Tag Archives: PgMP

Most Effective Forms of Project Management Training

One of the findings from a recently conducted survey by project management training and consulting firm Project Management Solutions (led by Kent Crawford) was that not all forms of project management training are created equal – or are even effective.

The survey looked at three forms of training

  • Instructor-led classroom training
  • Blended training
  • Technology delivered training

Instructor-led classroom training ranked #1
69% of respondents rated it as the most effective method for a variety of reasons. These included the opportunity to network, to spontaneously ask questions and share experiences, and to learn in an environment that tries to mimic actual project team dynamics.

“The instructors are typically seasoned project managers who have a lot of war stories,” says Crawford. “They felt hearing lessons from someone who has the scars is invaluable.”

Blended Learning ranked #2
Blended techniques, which combine instructor led-classroom learning with some combination of self-directed e-learning, instructor-led e-learning, or technology-delivered training, ranked second, with 53% of respondents casting their vote.

Technology-delivered training ranked last.

  • 29% of respondents deemed self-directed e-learning to be worthwhile.
  • 27% considered instructor-led e-learning (such as webinars) to be valuable.
  • 20% think technology-delivered training (such as CD-ROMs or podcasts) is useful.

We wholeheartedly agree with these findings. Mosaic has always considered direct integration between trainees and an experienced project manager is critical. Whilst instructor led training is ideal, access to this form of training is limited by location, timing and cost. Our public classroom schedule is outlined at: http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/Training-Schedule.html

To overcome these limitations and paying for coffee at $5 per cup, we have developed our unique Mentored Email™ courses for the PMP, CAPM, PgMP and PMI-SP credentials. We feel Mentored Email™ offers the best of both worlds; you work at a speed that suits you in the home, office or on the train; but you interact continually with your course mentor via email or telephone. To see more on this unique and effective option see: http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/Training-Mentored.html

PgMP Credential Update

As at the 1st January 2012 the PgMP exam will become much more difficult! The new exam reflects a substantial refinement to the role of a Program Management Professional. The current exam is focused on 5 domains (Defining, Initiating, Planning, Executing and Closing the Program) which will be assembled under new Domain 2 “Program Life Cycle” as sub-domains with new domains, 1, 3, 4 and 5 added. Out of the total of 72 tasks in the new exam, 26 are new or have major revisions, and another 26 have minor changes. The structure of the new exam is:

1. Strategic Program Management
2. Program Life Cycle
     • Defining the Program
     • Initiating the Program
     • Planning the Program
     • Executing the Program
     • Controlling the Program
     • Closing the Program
3. Benefits Management
4. Stakeholder Management
5. Governance

The good news is people who pass their PgMP under the current regime maintain their PgMP status after the 1st January. There is no requirement to re-sit or upgrade an existing credential.

So if you were thinking that obtaining your PgMP would be a good career enhancing move, the smart option would be to pass your exam this year! To find out more about the changes and the options for becoming a PgMP this year, see: http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/Training-PgMP.html

Key roles within Project, Program and Portfolio Management

Project, Program and Portfolio management is frequently seen as a seamless part of a business. However, distinctly different skill sets, personal attributes and capabilities are needed in the different roles. This post suggests a framework that can be used to understand the differences.

Role 1 – Technical

Most people start on a project management career as a team member focused on technical work. Aspects of the role include:

  • Developing the skills to do the work
  • Solving technical problems
  • Supporting and engaging with fellow team members
  • Planning the work to be accomplished in the next day or two

The team leader is a skilled and experienced technician with additional responsibilities to ensure the others in the team can be successful. The team leader’s additional roles include:

  • Leading the team, leads by doing
  • Skills transfer to new team members
  • Resolving technical problems that are beyond individual team member’s skill sets
  • Planning the work for the team for the next week or two
  • Clearing road blocks and keeping project management informed.

Role 2 – Project Management

The step from team leader to project manager role is a career change. The project manager manages technicians by providing appropriate direction and leadership. Whilst technical understanding is important, the PM does not need to be a technician. For example, in many countries it is illegal for a construction project manager to install electrical wiring; this is a job for qualified electricians. Success for the PM lays in planning and managing the overall project he or she is responsible for and negotiating it through to a successful conclusion. Aspects of the role include:

  • Designing the project to efficiently deliver stakeholder requirements within acceptable time, cost, quality and risk parameters
  • Providing clear achievable and effective direction, leadership and motivation to the project teams through the team leaders
  • Helping team leaders develop their skills and their team members skills
  • Resolving stakeholder issues and problems across the spectrum of the project, usually through negotiation and communication
  • Planning the project work through to completion and then transitioning the plan into action
  • Acting as a buffer to protect the project team from undesirable external influence

Role 3 – Program Management / Project Director

Moving up the career ladder, the next career change is to the role of program manager or project director. The difference between these roles is the program manager will typically manage a range of projects across functions to achieve an organisational objective aligned with the organisations strategy. Whereas the Project Director has responsibility for the performance of project managers within a functional area; eg, the IT Department.

These are junior executive roles focused on achieving organisational objectives and creating value through the work of other managers. These managers, manage project managers. Success for a program manager is delivering organisational change and benefits. Aspects of the role include:

  • Defining strategies to achieve the organisation’s objectives
  • Initiating projects to deliver the required outputs
  • Providing clear achievable and effective direction, leadership and motivation to the project managers
  • Helping project managers develop their skills
  • Negotiating stakeholder issues and resolving problems at the organisational level
  • Planning the organisation’s work through to the achievement of the objective (minimum 1 to 2 years)
  • Helping other organisation executives appreciate the value of the program and ensuring the work is aligned with the evolving organisational objectives

Role 4 – Organisational Governance

Slightly to one side of the ‘doing’ of projects and programs the organisational governance structures are supported by portfolio management and PMOs. These management roles are focused on providing strategic advice to the executive. The portfolio manager assesses current and planned projects and programs on a routine basis to recommend the optimum mix for future resourcing. The PMO manager should be operating at the strategic level, providing input to the portfolio management process based on the performance of current projects and additionally providing input to the organisations overall governance structure. Whilst the PMO staff are frequently technical, the PMO manager needs to operate effectively at the executive levels of the organisation.

Success in these roles is being a ‘trusted advisor’ to the organisations executives. Aspects of the role include:

  • Defining appropriate governance processes to support the achievement of the organisation’s strategy
  • Selecting projects and programs to deliver the required outcomes
  • Negotiating resource and capacity issues and resolving problems at the organisational level
  • Planning the organisation’s work on an on-going basis (minimum 2 to 5 years)
  • Helping other organisation executives appreciate the value of the project and program portfolio and ensuring the work is aligned with the evolving organisational objectives

Whilst these four very different roles are frequently lumped under the one umbrella of project management, as this post has demonstrated, very different skill sets are required for each and transitioning from one role to another, needs to be treated as a career change.

For more information see:

PMI PgMP Examination Update

PMI’s Program Management Professional examination will be changing in 2012. PMI have recently completed an updated Role Delineation Study (RDS) focused on the work of Program Managers. The RDS has produced an revised description of the professional role of a PgMP, based on feedback from more than 1,100 program managers from 79 countries, 119 of whom held the PgMP credential.

The new RDS restructures the Program Management Performance Domains and Tasks and as a consequence, the three evaluations for the PgMP credential, the panel review, the examination, and the multi-rater assessment, are being updated to reflect these changes.

PMI are in the process of finalising these changes with a targeted release of the new examination globally on 1 January 2012.

Program Managers who are considering taking the exam in the near term are encouraged to complete their PgMP examination in the next few months using our current resources. For more information on the PgMP course see: http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/Training-PgM.html. This course is available world wide via our PgMP One-on-One Exam Prep Course.

Based on the updated PgMP Examination Content Outline, that will be released by PMI in the coming weeks, we will be updating our training and examination preparation courses. Our updated courses will be available in Q3 ready for the 2012 exam change.

PDU Update from PMI

PMI have announced major changes to improve and simplify the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) for all credential holders (other than CAPM).

From 1st March 2011, the number of PDU categories will be reduced to 6 and the reporting requirements simplified. These changes affect PMP, PgMP, PMI-SP and PMI-RMP credential holders.

To see more visit our new page at http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/Training-News_Old.html#NewPDU

PgMP Training Updated

We have updated our PgMP course offering to include a service where we cut an applicant’s CV to the PMI format using our Word Template and return the PMI version to the Applicant with a brief report on the additional information needed by PMI to complete their CV in the PMI format, plus suggestions for the multi-rater panel. Names in the CV and the multi-rater panel are cross linked by PMI. This initiative is expected to save PgMP applicants between 8 and 12 hours of effort.

For more information see our PgMP Home Page.

PgMP Course up and running

Mosaic’s Program Management Professional course is up and running! Developing a cost effective delivery method that accommodates the busy working life of most program managers has not been simple.

Our unique One-on-One mentored delivery model is designed to support PgMP candidate through the work needed to achieve the three phases of the PgMP certification process at a pace that suites the requirements of each individual. We offer the resources and support needed to pass: all you have to do is the work!

To achieve this, we have replaced class time with a scheduled telephone call from one of Mosaic’s mentors at each step through the course. Using VOIP we can deliver this support cost effectively world-wide, but at present only have English language capability.

For more on the PgMP course and our One-on-One delivery methodology see: http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/Training-PgMP_One-on-One.html