Default – Parallel Project Training Blog | APM Project Management Articles, Information and News from ParallelProjectTraining.com http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com Tue, 14 Mar 2017 16:54:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.3 How To Build a Motivated Project Team http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/default/how-to-build-a-motivated-project-team/ http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/default/how-to-build-a-motivated-project-team/#respond Tue, 20 Dec 2016 14:43:10 +0000 http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/?p=2299 We all know that projects are successful if the right people are involved and if those people are well-motivated to make the project a success. The people involved will include those who initiated the project, the customer and end-users and, of course, the people who will manage the work and do the work required to…

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We all know that projects are successful if the right people are involved and if those people are well-motivated to make the project a success. The people involved will include those who initiated the project, the customer and end-users and, of course, the people who will manage the work and do the work required to deliver the end-product. So let’s consider how a project manager can help those people to all work together more effectively.

A project team could be composed of a tight-knit group that know each other well and have worked together before. Or it could be comprised of several teams in different organisations and different countries who may never meet in person. Or any type of team between these two extremes but regardless of the type of team(s) involved it is essential that there is a clear aim for the projects and that everyone understands what that aim is and how it will be accomplished according to the project parameters (cost, time, quality etc).

The people are important but, obviously, you also need a good project plan, a well-defined risk management process and an effective communication plan, but assuming you have those in place you will need to ensure the project team are well-motivated if they are to work well together.

Identify Strengths & Weaknesses

It is important to identify the strengths of individual team members and the team as a whole so that you can build on those strengths to better motivate everyone. You can motivate individuals by recognising and playing to their strengths – for example, assigning tasks to those most able and willing to complete them to a high standard. When tasks, especially dependent tasks, are well done this has a positive knock-on effect on subsequent tasks helping to raise the standard of the work completed, which creates a good motivational cycle by building confidence and enthusiasm for the project.

You also need to identify the individual and team weaknesses if everyone is to pull together. Note all weaknesses can be overcome, for instance, a geographically dispersed team will always suffer from not being in the same location but recognising that as a weakness can help raise awareness of the potential issues. By acknowledging issues from the outset this can help motivate the team because they will be able to see that those leading the project understand difficulties that might arise.

By building on strengths and acknowledging and tackling weaknesses you can build a team that understands the key to successful projects and is capable of delivering even the most complex projects successfully

Listen To Concerns & Ideas

 

Always listen to the team’s input, their concerns and ideas, because this understanding is also motivational. If you want to get a feel for what their concerns really are – ask the group the following sorts of questions:

  • Is the project properly funded?
  • Does the team have the necessary skills and experience?
  • What are the benefits of doing the project?
  • How enthusiastic are people about the new project?
  • Have team members worked together before
  • Has the team done similar projects before?
  • Who is responsible for providing estimates for tasks and setting deadlines?

To further motivate and enthuse the team, encourage discussions about both the benefits and risks of the project, and welcome team input and ideas about how tasks can best be completed.

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What is Parallel About http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/default/what-is-parallel-about/ http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/default/what-is-parallel-about/#respond Mon, 22 Feb 2016 14:49:14 +0000 http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/?p=2206 This short video explains some of our values and the course we offer. Similar Posts:Is this really the best planning book ever published? Which Project Management Qualification is the Best? What makes for a great project management training course?

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This short video explains some of our values and the course we offer.

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Don’t You Just Love An Infographic? http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/default/dont-you-just-love-an-infographic/ http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/default/dont-you-just-love-an-infographic/#comments Tue, 03 Nov 2015 10:58:19 +0000 http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/?p=1857 Similar Posts:Project Management Timeline Infographic Re-visiting Rodney Turners Goal Method Matrix With an Agile Frame of Mind Professional Project Managers: Do You Need Them?

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Is this really the best planning book ever published? http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/default/is-this-really-the-best-planning-book-ever-published/ http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/default/is-this-really-the-best-planning-book-ever-published/#respond Mon, 14 Sep 2015 14:15:00 +0000 http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/?p=2177 Project controls, which include topics such as planning, cost management, risk management, earned value management and change control, is a much-neglected part of project management development. Whilst there is plenty of  best practice guidance for project, programme and even portfolio managers, there is very little for the project controls professional beyond an introductory level. The…

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large_Planning guide cover_0Project controls, which include topics such as planning, cost management, risk management, earned value management and change control, is a much-neglected part of project management development. Whilst there is plenty of  best practice guidance for project, programme and even portfolio managers, there is very little for the project controls professional beyond an introductory level.

The APM has just launched a new book called “Planning, Scheduling,  Monitoring and Control” which they claim might be “the best planning book ever published?” Can this be true?

This book claims to:

  1. Covers the basics and advanced approaches of project planning and control.
  2. Is easy to read with simple language and drawings.
  3. Covers practical techniques as well at theory.

So how does it meet these criteria?

Covers the basics and advanced scheduling approaches.

The book certainly explains the basics well and takes it beyond the principles in the other APM documents. For example it demonstrates the relationships between the product, work and cost breakdown structures in an effective way. Again it explains the management of dependencies and interfaces between work packages in a clear and simple way, highlighting good and bad practice in the development of the project network diagram.  All this is presented in an easy to read format, with a good flow between the topics, unconstrained by some of the process models seen in other bodies of knowledge.

Advanced topics

The book also explains some advance topics extremely well. It was encouraging to see a good discussion of the management of interfaces between different projects i.e. when one project delivers something required to complete another. And some new areas look quite exciting including the use of buffers (from critical chain methods), the use of line of balance and  time chainage (a new topic for me). It is admirable to see a chapter on agile planning. This section is quite brief but the integration of traditional methods with agile is a real area for future development and we would like to see more on this topic in future editions. It would also be nice to see example burn down charts and  Fibonacci estimating techniques explained in future editions.

Is easy to read and use, with simple language and drawings

What really makes this book stand out is the simple language, consistent terminology and drawings. Throughout the text keywords are defined clearly and consistently and the text does not introduce new terms without explaining them. You don’t feel like you have to fire up google to look up terms you don’t understand. Although one exception is the explanation of a Tornado Chart which could do with a few more words.

The drawings are very good, in full colour and well labeled and annotated. The take you through the project control process step by step.

Covers practical techniques.

The book aims to be a practical guide; and it certainly fulfills this brief. It covers some to the key topics that are important in maintaining a project schedule such as when to rebaseline a plan vs replanning from scratch. How to measure percentage complete when using earned value management and how to monitor and measure progress on a work package. These are practical nitty gritty topics that are important for practical application of effective project control.

So it seems that this book meets its brief but could anything be improved? Well yes; the chapters on estimating and cost control are a bit brief.  It would be good to see a bit more on the use of a standard cost breakdown structure to collect and improve estimates across an organisation. A discussion on integrating cost reporting and schedule reporting using control accounts would have been good. In particular how to join the schedule and the cost plan. Getting the planner and the cost engineer to talk has always been a problem and maybe this will follow in the next edition of the book.

So is this the best project planning book in the world? Probably.

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PMP Certification from £1095 with early bird discount http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/default/pmp-certification-from-1095-with-early-bird-discount/ http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/default/pmp-certification-from-1095-with-early-bird-discount/#respond Wed, 09 Sep 2015 13:09:40 +0000 http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/?p=2171 Parallel Project Training has launched early bird discount for its PMP certification training in London. Discount is available for individuals or organisations who book a place 10 days before the start of the course. Parallel Project training offers first-class PMP certification training using trainers with over 15 years experience delivering PMP courses. Our classes are…

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Parallel Project Training has launched early bird discount for its PMP certification training in London. Discount is available for individuals or organisations who book a place 10 days before the start of the course.

Parallel Project training offers first-class PMP certification training using trainers with over 15 years experience delivering PMP courses. Our classes are highly interactive and our aim is to help you fully understand guide to the project management body of knowledge integrates into a systematic approach for projects. We avoid death by PowerPoint and deliver our courses in interactive and participative way, which helps you understand the overall structure philosophy of the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge.

Parallel Project Training is a registered education training provider with the PMI as such the course material and trainers have been approved to deliver this course. The course includes five days of contact time with trainer and a full mock exam on the last day of the course. This mock exam is extremely useful in helping you understand how close you are passing the PMP certification. We have a very good track record in supporting individuals preparing and completing PMP certification course.

Course material includes a personal copy of the guide the project management body of knowledge, which is sent out 10 days before the course, detailed training notes which explain how the body of knowledge works the practical way, sample questions for each section including explanations of the solution and a full mock exam. The course also provides ongoing support as you prepare for the PMP via our online study group.

Based in London this course is ideally placed the people from within the UK and those from overseas who want to combine training course with a visit to one of the world’s most cosmopolitan and interesting cities. The course uses high-class venues on Buckingham Palace road which is right at the heart of London.

The early bird discount is nontransferable and non-refundable and payment is due at the time of booking.  To get the early bird discount you just need to complete the registration form on our website and discount will automatically apply to your booking.

Sections covered in the course include

  1. An overview of project management and links to the guide to project management body of knowledge.
  2. Define what project is the project is not
  3. Defining project management including progressive elaboration and the project management environment
  4. Examining areas related to project management including portfolio management and programme management together with the role of program office
  5. Exploring the project life-cycle and different types of organisations and stakeholders that you can meet project organisations
  6. Adapting the project management processes including initiation, planning, directing and managing the work, monitoring controlling the work and closing the project.
  7. Managing project scope include gathering requirements define the work breakdown structures, validating the project scope and controlling the project scope.
  8. Managing controlling time including creating a project schedule, defining project the sequencing the activities, considering resources, estimating project duration developing the project schedule and defining the project timeline.
  9. Controlling costs and the project including planning costs, estimating costs, establishing cost baseline, measuring project performance, forecasting the overall cost the project, and reporting.
  10. Controlling project quality including quality planning, quality control and quality assurance.
  11. Human resource management including preparing a human resource plan, acquiring the human resources necessary, developing the project team and managing the project team.
  12. Introducing project communications including preparing a project communications plan, managing the implementation of a communications plan and reporting on project performance.
  13. Managing project risk including identifying project risk, assessing project risk is in qualitative and quantitative techniques, identifying appropriate responses and implementing the effectiveness of those responses on the overall risk profile.
  14. Procurement management including planning procurements for the project, completing that procurement strategy monitoring those procurement routes.
  15. Stakeholder management including identifying stakeholders, assessing their needs, preparing a communications plan and following the plan through to completion.

To book a place on the course visit the PMP Certification page on the Parallel website

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Building a Project Management Method using the Praxis Framework http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/default/using-the-praxis-project-management-framework/ http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/default/using-the-praxis-project-management-framework/#respond Tue, 08 Sep 2015 15:20:45 +0000 http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/?p=2168   Several years ago we discussed the value of a project management framework  as a way of generating a consistent approach to project management. Since then we have see more and more organisations adopting frameworks and getting benefits of improved governance, more consistent project delivery and generally less chaos and confusion. Challenges implementing a project management framework…

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how-to-build-a-methode-usin

 

Several years ago we discussed the value of a project management framework  as a way of generating a consistent approach to project management. Since then we have see more and more organisations adopting frameworks and getting benefits of improved governance, more consistent project delivery and generally less chaos and confusion.

Challenges implementing a project management framework

However adopting a project management framework the first time can be challenging for many organisations. They were unsure where to start and which elements they need. Many of the published approaches such as PRINCE2 and the APM or PMI Guides to the Bodies of Knowledge are too high level to apply directly. Often to overcome these problems organisations would employ consultants to spend many hours writing a project management framework for them. This is neither cost-effective nor is the framework very specific to the needs of the organisations. However this all change with the Praxis framework. The Praxis framework is an open source project management method which draws from different bodies of knowledge; to provide a consistent framework for project management. The nice thing about praxis framework is that most of the work is already done and those responsible for implementing the framework can focus on tailoring the model to fit their organisation.

So what is in the Praxis framework?

The praxis framework is organised into five areas. These are;

Knowledge which describes what project managers need to know in order to manage a project. Many of these were already familiar to project managers including stakeholder management, risk management, cost management and scheduling.

Processes which define step-by-step approaches to project management tasks such as defining the budget or preparing the project management plan. This section also includes template documentation such as the business case, risk registers and change control forms.

The third part the competency framework which can help identify how competence gaps in applying the knowledge and processes described above. This is very helpful in identifying those parts of project management individuals need to develop.

Fourth part is an organisational maturity model which looks at how well project management is applied across the organisation at a programme, portfolio or project level. This is helpful for organisations trying to understand where organisations need to target their development efforts.

The final section is a library which contains a comprehensive description of the models tools and techniques used in project management.

Where to start applying the Praxis framework?

But where do you start if you want to adopt a project management method based on the Praxis framework. Let’s set out a step by step guide

Step 1 Understand where you are as an organisation. The first step is to  understand your own strengths and weaknesses. The best place to start applying the Praxis framework is an assessment project management competence for individuals or an assessment the overall project maturity. These assessments will indicate which areas of project management need development and they can be cross-referenced with the knowledge and process areas in the Praxis framework.

Step 2 Select the element of the Framework that you need. The Praxis framework covers the entire range of project, programme and portfolio management. This is going to be too complex for most organisations so you need to identify how to tailor the framework to fit the needs of your organisation. This should be based on the outcome of the needs analysis conducted in step 1. From this you should have a list of elements that you need, for example you may decide that you need a project mandate, but not a vision statement.

Step 3 Prepare a communication package to launch the Framework. You will need to communicate the Framework in your language, using your projects and examples. We find this is best done by a combination of a printed brochure and an intranet site for key documents. Pointing people to the complete Praxis framework is just going to be overwhelming for most people.

Step 4 Plan and implement a communications package. To get buy in you need to communicate the new framework across the organisation, so we recommend a launch road show, either face to face or online. Often training will be required to up skill teams in the key areas. The design of the training should be informed by the assessments in step 1.

Step 5 Monitor, measure and improve. Don’t expect to get it right first time. Any change in the way an organisation does projects is bound to generate resistance at first. The key thing is to listen and reflect on the feedback . However we would recommend letting the method settle for some time before making changes, if you change things to often people get confused and they need time to try it before they can give proper feedback.

 

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Project Management Timeline Infographic http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/default/project-management-timeline-infographic/ http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/default/project-management-timeline-infographic/#respond Wed, 01 Jul 2015 10:36:39 +0000 http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/?p=2150 As this project management timeline infographic from Telegraph Courses shows there are many trends in project management that we should be aware of but one  to watch is cyber security – this is likely to become ever more important and project managers will need to ensure deliverables are secure.   Project Management Timeline – An…

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As this project management timeline infographic from Telegraph Courses shows there are many trends in project management that we should be aware of but one  to watch is cyber security – this is likely to become ever more important and project managers will need to ensure deliverables are secure.

 

Project Management Timeline – An infographic by the team at Telegraph Courses

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A sustainable economic recovery needs project management http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/default/a-sustainable-economic-recovery-needs-project-management/ http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/default/a-sustainable-economic-recovery-needs-project-management/#respond Fri, 05 Jun 2015 05:49:26 +0000 http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/?p=2141 Project managers have a critical role in the delivery of sustainable growth, that is to say, productivity led growth, rather than growth based on consumer consumption and increased borrowing. Organisations (in both the public and private sector) need confidence before they will commit to new infrastructure, manufacturing facilities and IT systems. This confidence comes from…

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Project managers have a critical role in the delivery of sustainable growth, that is to say, productivity led growth, rather than growth based on consumer consumption and increased borrowing. Organisations (in both the public and private sector) need confidence before they will commit to new infrastructure, manufacturing facilities and IT systems. This confidence comes from not just an improved economic outlook but also confidence that organisational strategy can be delivered through projects and programmes. Senior managers need to be sure projects will deliver the expected benefits without escalating costs and protracted delays before they will take major investment decisions. In this interview I explored the role of project managers in economic regeneration with senior figures in project management community including Mark A. Langley, President and CEO of Project Management Institute, Dave Gunner, PMP, PfMP, PPM, The PPM Academy, HP Global Project & Program Management, HP Enterprise Services and Will Bentley Programme Controls Director at High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd.

The OECD is forecasting accelerating growth for 2015 and 2016, boosted by lower oil prices and the easing of monetary policy. However they also identify that productivity levels won’t improve without public and private investment in new infrastructure, factories and more efficient ways of working. Given this background, what role do project managers have in supporting sustainable growth as part of the economic recovery?

“I think the mantra of doing more with less is here to stay, both in the public and private sector. Improved efficiency and productivity won’t happen unless organisations recognise that the efficiency they seek is implemented though major projects and programmes. For example, before joining the PMI, I worked in an entrepreneurial environment and it grew from a $400m to a $1bn business. If we had known about project management, at that time, we could have done it much more efficiently by learning from each project. What we used was brute force management not project management.” said Mark

Improved efficiency and productivity won’t happen unless organisations recognise that the efficiency they seek is implemented though major projects and programmes.

From Will’s perspective as the Project Controls Director of HS2 “Project managers play a key role in ensuring their projects are properly defined and set up at the outset with a clear business case that fully supports the investment with benefits that are fully mapped to deliverables. Attracting sustained public and private investment means PMs need to play an ever-increasing role in setting out the benefits of schemes, being clear on the value added and outcomes of a project not just during implementation but for the whole life cycle.”

If project management is so important to the delivery of strategy, why do so many project managers report a lack of senior management support as one of the elements causing poor implementation?

“The PMI Pulse of the Profession® study of Executive Sponsor Engagement shows that fewer than two-thirds of projects and programs have actively engaged executive sponsors. This suggests that organisations are not fully recognising the importance of the role to project success. The study also recognised poor communication between executive sponsors and project managers as affecting sponsors’ ability to effectively perform their role.”

Mark’s view is also supported by research in the UK by the Association for Project Management (APM). They also cite success factors of effective governance; clear structures and responsibilities for decision making; clear reporting lines between project managers and sponsors; capable sponsors; and appropriate behaviour on behalf of those with ultimate responsibility for project delivery.

“There is a clear need for the establishment of professional project and portfolio management offices in large organisations that are aligned to the strategic objective of the organisation and not seen as a support function. Alignment is best achieved through internal sponsors either in their own right or through C-suite sponsorship. PMs have a key role to play through demonstrating more clearly the connectivity between corporate objectives and how projects deliver those objectives,” said Bill.

This seems to reflect the problems faced by many practicing project managers on a daily basis. They feel that the senior managers do not understand and support their project management. What tips would you give project managers faced with this situation and how can they get their message across in the board room?

Mark passionately believes that “the language we use influences the behaviour of others. If project and programme managers are going to work at a strategic level then they need to talk the language of the board room; time to market and not schedule management, return on investment and not cost management, customer satisfaction and not quality management”.

It is also a personal development issue. Dave Gunner thinks that “project management is taken a lot more seriously than it was 15 years ago. It’s now a career path for many individuals and much of this is to do with the evolution of the profession; it now encompasses portfolio management and alignment with strategy. It is now seen as a key competence and ultimately the buck stops with the project manager. The best project managers not only demonstrate technical ability but also leadership and strategic and business management. In time we see them moving into business leadership and sponsorship positions”.

Bill thinks “We have to change the perception that the role of PMs is limited to the role of strategic implementation. At HS2, potentially the largest infrastructure programme ever seen in the UK; effective programme and project management is at the kernel of the organisation, not just for infrastructure delivery but for the creation of a world-class organisation where principles of equality, diversity and inclusivity are essential alongside the need to drive economic growth on a national scale. We have founded the Programme Strategy Directorate (PSD) with representation at Board and Exec Level to oversee the creation of a project management framework and a clear line of responsibility and lineage right through the organisation for all these facets.”

Mark agrees that “we are beginning to see signs of mature organisations taking project, programme and portfolio management more seriously at the senior level, with the most forward-thinking organisations forming clear project management career paths and standardised processes

“More and more we are seeing that those who develop strategy understand the connection to those who are implementing strategy. We did a study with The Economist Intelligence Unit in which 88% of survey respondents say executing strategic initiatives successfully will be ‘essential’ or ‘very important’ for their organisations’ competitiveness over the next three years. Yet, 28% admit that individual projects, which are important to implementation of their strategy, do not obtain the necessary senior-level sponsorship. This is one of the main challenges: Senior executives just do not recognise their role in strategic implementation.”

Mark observes that “every organisation starts with less project and programme maturity” and believes that, “it’s about finding executive support for project management. If you go to one of the more mature organisations such as HP or IBM, it started when they were able to establish clear career paths for project managers, covering the technical, leadership and strategic skills described in the PMI Talent Triangle.”

From HP’s point of view Dave sees “a structured career path for project and programme managers as giving people a unique range of experience because they have to work across many of the functions in an organisation. So for our best project and programme managers, the next step is into general management at a senior level.”

“In summary, you also have to remember that project management is a new discipline, developed only since the 1940s, and so it does not have the recognition of some of the other well-established functions in organisations. However, unlike many of these other functions, it is evolving and adapting to the changing needs of the modern organisation. As a result we should see more executives with project and programme management experience and we can hope that these executives value strategic implementation as highly as they value strategy development” said Mark.

References

http://www.oecd.org/eco/outlook/Interim-Assessment-Handout-Mar-2015.pdf

http://www.pmi.org/~/media/PDF/Knowledge%20Center/PMI-Pulse-Executive-Sponsor-Engagement.ashx

https://www.apm.org.uk/sites/default/files/APM%20Success%20report_NOV%2014.pdf

http://www.pmi.org/~/media/PDF/Publications/WhyGoodStrategiesFail_Report_EIU_PMI.ashx

http://www.pmi.org/~/media/PDF/Publications/Developing-Talent-for-Strategic-Impact.ashx

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Five Steps to a Benefit Profile http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/default/five-steps-to-a-benefit-profile/ http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/default/five-steps-to-a-benefit-profile/#respond Thu, 02 Apr 2015 14:54:24 +0000 http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/?p=2100 While the more confusing concepts in programme management is that the benefits profile. Many people struggle to get to grips with what they need to do in order to produce a benefit profile for project or programme. I think this is because guidance offered is is quite high level it doesn’t really give you a…

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While the more confusing concepts in programme management is that the benefits profile. Many people struggle to get to grips with what they need to do in order to produce a benefit profile for project or programme. I think this is because guidance offered is is quite high level it doesn’t really give you a steps by step approach to the development of the benefits profile. So this blog post share some of the experiences we’ve had developing benefits profiles for some of our larger clients. We found that benefits profile is like a mirror image of the cost plan. Many of the tools and techniques that were used for cost planning such as work breakdown structure and project schedule can be used to help develop the benefits profile for the project. This is what we can do in a five-step plan to producing a benefits profile.

Step 1) Develop a benefits break down structure to prompt the identification of benefits.  This will breakdown the overall strategic objectives into a number of benefits areas such as efficiency, improved reliability or increased capacity. Use of a standard structure can help to capture the full range of benefits from a programme. So just like we have a work breakdown structure benefits breakdown structure lets us identify common areas of benefits. For example one area benefit might increase sales or improved efficiency. Once we develop the benefits breakdown structure we can identify common areas of benefit apply across the programmes and projects in the organisation. So in the same way that we can build up work breakdown structure from the building blocks of other projects we can build up the benefits from the building blocks of other projects and programmes.

Step 2) Define how each benefit it will be measured, ideally using existing business KPIs e.g. reliability metrics, etc. There is an old saying that what gets measured is what gets done. You can’t measure benefit and is very difficult to know that benefits been achieved or how accurately we are going to track achievements that benefit. So next step in our five stage plan is define the benefit owner and the KPI do can use to measure the impact of the benefit on the business. If is a benefit we really care about it should properly impact on existing performance measures used in the business. If benefits don’t have any impact on the business KPIs then we could really ask ourselves does the business really care about the benefits we delivering. Another reason for choosing business KPIs to measure benefits is a data will already be available for historic trends and so we can realistically evaluate the impact of the programme on the performance of the business.

Step 3) Estimate the value of each benefit over time. For each benefit estimate the impact of the programme will have on the measured KPIs. So we know what the KPI’s are the next step is to estimate with the benefit owner what the impact the programme will have on these KPI’s. It’s really important that these estimates are done by the benefit owner to establish ownership. This same principle we adopt a producing a bottom up estimate of cost, but try to ask people are going to do the work to estimate the cost of doing the work. In this case the people responsible for the benefit to estimate what the likely benefits going to be. Everyone is very comfortable with fact the cost estimates can have high degrees of uncertainty early in the project life-cycle and we should expect same the benefits. That research indicates that an average with three times worse and estimating benefits the me are estimating costs. Does this mean we should give up and not try to estimate the benefits. The answer to this question is NO. We don’t know what benefit you are aiming for is highly likely you’ll achieve no benefit at all. As we costs an estimate is something we can measure ourselves against so it is with benefits and estimate the benefit gives a summer we can target even if we know they were unlikely to achieve  the exact benefit we estimated. Because of the uncertainties involved we could say achieve significantly more benefit than we anticipated depending on market conditions.

Step 4) Develop a benefit register using the benefit profiles. Having quantified the benefits the next step in producing benefit profile is to predict when these benefits will be realised. While this is just a planning exercise in the same way they were schedule at the work we can schedule out the benefits. In fact we found that we can use the same scheduling tools that we use for planning the delivery the work to plan the realisation the benefits. Using a subproject is quite easy to link the benefits to the delivery of the products into one integrated cost benefit program. This way delays in the production of the products can be mapped easily to the delays in the realisation of the benefits.

Step 5) Link the benefit profile to the project schedule deliverables and outcomes to produce a benefits realisation plan. Sometimes we find the realisation of benefit is dependent upon more than one project. For the example the benefits have improved healthcare may be reduced time off work, but this depends upon not only the completion of a new hospital the training of more nurses and doctors to work within a hospital. To map out the dependencies between the different outcomes and the benefits we can link the different benefits in the same way that we link project schedule this we call benefit map.

So hope you can see the step-by-step approach to production of a benefit profile provides us with structured to tackle the problem of understand the benefits of projects and programmes.

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Studying the APMP Project Management Qualifications Outside the UK http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/default/studying-the-apmp-project-management-qualifications-outside-the-uk/ http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/default/studying-the-apmp-project-management-qualifications-outside-the-uk/#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 10:52:12 +0000 http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/?p=2088 We get asked quite often about taking the APMP distance learning course exam from outside the UK. This is perfectly possible. Working with the APM we can arrange exams in many cities around the world. To date we have arranged exams in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Singapore, Beijing, Dohar, Dubai, Qatar, Jeda, Abu Dhabi. The exams…

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We get asked quite often about taking the APMP distance learning course exam from outside the UK. This is perfectly possible. Working with the APM we can arrange exams in many cities around the world. To date we have arranged exams in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Singapore, Beijing, Dohar, Dubai, Qatar, Jeda, Abu Dhabi. The exams are held at the offices of the British Council. We can arrange an APM exam at any location that has a British Council office at a date to suit your study plan. You can check which cities are covers by visiting the British Council website at http://www.britishcouncil.org/.

How to study for the APMP

There are three options if you want the study for the APMP from outside the UK. These include:

Option 1 Distance Learning

The first option is to study for the APMP qualification using Parallel Project Training’s APMP distance learning package. This package is based on the APMP study guide which was published by the Association of Project management in partnership with Parallel Project Training. This is the definitive text book for the APMP qualification and this study guide acts as a foundation for the whole programme which also includes online e-learning, podcasts and an online study group. If you are based overseas we will enable the virtual part of this course as soon as you purchase the package and we will ship study guide to you by direct carrier. This normally takes 2 to 3 days. Using the distance learning material it typically takes 60 to 70 hours of study to prepare for the APMP exam. The online study group is there to provide you with coaching on exam technique as you exam date approaches. As the day approaches when you with to take the exam you need to contact us to make the necessary arrangements with the APM and the British Council. These can take 4 to 5 weeks so you need to plan your exam date ahead. More about this later.

Option 2 Distance Learning plus Virtual Coaching

In addition to the distance learning package we can also provide virtual coaching using Adobe connect. This is a highly interactive environment in which we can take you through the course material and practice exam questions using a virtual classroom. Adobe Connect enables us to share presentations documents exam questions and exam answers in real-time. This can be offered as a final exam prep or a structured programme of short sessions spread over several weeks. The online exam prep is perfect for individuals who are preparing for the APMP exam, a structured programme is more suitable if you have a group of people who wish to study for the APMP exam. Typical structured programme will consist of six weekly sessions. The first five cover the contents of the course whilst six is preserved for exam prep. We found the pass rates for this type of program are generally as good if not better than a traditional classroom-based course. We believe this is partly because you have more time to absorb and consolidate the material before taking the exam.

Option 3 Face to Face Training

Final option which suits corporate organisations with groups of 5-6 to train is to range trainer to visit from the UK and deliver the course face-to-face over five day period. The trainer will bring the exam papers with them and also acts as invigilator for the exam on the last day of the course. This is the most expensive option but it does provide the benefit of full-time face-to-face input from experienced trainer.

How to book the exam

The exam procedure is quite simple

1)    You contact us and tell us when you want to take the exam, 5-6 weeks in advance.

2)    We pass this information on the APM who make the arrangement with the British Council.

3)    The APM ship the papers to the British Council.

4)    You go to the British Council office on the day you selected take the exam, pay the local fee. The local fees in the local currency  including courier shipping are published on the British Council website. Look for the the take exam / Professional and university exams part of the British Council website for the country you want to take the exam.

5)    The British Council ship the papers back to the APM for marking.

6)    The results take 10-12 weeks and you are informed of the result by the APM by e-mail.

So you can see, it is perfectly practical to complete the APMP training and qualification outside the UK. Parallel Project Training have significant experience providing distance learning and virtual learning to support the APMP qualification outside the UK. So if you need further information please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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