News – Parallel Project Training Blog | APM Project Management Articles, Information and News from ParallelProjectTraining.com http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com Tue, 31 Jan 2017 19:19:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.2 New Apprenticeship Levy Provides Route To Professional Project Management http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/project-management-articles/project-management-apprenticeship/ http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/project-management-articles/project-management-apprenticeship/#respond Tue, 31 Jan 2017 19:02:51 +0000 http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/?p=2310 Oh how times change! Young people today can embark on careers in areas that simply didn’t exist 20 years ago. Some roles today, especially in technology and the digital market, didn’t even exist a decade ago. And the world of work is still evolving. Schools are already working to teach and equip young people to…

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Oh how times change! Young people today can embark on careers in areas that simply didn’t exist 20 years ago. Some roles today, especially in technology and the digital market, didn’t even exist a decade ago. And the world of work is still evolving. Schools are already working to teach and equip young people to deal with the possibility that they may take up a career that doesn’t exist now while they are still in full-time education but might exist in the future. So we are increasingly aware that career choices cannot, necessarily, be made at a young age; future career paths are not so easily mapped out in advance as they were in previous generations. In addition to the typical academic subjects, schools and colleges are having to teach skills such as collaboration, teamwork, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving that will help young people in any future career whatever that may be.

Yet there is also the continued need for all the traditional careers and job roles, be that as an accountant, a lawyer, engineer, doctor, nurse, plumber, carpenter, clothes designer or actor. All of these professions are still flourishing and haven’t been replaced by the new roles but the choice has just become ever wider. The digital field has perhaps been most affected by the technological advancements of the last two decades and has created many of the positions available.

Many digital jobs are driving our economy despite the fact that they are in their relative infancy.

It is also likely that any job you do now will be very different in another 10 or 20 years’ time so everyone has to be equipped to embrace change. Future jobs may not exist now – after all who’d have thought 20 years ago that you could make a living as a Blogger?

But this is nothing new – technological change has always affected the job landscape historically. Innovation has always resulted in new jobs being created while others are side-lined or disappear altogether. Thankfully, lifelong learning is something which is increasingly supported by both the Government and employers, with new, additional routes introduced to encourage people of all ages to continue with their education to keep ahead of this evolving landscape.

It’s nothing new that young people are increasingly seeking a professional career in either a traditional or indeed a new progressive industry, but there is a growing recognition that a university education is not right for everyone. The formation of University Technical Colleges (UTCs) is one area that has started to tackle the assumption that university is the right place for all young people. Certainly the increasing cost of self-funding a degree course and the resulting, inevitable debt is a factor but that aside, UTCs provide a sound education backed up by strong links with industry bodies and large, well-known employers in many sectors to better prepare young people for the workplace.

However, there are other avenues to an exciting career path that don’t require formal further education and these include apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are no longer seen as a “non-academic” route to a chosen career but rather a path to wider opportunities that can result in degree-level qualifications and higher accreditation such as chartered status.

An Evolving Profession

Amongst all these jobs where apprenticeships can provide the ideal route to a qualification,  there are some which aren’t so new, but which have evolved so rapidly this century that they are very different to how they were some 20 or 30 years ago. One such career is project management, which has been around since the 1960s but it is a role that has become increasingly important in our digital, project-focused business world and is shaping how businesses perform and succeed.

What we are seeing in project management is the growth and development of a new profession.

Yet the role of project manager may not, until now, have been familiar to people just starting out in their careers. However, since the granting of the Royal Charter to the Association for Project Management (APM) in December 2016 this is about to change. It means that there is a new, recognised profession for both young people just starting out and those who have been carrying out the role for some time.

In the 1960s project management was predominantly confined to the aerospace, construction and defence industries. While later that decade there was recognition of the need for professionalism in the role, it wasn’t until the 1980s that there were the first attempts to standardise project management procedures and approaches. In the same decade it first became possible to achieve certifications in project management and while the range and depth of those certifications and credentials has grown, variations of them still exist.

Project management has typically, until now, been the sort of role that many people just drifted in to – less of a definitive career choice than a chance encounter. Many people working in, say, IT, construction or engineering roles have in the past moved into project management at the request of their employer or in order to advance their career. Yet the profession has come a long way since the early pioneers first started to standardise PM processes.

Early versions of project management methodologies and certifications from the Project Management Institute (PMI), Association for Project Management (APM) and PRINCE (originally owned by what is now the OGC  – the UK Office of Government Commerce) started to appear in the late 1980’s and early 1990 but were initially confined to large corporations or government organisations. However, they increasingly spread to other companies who sought to improve their project outcomes and are now in widespread use.

Since those early years the APM has developed a progressive series of qualifications that take the novice project manager through basic training, building skills and knowledge of best practices right through to the Registered Project Professional accreditation which is soon to translate into Chartered Status.

No longer is project management being viewed as an accidental career choice but instead as a professional career of choice. It may not be as well-established as accountancy, say, or engineering but it is certainly now recognised worldwide as a profession with all the discipline and rigour of accountancy or engineering and, moreover, one that offers the qualified professional a whole range of opportunities in huge variety of businesses and industries that work on a project-centric model.

From construction, engineering and IT to banking, tourism and healthcare , these are just a few of the fields that require skilled project managers for a myriad of projects.  The new Apprenticeship Levy will provide employers in these sectors – and their workforce – with the opportunity to gain new skills or enhance the ones they’ve got to prepare them for this increasingly beneficial role.

Making the Project Management Profession an Accessible Career for All

 

Project management is used across a wide range of businesses and industries if not all businesses and industries. From developing the software that we use, to producing new technology products, from organising international sports events to building roads and bridges, from creating the next generation of energy efficient cars to developing advanced fabrics to survive in extreme climate conditions. There really is no area where project management is not used, whether to produce something entirely new or improve on something that already exists; it is at the heart of business today.

So it’s great news that the hard work and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of project managers is at last being rewarded with Chartered Status. But what of the young people who might benefit from a career in project management and, more importantly, who might excel in this field? And what about those people already working in a project environment but without the requisite academic qualifications to embark on the currently available training programmes?

Where a traditional project manager may have taken a degree in almost any subject and later trained to be a project manager there is now a much more direct route that will develop the skills, attitudes and behaviours required to be a successful project manager in any industry without the need for a degree qualification or a period working in one specific industry. It will teach the best practices that lead to the most successful outcomes and ultimately offer a professional qualification on the same standing as a chartered accountant or chartered engineer.

So just how has this opportunity come about?

The Apprenticeship Levy

The UK government is seeking to boost productivity within UK based companies by investing in human capital: they are committed to developing vocational skills, and to increasing the quantity and quality of apprenticeships available to young people. It plans to create an additional 3 million apprenticeships in England by 2020 and the way this will be implemented is through an Apprenticeship Levy to support quality training by employers.

The Apprenticeship Levy comes into force in April 2017 and is charged at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s salary bill if in excess of £3 million. The levy will, therefore, be paid by less than 2% of UK employers but, given the salary bill threshold, the actual amount raised and available to train apprentices will be significant and is expected to reach £6 billion.

Large organisations who will be subject to this levy can offset the amount due by bearing the cost of training apprentices in their organisations. Employers who are committed to training will be able to get back more than they put in by training sufficient numbers of apprentices. So this new levy opens up opportunities for apprenticeship training leading to a project management qualification and ultimately to chartered status.

Embarking on a two year Level 4 Apprentice programme such as that run by Interserve Learning & Employment (ILE) in collaboration with Parallel Project Training will provide career opportunities to young people as an alternative to a degree course and develop their professional skills to help organisations deliver more projects, more successfully.

 

The Project Management Apprenticeship Programme

 

The apprenticeship programme aims to build competence through knowledge and practical experience and is directly aligned with the industry standard APM Competence Framework. This means the apprentice will benefit from industry best practices as will the employer with the apprentice putting his or her new competencies into practice in the work place.

The key to a successful apprenticeship programme is for both employer and apprentice to benefit. The employer benefits in a range of areas including the development of rigorous PM practices to help improve the delivery of projects, increased productivity as tasks are done right first time and the introduction of a culture of success within their organisation.

Equally, the apprentice benefits by gaining expert project management knowledge that they can put to practical use and which will lead to professional qualifications and accreditation. They also have the benefit of using the type of flexible, modern training methods such as webinars, podcasts and e-learning for which Parallel Project Training are renowned.

The apprenticeship programme comprises a predominantly remote course of study, although there is a one-day course initiation day and, of course, the exam day at the end. The advantage of this method of study is that it can be done from anywhere in the UK and there is no requirement for frequent attendance at a training centre.

The programme is supported by Interserve Learning & Employment (ILE) through one-to-one mentoring sessions and by the individual’s employer via ongoing progress reviews.

Upon successful completion of the course those with the desire and ability to progress further as a project manager have the option to continue working in a project environment and seeking chartered status following the required number of years’ experience (currently 7 years). Or embark on a further course of study with either the 2-year APM Project Professional Qualification (APM PPQ) or the APM Practitioner Qualification (APM PQ)

The project management apprenticeship programme run by Parallel and ILE is an 18-month programme to establish the foundations of a successful career in project management. It is suitable for young people straight out of school and also for those who already work in a project environment and wish to consolidate their existing knowledge.

Apprentices are taught by project management training experts from Parallel Project Training using a combination of theory and practical experience to develop full competence in the key areas of project management. They use engaging modern training methods such as webinars, podcasts and e-learning. There are also assessments at stages throughout the programme and each apprentice will have a mentor to support them in their learning and career development.

The knowledge, skills and behaviour required of a project manager are listed in the table below:

 

Knowledge Project governance Different types of organisational structures and responsibilities, functions and project phases on different types of project. How governance can control and manage the successful delivery of projects. The significance of the project management plan (PMP).
  Project stakeholder management Stakeholders: their perspectives, different interests and levels of influence upon project outcomes.
  Project communication Key contexts of a project communication plan, its effectiveness in managing different stakeholders. Factors which can affect communications such as cultural and physical barriers
  Project leadership The vision and values of the project and its links to objectives; the ways in which these can be effectively communicated and reinforced to team members and stakeholders. Leadership styles, qualities and the importance of motivation on team performance. Characteristics of the working environment which encourage and sustain high performance.
  Consolidated planning Purpose and formats for consolidated plans to support overall management, taking account of lessons learnt and how the plans balance fundamental components of scope, schedule, resources, budgets, risks and quality requirements.
  Budgeting and cost control Funding, estimating, overheads; direct costs, indirect costs, fixed costs, variable costs and an overall budget for a project; tracking systems for actual costs, accruals and committed costs; alternative cost breakdowns to provide for graphical representations, and performance management.
  Business case and benefits management Preparation and/or maintenance of business cases, including benefits management.
  Project scope Requirements management, and evaluation of alternative methods to learn from the past to improve delivery. Project scope change control, baseline change management, configuration management
  Project schedule Scheduling and estimating for project activities including how they can be quality assessed. Progress monitoring and metrics to assess work performed against the schedule. Schedule management methods to evaluate and revise activities to improve confidence in delivery.
  Resource management Resource analysis, resource allocation and resource acceptance.
  Project risk and issue management The need for and implementation of a risk management plan. Risk management methods and techniques to identify and prioritise threats or opportunities. Mitigation actions to minimise risk impacts and to optimise benefits by managing opportunities.
  Contract management and procurement The nature of contracts, and their implications for contracting organisations. Procurement processes. Legal and ethical means for managing contracts.
  Project quality Quality management processes, assurance and improvements. Outcomes of a quality management plan, metrics for processes and quality standards.
  Project context The different contexts in which projects can be delivered, including health, safety, and environment management. The interdependencies between project(s), programme(s) and portfolio management. Project phases and key review points, across project life cycles.
   
Skills

 

Project governance Project monitoring and reporting cycle to track, assess and interpret performance by the application of monitoring techniques to analyse status and manage information.

 

  Stakeholder and communications management Manage stakeholders, taking account of their levels of influence and particular interests. Manage conflicts and negotiations. Communicate to a variety of different audiences. Contribute to negotiations relating to project objectives.
  Budgeting and cost control Develop and agree project budgets, monitor forecast and actual costs against them and control changes. Support funding submissions. Tracking systems for actual costs, accruals and committed costs; structures for alternative cost breakdowns.
  Business case Contribute to the preparation or maintenance of a business case including achieving required outcomes.

 

  Scope management Determine, control and manage changes to the scope of a project, including assumptions, dependencies and constraints.
  Consolidated planning Consolidate and document the fundamental components of projects. Monitor progress against the consolidated plan and refine as appropriate, implementing the change control process where relevant.

 

  Schedule management Prepare and maintain schedules for activities aligned to project delivery.
  Risk and issue management

 

Identify and monitor project risk or opportunity, plan and implement responses to them, contribute to a risk management plan. Respond to and manage issues within a defined governance structure.
  Contract management and procurement Facilitate a procurement process, contribute to the definition of contractual agreements and contribute to managing a contract.

 

  Quality management Develop a quality management plan, manage project assurance, and contribute to peer reviews. Utilise an organisation’s continual improvement process including lessons learned.

 

  Resource management Develop resource management plans for project activities, acquire and manage resources including commitment acceptance, monitor progress against plans.

 

   
Behaviours

 

Collaboration and team work Understands and is effective as part of an integrated team.
  Leadership Communicates direction, and supports the vision for project delivery.
  Effective and appropriate communication Working effectively with and influencing others, taking account of diversity and equality. Influences and facilitates effective team performance.

 

  Drive for results Demonstrates clear commitment to achieving results, and improving performance.

 

  Integrity, ethics, compliance and professionalism Promotes the wider public good in all actions, acting in a morally, legally and socially appropriate manner. Promotes and models the highest standards of professional integrity, ethics, trust and continued development.

 

 

 

 

 

Take advantage of the levy

 

The UK government’s new Apprenticeship Levy has provided a marvellous opportunity for anyone to embark on a career in project management – the newest of the chartered professions – that underpins so much of our modern business world. It can ultimately lead to chartered status in a much sought-after profession and provide degree-equivalent qualifications without incurring any of the typically associated student debt.

The project management apprenticeship programme is delivered and supported by two highly experience organisations: Parallel Project Training and Interserve Learning & Employment.

So make your first project task today a commitment to find out more about an apprenticeship in Professional Project Management. Call us now on 0118 321 5030, or visit us here

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APM Royal Charter: Professional Recognition For Project Managers http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/news/apm-royal-charter-professional-recognition-project-managers/ http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/news/apm-royal-charter-professional-recognition-project-managers/#respond Fri, 27 Jan 2017 11:21:33 +0000 http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/?p=2307 Project management is a challenging and exciting job but is used in different ways in many different industries. In the past it has maybe been difficult to explain that professional project management is not the same as just managing a one-off project in our everyday lives. For many years there have been professional qualifications and…

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Project management is a challenging and exciting job but is used in different ways in many different industries. In the past it has maybe been difficult to explain that professional project management is not the same as just managing a one-off project in our everyday lives. For many years there have been professional qualifications and certifications that project managers have worked hard to obtain, yet to people outside the profession the recognition for all that hard work has not been there.

Now with the granting of the Royal Charter to APM in December 2016 that looks set to change. Project management has become a true profession with chartered status just like the professions of accountancy or engineering.

Some of the key differences between a professional project manager and those who manage occasional projects in their personal lives (like organizing a wedding or refurbishing a kitchen) are:

 

  • Learning from best practice
  • Learning from past mistakes to improve future outcomes
  • Developing certain behaviours and attitudes
  • Assessing and managing risks to minimize and mitigate them
  • Formal communication plans and processes
  • Managing the expectation of others

 

These and many other skills can be developed by a project manager through training and by gaining professional qualifications and certifications from organisations such as the Association for Project Management (APM).

The APM have a range of project management qualifications and certifications for project managers at all stages of their careers and these accreditations have always been important in the world of project management for advancing careers and improving prospects. But there has always been something missing – public recognition of project management as a profession with all the rigour that entails.

Now, after a protracted period of legal processes and appeals the APM has been granted a Royal Charter so project management is now a chartered profession in the same way as, say, accountancy or engineering.

Depending on a persons level of further education and previous experience a typical career path might include roles as:

 

  • Assistant Project Manager
  • Junior Project Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Senior Project Manager
  • Implementation Manager
  • Project Leader

 

These roles themselves could vary in the type of projects someone would be responsible for. In a large organisation that tends to run long, complex projects the role of project manager could be a very senior role. In other organisations the role of project manager could simply encompass short or non-complex projects.

 

Some corporations will use a range of titles to distinguish those who work on complex or non-complex projects and people essentially doing a project manager role may not actually have that title.

 

Some of the more senior roles of a project management professional with greater responsibilities could be:

 

  • Project Management Consultant
  • Programme Manager
  • Portfolio Manager
  • Head of Projects
  • Director of Projects

 

Whatever your title or level of responsibility, a role as a project management professional is sure to offer an exciting, varied career path that can lead to recognition as a chartered project professional.

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Winter Sale: Get Ready For 2017 with 20% off http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/news/winter-sale-get-ready-2017-20-off/ http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/news/winter-sale-get-ready-2017-20-off/#respond Fri, 02 Dec 2016 18:19:04 +0000 http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/?p=2286 If ever there was a time to celebrate our involvement in the world of project management now is that time; 2017 looks set to be a year of change for project management and the wider world. To get ready for this year of change Parallel is offering 20% off all it’s APM course in January…

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If ever there was a time to celebrate our involvement in the world of project management now is that time; 2017 looks set to be a year of change for project management and the wider world. To get ready for this year of change Parallel is offering 20% off all it’s APM course in January and February.

In the public sector the UK government is pressing ahead with unprecedented levels of investment in major infrastructure projects as part of the National Infrastructure Delivery Plan for economic and social infrastructure projects. £100 billion is likely to be invested over the next 4-5 years in over 600 projects in housing, schools, hospitals and prisons and also road and transport improvements such as High Speed 2, in addition to current projects such as crossrail.

Other ambitious projects include a 3rd runway recently approved for Heathrow, the Thames Tideway tunnel, and the Hinckley Point C nuclear power station, many of which combine private and public funding.

Brexit also looks like introducing more change for public and private sector organisations. It’s still not clear what these changes will be, but what is certain is that there will be many changes that will need professional project management.

The theme of change continues with the APM (Association for Project Management). After a long wait the APM looks set to become a chartered body in 2017 and project managers will, for the first time, be able to gain chartered status. It is anticipated that those project managers who already hold the APM Registered Project Professional (APM RPP) accreditation will be offered a simple transition to chartered status.

So why not make 2017 the year that you take a step towards professional recognition for your project management skills and capabilities? Whether you are taking your first step with an APM Project Fundamentals Qualification – APM PFQ (formerly the Introductory Certificate) or are at the final stage, about to embark on the APM RPP make it your New Year’s Resolution to take that one next leap.

 

And to make it easier to stick to that New Year’s Resolution here at Parallel we are offering 20% off all training course bookings in January and February. There’s nothing to lose and professional status to gain…

 

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New APM Project Fundamentals Course and Study Guide http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/news/new-apm-project-fundamentals-course-study-guide/ http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/news/new-apm-project-fundamentals-course-study-guide/#respond Wed, 13 Apr 2016 10:13:14 +0000 http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/?p=2216 Here at Parallel Project Training we are delighted to have once again collaborated with the Association for Project Management (APM) on a new study guide to support candidates studying for APM qualifications. Following on from the success of the previous collaborative publication “The APM Project Management Qualification Study Guide” the latest book “Introductory Certificate: The…

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Here at Parallel Project Training we are delighted to have once again collaborated with the Association for Project Management (APM) on a new study guide to support candidates studying for APM qualifications. Following on from the success of the previous collaborative publication “The APM Project Management Qualification Study Guide” the latest book “Introductory Certificate: The APM Project Fundamentals Qualification Study Guide” published by APM and written by Parallel Project Training is available from April 2016.

Our new APM Project Fundamentals training course is launched at the same time and is aimed at those new to project management, whether as a project manager, as part of a project team or in a project support role. The course combines the study of theoretical project management with practical case studies and exercises ensuring candidates can put what they have learnt into practise as soon as they return to their own working environment.

Course attendees will learn how to apply the principles and methods of project management but will also develop the necessary skills and behaviours required to become a successful project manager. They will learn how to build an effective project team, manage stakeholders, prepare business cases, project plans, budgets and schedules; control risks and report progress – all essential skills for a project manager.

This course is an ideal starting point for those at an early stage of their project management career or, indeed, those wishing to gain recognition for PM skills and capabilities they already possess. There are no pre-requisites for studying for, or taking, the exam, which consists of a 1-hour multiple choice paper with 60 questions.

 

The Benefits of Studying with Parallel

 

One of the many benefits of studying for the APM Project Fundamentals Qualification with   Parallel Project Training is that the authors who worked in partnership with the APM to write the official study guide (John Bolton and Paul Naybour) also present the videos that are a fundamental part of the course.

The course can be delivered as a traditional 2-day classroom course, as a distance learning course or as virtual training so is suitable for individuals, small groups from the same organisation and larger corporate groups.

As with all Parallel training courses we pride ourselves on our wide range of learning materials in addition to printed study guides, such as videos, animated videos and podcasts. By providing a variety of learning materials we cater for individual preferences in learning styles and also offer flexibility as to when, and how, a candidate chooses to study. Experience has shown us that the use of a combination of printed material, podcasts and a range of video types keeps motivation levels high and improves the outcome for all candidates in the exam.  Our exam pass rate is consistently high and on some courses we achieve pass rates as high as 100%.

 

Our Unique Learning Approach

In addition to the new APM study guide that we have written in collaboration with the APM, the other learning tools we provide include bite-sized video lectures such as the example below:

Also included are podcasts – why not listen to this sample to get a feel for how useful our popular podcasts are:

Other supporting materials include:

  • practical exercises
  • case study animated videos
  • sample multiple choice questions
  • full sample exam paper
  • on-line tutor support

 

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Salary Trends: Are You Just an Average Project Manager? http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/news/salary-trends-are-you-just-an-average-project-manager/ http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/news/salary-trends-are-you-just-an-average-project-manager/#respond Thu, 16 Jul 2015 15:29:28 +0000 http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/?p=2154 We all like to think of ourselves as successful project managers or maybe you are aspiring to be a successful project manager but the recent 2015 inaugural APM Salary and Market Trends Survey starts with an insight into what the average project manager is. Somehow that term “average project manager” doesn’t smack of success –…

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We all like to think of ourselves as successful project managers or maybe you are aspiring to be a successful project manager but the recent 2015 inaugural APM Salary and Market Trends Survey starts with an insight into what the average project manager is.

Somehow that term “average project manager” doesn’t smack of success – of that high-flying PM of our aspirations – but when you look at the statistics from the APM’s survey, perhaps, being average is not a bad place to be.

AMP Salary Survey Average Salaries

The survey revealed that the average project manager:

 

  • Is in full-time employment within an organisation of 250 or more employees – so a place that is likely to offer good career prospects.
  • Earns on average of £44,167/year – which compares very favourably to the average UK salary of £27,000 according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics. This might not quite reach the giddy heights of average salaries for chief executives (£107,703) or airline pilots (£90,146) but it is certainly on a par with solicitors, accountants, dentists and IT specialists – and remember these are average salaries across the country. The average for programme managers is significantly higher at £57,000.
  • Has a degree and also a professional project management certification such as APMP or PRINCE2. The survey also revealed that those earning up to £60,000 were more likely to have a professional qualification in addition to a degree.

Regional differences

 

Of course, as you would expect, there are significant regional differences in salaries, most notably in London and the South East where 13% of those surveyed earn more than £80,000. But surprisingly there is a greater percentage of PMs earning over £100,000 in Ireland than in Greater London. The survey data does not specifically state whether that is just Northern Ireland but given that it is a UK survey it seems unlikely it would also include Eire.

 

Gender Differences

 

Gender pay inequality has been big news this week because of David Cameron’s idea that the problem can be tackled by auditing firms to check on the relative pay of men and women. Many campaigners believe that the problem is more deep rooted than that but, in any case, according to the APM survey, project management seems to follow the general UK trend of gender pay disparity although it fares better than, for instance, engineering or architecture in attracting and retaining women.

 

APM Salaries by Gender

 

Nevertheless, in the project management profession more men, in percentage terms, earn salaries in all brackets above £50,000 with only 1% of female project managers earning over £100,000 compared to 6% of men. And there are more females in all of the lower salary brackets below £50,000 (except, unexpectedly, for salaries under £20,000/year).

These basic statistics, clearly do not show the whole picture and even though the gender pay gap has decreased in recent years it is thought this is more likely to be a result of men’s salaries falling or stagnating rather than women’s salaries rising in line with men’s.

Images Courtesy of the Association for Project Management

 

 

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Free coaching or training http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/news/free-coaching-or-training/ http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/news/free-coaching-or-training/#respond Mon, 26 Jan 2015 14:58:13 +0000 http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/?p=2082 As part of the Growth Accelerator service, Participating companies are automatically entitled to a Government Matched-funding grant worth £2,000 per manager towards training related to Leadership or Management. This “Leadership & Management” grant is available to businesses with an annual turnover of up to £40m p.a. with up to 250 Full-Time employees. For information on…

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As part of the Growth Accelerator service, Participating companies are automatically entitled to a Government Matched-funding grant worth £2,000 per manager towards training related to Leadership or Management.

This “Leadership & Management” grant is available to businesses with an annual turnover of up to £40m p.a. with up to 250 Full-Time employees.

For information on this service, please refer to the “ Leadership Management” document.

The department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) are also currently asking The Association for Project Management to run a pilot scheme to test how well small businesses respond to coaching vs. training. As a result businesses turning over between £250,000 p.a. and £2,000,000 p.a. can access the aforementioned grants at no cost. The ‘catch’ in this pilot is that, if the company is selected (at random) to receive coaching as well, they must pay £700 VAT (which is reclaimable in the usual manner) and must have that coaching. This pilot scheme has a limit of just 600 places, which are filling up quickly. Businesses in this size bracket looking for training in the new year can sign up to this scheme now, with a view to securing the funding for training in the new year.

For information on this pilot, please refer to the “ Growth Impact Pilot” document.

For information on the service as a whole, please refer to the “ About GrowthAccelerator” document.

Sam Landsberg is the contact at the Growth Accelerator; please contact him directly for more information or to refer potential clients for the grant.

He can be contacted directly via sam.jl.landsberg@uk.gt.com or via his direct dial, 0207 728 3223.

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Roundup of recent PM Articles and Videos http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/news/roundup-recent-pm-articles-videos/ http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/news/roundup-recent-pm-articles-videos/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 13:59:46 +0000 http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/?p=2078 Stop That Project! There are some projects that once they begin continue on like a snowball rolling down a hill. The project builds momentum, increasing in terms of the time, effort and money that are continuously absorbed by it. The greater the spend; the harder it is for the project to stop or change direction.…

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Stop That Project!

There are some projects that once they begin continue on like a snowball rolling down a hill. The project builds momentum, increasing in terms of the time, effort and money that are continuously absorbed by it. The greater the spend; the harder it is for the project to stop or change direction.

This may be fine if the project is of value and if the work is being done effectively so as to achieve the desired value. But if the project is not adding value, or it is headed in a wrong direction, or it does not comply with regulations and best practices then the project should be stopped.

The question is who can, or should, stop the project?

Read more in this article by George Pitagorsky

5 Tips for Managing Project Communications in a Crisis

A new video from Elizabeth Harrin of A Girl’s Guide to Project Management

There are always things that go wrong on projects – sometimes those issues are small; sometimes they are significant. In this video Elizabeth offers 5 tips to help you deal with project communications during a crisis.

 

Top 5 open source project management tools for 2015

Robin Muilwijk has recently printed his Top 5 open source project management tools for 2015 based on the following criteria:

  • Is the software provided under an open source license?
  • Does it have an active community?
  • Does it have up-to-date documentation available?
  • Is the source code available?
  • Are there new or recent releases?

The tools he reviews are:

  1. Tuleap Open ALM
  2. OrangeScrum
  3. Taiga
  4. Odoo
  5. MyCollab

He also gives updates on several of the tools he reviewed last year.

See the full article here.

 

How to Prevent Scope Creep: A Business Analyst Perspective

Written by Kiranmayi Satnarayan

Many years ago a few of my colleagues started working on a project, which was not so complex. It went well for the first few months. The problem started when the team travelled to the client location to give a demo on a module and seek the client’s feedback. The client suggested certain changes that were accepted by the team. The team built the module with the new suggestions incorporated, however, the client suggested a few more changes. After a couple of similar back and forth interactions, the project was ultimately shelved as it was no longer delivering a good ROI.

 

Project Management Career Q&A – Stress!

Work and life are two of the things that many practitioners working in the field of project management struggle to get into a happy balance. With increased pressures to deliver, expectations of doing more with less, project managers are no strangers to feeling overworked and at the point of burn out.

Lyndsay Scott of Arras People suggests four initial areas in your approach to work to start thinking about changing.

Read more here

 

 

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Using the Logical Framework for Project Management Training http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/news/using-logical-framework-project-management/ http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/news/using-logical-framework-project-management/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 15:10:51 +0000 http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/?p=2040 Logical framework is specifically designed for development projects. It’s a structured way of linking the overall objective for the project the desired benefits, the overall purpose the results and activities. The aim is to ensure that activities completed as part of the project are clearly linked back to the overall objective of the project and…

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Logical framework is specifically designed for development projects. It’s a structured way of linking the overall objective for the project the desired benefits, the overall purpose the results and activities. The aim is to ensure that activities completed as part of the project are clearly linked back to the overall objective of the project and the benefits that the project seeks to achieve. It provides a structured process to think through the objectives of the project based on the needs and strengths and weaknesses of the various stakeholders and parties involved in the project. It provides a step-by-step approach to working with stakeholders to understand their needs wants and ambitions and then identifying strategies which provide real benefit to the intended beneficiaries.

A step by step approach.

Logical framework provides a step-by-step approach to the planning of projects with some easily adapted tools to use at each stage. However it’s not just about the tools the application of the logical framework is about understanding the user requirements in a detailed way and working through the different options to meet those requirements using a structured decision taking process.

Analysis

Analysis of the current situation

The first step is analysis of the current situation. This analysis looks looks at the problem or opportunity from four different perspectives. First is a detailed analysis of the stakeholders using a stakeholder analysis template, SWOT analysis or Venn diagram showing the interaction between the different stakeholders involved in the project. For complex project this stakeholder analysis is not trivial and need to be taken seriously if the root causes of the problems (or opportunity) are to be properly identified. As with everything the logical framework is working through the process that matters and not the final output.

The next step is to understand the problem or opportunity using the root cause analysis. In this way we can identify the actionable root causes which the project could address and the consequences of the problem they were trying to fix. Again working through this problem analysis improve the understanding of the project and project team and ensures buy in of the stakeholders to the final result. Once you have full understanding the problems to be overcome this problem tree, easily translated into an objective analysis which focuses on the actions that can be taken to improve the situation.

Problem Analysis

Once have a clear understanding of the different objectives this will help us to clarify appropriate strategies for the project we can use some simple but effective tools to prioritise and rank feasibility and effectiveness of these competing strategies. From there we can then identify which are the most appropriate strategies for the project to implement.

Planning

Having defined the purpose the project and selected preferred strategy the next is to ensure that the planned activities have clear linkage back to the overall benefit that we hope to deliver. This is done by using the log frame structure the log frame structure shown below links the overall objective of the project to the activities being undertaken. The overall objective of the project is often a strategic development goal linked often to national or international standards. This is supported by the project purpose which is often more local and defines the tangible or intangible benefits to be delivered by the project. The next level down the results or the outcome of the project seeks to achieve finally the lowest level we have activities that produce deliverables as part of the project plan. The logical framework uses a clear the main clincher to make sure that if the activities are completed results are achieved if the results are achieved the purpose is achieved if the purpose is achieved in the overall outcome. This clear thinking is so often missing from projects and products are produced but no benefits are derived.

Logframe Matrix

Assumptions

Key to the logical framework is the use of assumptions. It clearly identifies the assumptions that we make at each level in the objective structure. What we need to assume to be sure that they activities will produce the results that we require? What are the assumptions necessary to ensure that the results produce a purpose expected. The logical framework clearly identifies how the assumptions each level link the activities to the results of the results to the purpose and the purpose to the overall objective.

assumptions

 

Planning

The next step is production of a project Gantt chart. This defines what activities will be done by whom and for what cost. It can also helps identify the resources and the cost the project in detail. They were back in classical project management world and you find many posts on this website about the use of effective planning.

Evaluation and monitoring

There’s an old saying that what gets measured is what gets done. To each level in logical framework we define performance measures and a mechanism to collate those performance measures. So for example we define how we going to measure the results are being achieved and that the purpose is being delivered. In this way logical framework links the activities back up to the overall objective with a clear understanding what the assumptions we make it each level and the measures that are going to be used to evaluate the project.

Delivery Monitoring and control

As with any project monitoring control is really really important. A logical framework as such doesn’t address monitoring control as it primarily focus on planning. However it is important to recognise their plan is only as good as the people who follow it. And so is important as part of a logical framework training to also address how the plan will be monitored and controlled during execution phase of the project.

Parallel Project Training courses using logical framework

As a highly experienced project management training provider ala budget training has been asked by one of his clients to integrate the logical framework into some of its courses. This is proved highly successful in helping teams understand how to apply the logical framework as part of an overall project management approach. This 2-day project management using logical framework course is now available for corporate clients from Parallel Project Training. Full details this course of our own website.

LFA Course Outline

 

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Interesting PM Reads http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/news/interesting-pm-reads-2/ http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/news/interesting-pm-reads-2/#respond Tue, 18 Nov 2014 16:46:05 +0000 http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/?p=2034 3 Steps For Harnessing Failure The Right Way A new book published this month, Fail Better: Design Smart Mistakes and Succeed Sooner by Anjali Sastry and Kara Penn aims to help you create better project deliverables with more lasting and further-reaching impact. By learning from what worked well, and what did not, on a project…

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3 Steps For Harnessing Failure The Right Way

A new book published this month, Fail Better: Design Smart Mistakes and Succeed Sooner by Anjali Sastry and Kara Penn aims to help you create better project deliverables with more lasting and further-reaching impact. By learning from what worked well, and what did not, on a project you can improve your own practice, the habits of your team, and the capabilities of your organisation.

 

Agile improves but does not replace project management as we know it

 

A LinkedIn discussion on The Project Manager Network by Jim Milliken argues that the acceptance of Agile is endangered by the hype from some of its enthusiasts. Agile cannot, all by itself, do what project management does. It isn’t meant to. It is an excellent execution form when a project calls for creative invention amid great complexity and uncertainty – and the situation is suitable for frequent small-scale deliverables. It fits very usefully into the implementation phase of certain kinds of innovation projects, especially in the information technology field. It significantly improves, but does not replace, the essential core practices of project management.

 

Influence without Authority

Another insightful post “Influence Without Authority” by Lynda Bourne on the PMI’s Voices on Project Management blog.  Following PMI’s purchase of projectmanagement.com (previously gantthead.com), the PMI blog has been moved over to that site.

 

When the Solution to Bad Management is a Bad Solution

An interesting read from Glen Alleman’s Herding Cats blog about how the “solution” to bad project management may not actually fix the problem because it will not have treated the root cause of the problem, just addressed the symptoms.

 

Why Project Management Is Like Surviving The Hunger Games

 

For those hooked on the Suzanne Collins Hunger Games trilogy (and who isn’t) Elizabeth Harrin compares writes on her Girl’s Guide to Project Management blog about why project management is like surviving the Hunger Games; the need for a sponsor, a flexible plan, a creative team, a mentor and the need to be resourceful – sounds familiar.

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Parallel and APM in partnership with new APMP study guide http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/news/parallel-apm-partnership-new-apmp-study-guide/ http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/news/parallel-apm-partnership-new-apmp-study-guide/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 14:58:18 +0000 http://blog.parallelprojecttraining.com/?p=2032 Parallel Project Training are proud to announce a new partnership with the Association for Project Management (APM) in producing a new APMP study guide, “APMP, The APM Project Management Qualification Study Guide”. The guide, co-authored by Parallel’s John Bolton and Paul Naybour, focuses on real-life examples and practical advice for project managers in a straightforward,…

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Parallel Project Training are proud to announce a new partnership with the Association for Project Management (APM) in producing a new APMP study guide, “APMP, The APM Project Management Qualification Study Guide”.

The guide, co-authored by Parallel’s John Bolton and Paul Naybour, focuses on real-life examples and practical advice for project managers in a straightforward, easy-to-understand way, with the aim of helping PMs pass the APMP exam and manage their projects more successfully. This is the first dedicated APM guide of its type for those studying for the APMP exam.

This new study guide comprises 12 sections based on the APMP syllabus and encompassing all the topics in the 6th Edition of the APM Body of Knowledge (BoK).

Based on the highly successful 2010 guide “Your journey to professional project management: How to pass the APMP” by the same authors, this is a well-researched and proven format that has helped project managers to pass the APMP exam with extremely high success rates and develop their careers in professional project management.

By partnering with the APM on this new guide it is anticipated that it will reach a new, wider audience aiming to grow their project management career.

“APMP, The APM Project Management Qualification Study Guide” will be available from December 2014, but it can be pre-ordered prior to publication.

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