continue in that role? And what of the existing training providers?

Axelos is building towards becoming fully operational in January 2014 and will be in listening mode over the next few months, working alongside product users, trainers and examiners to gather together their invaluable expertise: “With thoughtful investment and innovative learning techniques, we are looking forward to developing this unique suite of management tools.” All I can say is watch this space……

Deltec buys Acumen

On the 15th July – Deltek, a leading global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for professional services firms and government contractors, announced that it had acquired Acumen. Acumen offers innovative project planning, analytics and risk management solutions that help companies develop achievable and profitable projects from start to finish. See more at: http://www.projectacumen.com/news-item/deltek-acquires-acumen/#sthash.IaM000bj.dpuf

Governance and Controls Symposium – Canberra

The 2014 Governance and Controls Symposium in Canberra is being hosted by the UNSW @ Canberra (formally ADFA). A range of international and local experts will be speaking. Lock in the dates: 6 – 7th May – more news in a couple of weeks time.

AACEi launches a new scheduling credential

The Certified Scheduling Technician certification program has been established to give less experienced professionals the opportunity to advance their scheduling skills, knowledge, and professional development; and be distinguished as a Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) prior to obtaining the prerequisite 8 years of relevant experience necessary to become certified as a PSP (Planning & Scheduling Professional). The PSP is also offered by AACE International. We are investigating the viability of offering training for this credential. More later

That’s all for now…

Project Management Certifications

Picking the optimum project management certification to advance your career is difficult. Ed Naughton, Director General IPMI (Ireland) has published the following analysis in his “Project Management Trends” newsletter:

This of course raises the question as to which project management accreditation the recruiting company or HR manager prefers. Quite frankly, our experience is that very often there is a distinct lack of understanding by those hiring, as to the relative merits of the credentials that are most commonly considered. The below table provides a comparison of offerings from the main providers (IPMI train both PMP and IPMA certifications).

Cert_Comparison

What, in a nutshell, are the distinguishing features between the three different accreditations. Some schools of thought like to summarise succinctly as follows:

  • IPMA – Competence based
  • PMI – Knowledge based (with a minimal ‘time served’ requirement)
  • APMG – Methodology based & does not require ‘time served’ or address Behavioural skills

When trying to determine which certification is best for your requirements, talk to a reputable organisation that understands the difference between entry-level exam-based PM certifications, and the advanced certifications that can correlate to increased project and business success.

We concur with the summary.  AIPM’s RegPM was not considered as it has little relevance in Ireland! RegPM is a competency assessment where the trainee pays a qualified assessor to review their competence and based on the assessor’s report the certification is awarded. Importantly RegPM does not test the underpinning knowledge of the candidate, just the workplace behaviours and outcomes. AIPM and IPMA are working to align their certifications. For more on competency see: WP1056 Competency

For more on the PMP and other PMI credentials see: http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/Training-PMI_Framework.html#PMI_Cert

PMI’s 2013 ‘Pulse of the Profession’ Survey

PMI’s 2013 ‘Pulse of the Profession’ Survey makes interesting reading, particularly given most of the world is in or near recession. PMI predicts that between 2010 and 2020, 15.7 million new project management roles will be created globally across seven project-intensive industries. China and India will lead the growth in project management, generating approximately 8.1 million and 4 million project management roles through 2020, respectively.

Along with job growth, there will be a significant increase in the economic footprint of the project management profession which is expected to grow by USD$6.61 trillion. This enormous anticipated growth, along with higher-than average salaries, will make the next seven years an opportune time for professionals and job-seekers to build project management skills.

The squeeze on talent has already started! PMI’s Pulse of the Profession shows that high-performing organizations don’t just emphasise strategy and improve efficiency. They cultivate talent resources to deliver successful projects and programs. With that talent, they can reduce risk, increase stability, improve growth and build a strong competitive advantage.

In contrast, poorly performing organisations that don’t see talent as part of the success equation – they believe the job market is a bottomless pit of skilled people that can be bought in as needed. This puts their projects and their organizations at risk! Whilst more and more successful organisations have adopted talent management as a core competency, many others fail to invest in skilled project management talent and talent development initiatives, and this shows in their performance.

The contrast is stark – high performing organisations are likely to find some $20 million at risk for every 1$billion invested in projects, whereas low performing organisations place $280 million at risk, over 10 time the amount.

The low-performing organizations – those which complete 60% or fewer projects on time, on budget and within scope – are significantly less likely to provide a defined career path for project managers, a process to develop project management competency, and / or training on project management tools and techniques. Poaching talent is a zero sum game that simply drives up costs for everyone.

As a result of this lack of investment, a talent gap exists in project management. A large number of skilled practitioners are reaching retirement age, organisations that train staff hold onto staff and the rest are going to find recruitment becoming increasingly difficult. Talent simply does not grow on trees – skills need developing and nurturing within the organisations that need them.

The reason this matters is that at a time when project success rates are declining and risks are increasing, organisational leadership needs to fill an anticipated 15.7 million new project management roles worldwide by 2020. If they don’t, $344.08 billion in GDP will be at risk – and that’s not even counting the $135 million that organizations already risk for every $1 billion spent on projects.

The ‘high performers’ achieve their results through a combination of good governance and good management. They see project, program and portfolio management as strategic capabilities needed to invest in their organisation’s future. They recognise process improvement and talent management are the two key elements that need investment to deliver outcomes. And they use well proven governance and management processes such as requiring active sponsors (79% of project have active sponsors in high performing organisations -v- 43% in low performing organisations).

Talent management needs investments in selection, training, mentoring and coaching; ideally from internal resources but when necessary using external help to kick-start the development of the internal capabilities. (see more on mentoring and training)

Are you and your team ready to make talent management a strategic priority? Download:
PMI’s Pulse of the Profession™ In-Depth Report: Talent Management,  and
PMI’s Project Management Skills Gap Reportand see how you can build your organization’s success – one project manager at a time. To help PMI have developed a sophisticated career framework, see: http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/Training-PMI_Framework.html#CareerCentral

How useful are BOKs?

We have the PMBOK® Guide, the APM BoK and many other BoKs and standards ranging from ISO 21500 to the PMI Practice standards.

We personally think they are useful and commit a significant amount of volunteer time to developing standards through PMI and ISO; as are certifications to demonstrate a person has a good understanding of the relevant BoK (and we make money out of running our training courses).

However, we are fully aware that passing a knowledge based credential does not demonstrate competency (and that passing a competency based assessment does not demonstrate transferable knowledge – both are needed see: Developing Competency).

We are also aware that too many organisations place too much emphasis on ‘ticking boxes’ rather then taking time to assess people or optimise solutions. The easy tick in the box may avoid ownership of a problem but also tends to avoid the solution itself……

For these reasons we commend the Association for Project Management (APM – UK, publisher of the APM BoK) for publishing a short video, based on a talk given by our friend and colleague, Dr. Jon Whitty to the APM in Reading UK in Nov last year. I hope it starts you thinking.

See the video: http://www.apm.org.uk/news/courageous-conversation#.UXE_pLXfCSp

PMI Standards Round-Up

PMI StandardsThe three standards released by PMI at the beginning of this year were the:

PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition
Standard for Portfolio Management Third Edition
Standard for Program Management Third Edition

As a consequence, the global PM community now has a set of basic standards that will remain stable for the next four years through to the next cyclical update scheduled for late 2016. The tight integration between all three standards means minimal duplication of ideas and best practices.

Whilst each of the PMI Credentials tends to focus on one of these three standards, the key thing from an organisational perspective is they are integrated, and after this round of upgrades better integrated than ever!

The Portfolio Management standard focuses on the investment decisions needed to select the best projects and programs to start and maintain to achieve the organisations strategy within its resource constraints. Selecting the ‘right projects and programs to do’.

For guidance on ‘doing them right’, the Program Management standard focuses on the business outcome and integration aspects of program management and the PMBOK® Guide covers off the basic skills and capabilities needed to deliver the project outputs efficiently.

Each standard can be used in isolation; however, the real power lays in using all three as a framework for organisational improvement – Creating an effective Project Delivery Capability (download our PDC White Paper). The final missing link, PMI’s updated OPM3 standard will be released later this year.

This means that organisations interested in developing a best practice capability across the ‘enterprise’ aimed at achieving the maximum sustainable value from its investment in projects and programs now have an ideal opportunity to buy into current thinking via these standards and time to develop improved processes.

We have enjoyed working through the standards and writing this series of posts on the improvements (for previous posts click here) – but 4 months down the track we now consider these ‘new’ standards business as usual, have consigned the ‘old’ standards to history, and will make this our last post on the updates. Our very last PMP and CAPM course based on the ‘old’ standards will be run at the end of May (course details) and then we will be 100% aligned to the new and improved versions. We encourage everyone else to do the same.

PMBOK 5 – Some final thoughts

PMI_PMBOK5We are now well into the process of updating materials and writing new questions based on the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition – From being something new, the book is now becoming increasingly familiar:

  • Our daily PMP question has had a 5th Edition reference for the last 3 months, you can follow the questions on Twitter: see today’s question (the questions are good for PMP, CAPM and PMI-SP)
  • Updates to our CAPM, PMP and PMI-SP courses are planned and under development – our new Mentored Email™ courses will start in late April.
  • Our last classroom course based on the 4th Edition will be at the end of May 
  • The PMI examination date changes are:
    - CAPM 1st July
    - PMP 1st August
    - PMI-SP 1st September
  • The initial rush of people interested in buying the 5th Edition has subsided and we are effectively out of stock of the 4th Edition. 

Overall as we become more familiar with the 5th Edition we are finding it to be a significant improvement. There are certainly a few issues and problems highlighted in earlier posts in this series (view the full series) but the enhancements significantly outweigh the odd regression.

One of the minor but important improvements is he ranges for cost estimates are back to the industry standards of -25% to +75% for ROM and -5% to +10% for detailed estimates. This pessimistic shift in the ranges more accurately reflects reality.

The rearrangement of the first three chapters is also significant and is aligned with the standards for Program and Portfolio management:

  • Chapter 1 sets the scene with:
    - definitions of a project and project management,
    - discussion of the relationships between project, program and portfolio management, in the context of organizational project management,- Discussions of the relationship between project management, operations management, strategy and business value
    - the role of the project manager.
  • Chapter 2 focuses on organisational influences including the influence of project stakeholders and governance on the project team and the overall project lifecycle.
  • Chapter 3 looks at project management processes and the structure of the rest of the PMBOK.

The reorganisation of this front section, facilitated in part by the move of the ANSI standard to Annex A1 is probably the quiet achievement in the standard. The section flows far more sensibly and logically than in previous editions.

In conclusion – the quality of the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition has been enhanced by hundreds of small changes that make the work of transitioning our course materials hard work and will certainly require some hard work from anyone who has to update their exam preparation.

So a word of warning: If you are trained for the current exam make sure you sit before the change over dates – PMI do not have any flexibility in the timing of the system changes!! This includes re-sits. After the change over date, all new exams are based on the new standards.

But once through these changes we certainly have a better book for the next 4 years and the development team deserve congratulations for a job well done.

PMBOK 5th Edition some key changes #1

We are starting work on the updates to our training courses (for the change dates see: Examination Updates) and rather like most of the enhancements in the 5th Edition (due for publication on 31st December). Over the next few months we will be posting a number of commentaries on the changes and improvements. This post looks at some of the key changes.

The new PMBOK® guide now has 47 processes (up from 42) and a new Knowledge Area:

Four planning processes have been added: Plan Scope Management (back from the 3rd Edition), Plan Schedule Management, Plan Cost Management, and Plan Stakeholder Management. This change provides clearer guidance for the concept that each major Knowledge Area has a need for the project team to actively think through how the related processes will be planned and managed, and that each of the subsidiary plans are integrated through the overall project management plan, which is the major planning document for guiding further project planning and execution.

The addition of a new knowledge area called ‘Stakeholder Management’ has been created making 10 Knowledge areas. In keeping with the evolution of thinking regarding stakeholder management within projects, this new Knowledge Area has been added addressing Project Stakeholder Management. Information on stakeholder identification and managing stakeholder expectations has been moved from Project Communications Management to this new Knowledge Area to expand upon and increase the focus on the importance of appropriately engaging project stakeholders in the key decisions and activities associated with the project. New processes were added for Plan Stakeholder Management and Control Stakeholder Engagement. We will be discussing this important initiative in later posts.

Data flows and knowledge management concepts have been enhanced:

The PMBOK® Guide now conforms to the DIKW (data, information, knowledge, wisdom) model used in the field of Knowledge Management. Information/Data is segregated into three phases:

Work Performance Data. The raw observations and measurements identified during the performance of the project work, such as measuring the percent of work physically completed.

Work Performance Information. The results from the analysis of the performance data, integrated across areas such as the implementation status of change requests, or forecasts to complete.

Work Performance Reports. The physical or electronic representation of work performance information compiled in project documents, intended to generate decisions, actions, or awareness.

Understanding the information in the reports and making wise decisions are functions of the competence of the individual manager reading the report and are therefore beyond the scope of a process (for more on effective communication visit our PM Knowledge Index )

Annex A1 – The Standard for Project Management of a Project created.

This new annex has been designed to serve as a standalone document. This positions the Standard for Project Management away from the main body of the PMBOK® Guide material allowing the evolution of the Body of Knowledge material to be separated from the actual Standard for Project Management. Chapter 3 remains as the bridge between Sections 1 and 2 and the Knowledge Area sections and introduces the project management processes and Process Groups as in the previous editions of the PMBOK® Guide.

More on the improvements next time – in the interim, from now onward our daily question will be Tweeted with reference to both the 4th and the 5th Editions of the PMBOK® Guide: see today’s question.