Quanta blog posts by Alex Smith

APM Chartered Status update blog post

As usual, we’ve been incredibly busy here in the run up to Christmas and the New Year.

As one of the many things we’ve been doing in what promises to be an exciting 2018, we’ve been actively involved in the consultation process contributing towards the development of the Association of Project Managers’ (APM) new Chartered Standard for project professionals.

PRINCE2 and the Combat Estimate

The PRINCE2 methodology and its purpose in giving structure to projects is well-documented.  And, of course, having processes to follow, documentation templates to make use of and a clear list of roles and responsibilities that need to be fulfilled is all incredibly useful stuff.

But this will only get you so far.

How to change when change is constant

It is extremely rare for any organisation to change without some external pressure to do so. There are a great number of factors beyond the control of most organisations that can apply such pressures – changes in the political landscape, the economy and sociological aspects that may prompt a change in customer demands to name but a few.

PRINCE2 2017 Practitioner status - important updates

 

PRINCE2 2017 - updates to Practitioner status

PRINCE2 2017 brings important changes to how your Practitioner status is maintained. With the previous version of PRINCE2, Practitioner status lasted for 5 years, however with the new update Practitioner status will last for 3 years.

You will no longer be able to renew your Practitioner status through a 're-registration' exam. Instead you will need to do one of the following to maintain Practitioner status.

Change Management and Agile

Last week, as the climax to an incredibly busy month, I attended the Project Challenge conference at London Olympia, which is always worth attending, not least because it gives you a good sense of which aspects of project management are getting people talking.

PRINCE2 2017 Update

 

As you are reading this, I imagine you know by now that a new version of PRINCE2 is coming out later this year. AXELOS, who part own the rights to PRINCE2 along with the Cabinet Office, have been excitedly trumpeting the news from the rafters for a good few months now, and fair enough. After all, this is the first major evolution of the well-known project management standard for 8 years.

Attitudes towards risk - risk identified vs proactive risk management

What kind of attitude does your organisation have regarding risk management?

Based on the kind of conversations I have with organisations that I work with, attitudes vary wildly. Alarmingly, I find a lot of people tell me that risk for them rarely goes beyond the initial identification stage.

In effect, they:

The reality of lessons learnt

A key tenet of any project management best practice methodology or body of knowledge is the idea that your staff should be continually learning from experience, on a personal level, while making sure they share their experiences with others on a consistent basis to develop organisational knowledge.

This doesn’t happen as often as it should! As a project management trainer and consultant I have encountered this universal problem across all industries I have worked with.

Typically, there are three different challenges with lessons learnt that I see again and again. 

PRINCE2 is changing

Last week our partners and owners of PRINCE2®, AXELOS, announced the upcoming arrival of updated PRINCE2® guidance and Foundation and Practitioner examinations. Together, these form PRINCE2 2017 and represent the first major update to PRINCE2 since 2009. 

This latest version of PRINCE2 will go live in mid-2017 and Quanta will soon announce 2017 course dates which you can pre-book on to.  In the meantime have a look at the link below for a quick summary of the main changes and how they could benefit your organisation. 

Conflict is inevitable, combat is optional

Questions I am commonly asked include, ‘When are you going to finally get round to sorting out the patch of damp in the hallway?’, ‘Why do you keep buying 10% fat mince when you know I don’t like it?’ and ‘What rubbish have you bought off eBay now?’

In work, however, in my capacity as a project management trainer I am often asked why in PRINCE2, there is little focus on personnel management issues.

Tiny tweaks lead to big changes

I don’t know about you, but I spend part of my spare time outside of work reading books about management, leadership and communication skills. I ought to point out that this is due to the nature of the courses I teach – I specialise in project management and soft skills courses, and so it's necessary that I keep up with the many varying observations people have on these topics, with the beneficial side-effect of making me a better-informed and more interesting person (cough).

What we've got here is a failure to communicate

Language is in many ways, probably humanity’s greatest invention. And yet, in many ways, it's also completely useless. Consider this, the Oxford dictionary definition of the word ‘irony’.

Irony

/ˈʌɪrəni/

Your call may be recorded for quality and training purposes

Many moons ago, as an impoverished student, I had the life-enhancing experience of selling timeshare on a part-time basis on what came to be known as a zero-hours contract. The job involved calling people as they were leaving for work or having their dinner, with the aid of an enthusiastically-worded script, to encourage them to attend some kind of seminar.