Archives for February2013

PRINCE2 Professional Qualification

The PRINCE2 Professional qualification is the next step for current PRINCE2 practitioners looking to further demonstrate their expertise in this globally recognized project management methodology.

It is targeted at practicing project professionals, who wish to demonstrate their ability, and not just their knowledge, to apply best practice project management principles and processes.

The PRINCE2 Professional qualification is therefore appropriate for individuals who are currently acting as Project Managers, Project Co-ordinators or as a Project Team Leader (in larger projects). 

Suitable candidates will have several years experience of managing non-complex projects.

Candidates wishing to take the PRINCE2 Professional assessment must also have passed the PRINCE2 Practitioner qualification.

Discover Provek preparation support:

Although this is an assessment of a candidate’s current capabilities, each candidate should be prepared for the process and be aware of what is expected of them. With this in mind, Provek will provide a preparation package consisting of:

  • Candidate Guidance documentation
  • Video of PRINCE2 Professional assessment explained
  • Pre-event teleconference call with a Provek qualified PRINCE2 Professional Evaluator to understand the expectations and format of the event and an opportunity for candidate questions
  • Access to Provek’s Remote Expert Support which provides email or telephone responses to candidate queries and questions throughout the preparation period.
  • There is also an optional 1-day Preparation workshop for candidates who wish to have additional face to face preparation, which simulates key elements of the actual assessment event.

If you would like more information about Provek training please go on Provek Website.

Expert APM Registered Project Professional preparation resources available now


Get useful advice from Neil Nooney, leading RPP Assessor who has supported Royal Mail, Arup and GD UK staff for their RPP submissions.

Increase your likelihood of success at Stage 1 via in-depth guidance, tips and hints.

Optional extra support and feedback available on your draft project and competence statements, as well as Stage 2 preparation resource coming soon.

Watch for free one of the nine RPP preparation resources available on The PM Channel:

Do you meet the RPP standard?


Subscribe now to the Qualifications package for £149/year + VAT and receive expert advice to help you to succeed with your RPP submission.

Any questions? Contact us on 01625 524 610 or email us at

APM Registered Project Professional (RPP) – Useful information

What is APM Registered Project Professional (RPP)?

APM Registered Project Professional (RPP) is a pan-sector for those able to demonstrate the capabilities of a responsible leader, who have the ability to manage a complex project and use appropriate tools, processes and techniques. It will, for the first time assess all elements of the APM 5 Dimensions of Professionalism in a single standard, thereby enhancing professional status and recognition. It will raise the bar of project professionalism to a whole new level.

Who should apply?

APM Registered Project Professional is available to anyone with experience of managing others in a complex project environment regardless of their professional background or qualification.
Why become an APM Registered Project Professional?
There is a growing recognition of the value that competent and capable project professionals can offer. APM Registered Project Professional sets projects apart through a robust assessment of the APM 5 Dimensions of Professionalism delivering benefits to individuals and organisations.

Benefits to the individual include:
• Professional status allowing you to stand out from the crowd.
• Public recognition on the APM Register of Project Professionals.
• Use of the post-nominal RPP setting you apart in the profession.
• Instant recognition from employees and clients as a professional with a high level of capability.
• The opportunity to reflect on your career and achievement through a robust assessment process.
The wider public can be confident that their project management community has been externally assessed as competent and dedicated to their own continuing development. For employers, this visible investment in staff offers the benefit of raising the profile of project management as a driver for competitive advantage and improved project delivery.
Benefits to the organisation include:
• Greater likelihood of project success.
• Competitive advantage.
• Enhanced delivery to clients.
• External recognition of an organisation’s project and programme management capability.
• Visible investment in staff
• External recognition of an organisation’s project management community within the organisation.

Chartership status?

An application for Chartered Status by the APM is currently being considered by the Privy Council. If and when APM is granted chartered status, those already awarded the Registered Project Professional standard will be given the designation of Chartered Project Professional and allowed to use the post nominal letters of ChPP.

Find expert advice on The PM Channel to help you to succeed with your RPP submission here.

APM Registered Project Professional (RPP) – How is it assessed?

APM Registered Project Professional (RPP) targets senior project managers who have managed complex projects and programmes and wish to get recognition for that on an independent basic. It will, for the first time assess, all elements of the APM 5 Dimensions of Professionalism:

• Depth of experience across 29 core competences of the 37 of the APM Competence Framework
• Breadth of knowledge across all the Body of Knowledge areas
• Achievement through qualifications and a portofolio of evidence
• Commitment through qualifications and a portofolion of evidence
• Accountability through APM membership and code of professional conduct

Pre-requisites: Candidates must be a senior professional who has managed at least one complex project in the last 8 years. They also have to completed 35 hours of CPD in the last 12 months.

The Assessment process by peer assessors comprises two stages of competences:

• Stage 1: Portofolio assessment : (50 hours to prepare)

The first stage will demonstrate the reflexion for candidates of what they done in terms of project and programme? How did they manage? Etc. Candidates portofolio will have to demonstrate capability in 29 core competences of the 37 of the APM Competence Framework.

During this first stage 2 documents need to be complete:
• Portofolio evidence application form,
• CPD Log spread sheet.

The Portofolio evidence form comprise 8 sections to complete:
1.Personnal details
2.Current employment
5.Professionals membership
6.Project track record
7.Competence statements
8.Knowledge statement for complementary competences

Section 6 and 7 will take 95% of the time.

The CPD Log spread sheet (excel file) for the last 12 months will be provided by APM.
After completing these 2 document, they will be assessed by a qualified RPP assessor who will check that the content meets the RPP standard.
If successful, the candidate will be invited to a Professional Review (Stage 2). If unsuccessful, you will receive a report with feedback confirming gaps you need to consider.

• Stage 2: Professional Review (45 minutes interview)

After the first stage you will be invited to a professional review with two assessors. The review, is in an interview format,it will typically take around 45 minutes including a 10 minutes candidate presentation at the start.

What is required to maintain RPP designation status?

Once an individual has successfully achieved the designation of APM RPP throughout the two-stage assessment process, then in order to maintain the RPP designation the individual is then required to maintain continuing professional development (CPD) of at least 35 hours of relevant formal and informal professional development every year and adhere to the APM Code of Professional Conduct through APM membership. As a committed project management professional, each individual is responsible for their own CPD activities in terms of both forming a plan and then maintaining a log completed CPD. APM will audit CPD at their discretion.

Do you meet the RPP standard? Find expert advice on The PM Channel to help you to succeed with your RPP submission here.

Hans Thamhain – The Importance of Collaboration

Dr. Hans Thamhain draws upon his study of 800 project professionals that shows project collaboration correlates strongly with overall project success. The human side in a project is the main cause of failure (PMI study). Human side is a critical function that seems to predict success or failure within a project. He describes the ingredients of collaboration as being trust, respect and credibility and explores what a project manager should do to foster better collaboration.

Exclusive interview from the 26th IPMA Word Congress.

Dr. Hans Thamhain is a Professor of Management and Director of MOT and Project Management Programs at Bentley University, Boston/Waltham.  Dr. Thamhain, held management positions with Verizon, General Electric and ITT, has written over seventy research papers and six professional reference books.  He received the IEEE Engineering Manager Award in 2001, PMI’s Distinguished Contribution Award in 1998 and PMI’s Research Achievement Award in 2006.  He is profiled in Marquis Who’s Who in America and certified as NPDP and PMP.

This interview of Dr Hans Thamhain is available on The PM Channel (Best Practice-Leadership) and available on the Development package £149/year.

The importance of effective governance – David Shannon


What does good governance consist of? Is it confined to those at the top of the organisation as strategy is to the Admiral of the fleet?

David Shannon, Honorary Fellow of APM speaking at the recent IPMA World Congress in Crete suggested that governance is much wider than that and is about a set of relationships between interested parties including an organisations owners, project sponsors, project managements, departmental heads and stakeholders. Good project governance does not depend on systems alone but on culture and the motivation of those in the chain of command.
It is therefore the role of those in charge to ensure that an effective governance structure, the right culture and the necessary motivation exist.

The thing that these ‘success factors’ for good governance depend on is effective communication. This communication will take place up and down the chain of command as well as outwards to the stakeholders. It is important to recognise that in every communication there is ‘noise’ that will affect the transparency of the message. This needs to be understood and if governance is to be effective.

David ran through the various publications that have been produced and updated on this important subject as well as the Special Interest Group (SIG) that exists to promote best practice. In one of those publications, ‘Sponsoring Change’ the audience was introduced to the inclusion of governance checklists. Questions like: ‘has the control of risk and contingency been agreed?’ and ‘is there a forum for meeting with other stakeholders?’ were shown as examples of how practical these guide publications can be.

Other practical questions such as ‘do sponsors continue in their roles for periods of time sufficient to ensure accountability?’ have been included in the updated publication ‘Directing Change’.
Of course governance cannot be considered in organisational or even national isolation. Projects span national boundaries as do organisations and the governance SIG draws on members that reflect the need for an international view and consistency. These members include BSI, ISO, academics as well as commercial organisations.

The need for good governance in project management affects everyone involved. It not only helps in deciding which projects should be part of the organisations portfolio but determines the contents and frequency of team progress reports and whether a project risk is green, amber or red. This address contributes to our understanding of a vital activity which we ignore at our peril.

Found David Shanon at the IPMA World Congress on The PM Channel (subscription needed), found other videos freely available


APMP – Useful information


APMP Certificate is based on the Association for Project Management’s Body of Knowledge and covers the syllabus for the APMP examination. It is designed to improve the skills of project management staff to enable them, through good project management practice, to make sound business decisions and thereby manage their projects to a successful conclusion. APMP will provide the delegate with an internationally recognised qualification (IPMA Level D, SCQF Level 7).

Who should attend?

Project Managers who have not had formal best-practice project management training.
Prospective work package managers, project managers or other key project personnel looking to
develop their project management career skills.
Project Managers wishing to attain a formal, and widely recognised, project management qualification.


Good project management basic skills or attendance on the APM Introductory Certificate course plus ideally a minimum of 6 months actual experience of working on a project. We recommend delegates take the free online PMA5 lite assessment to help assess readiness and suitability for the APMP Certificate course and exam. This assessment identifies the delegate’s existing knowledge and experience and recommends the appropriate level of training required.

Course objectives:

Delegates will be able to:
Appreciate business processes and lifecycle models for projects and project management.
Use critical path analysis techniques and manage resource conflicts.
Contribute to the development of the business case.
Select and apply appropriate project monitoring and control methods.
Use a systematic approach to analysing and planning a project.
Consider and apply appropriate conflict management and negotiating techniques.
Appreciate the project context and actively manage the project stakeholders.
Apply work breakdown structures and map responsibilities.
Appreciate the context and relevance of project change control processes.
Recognise the importance of developing effective leadership skills and communication techniques.
Prepare for the APMP examination.

The APMP course covers 37 topic of 52 of the Body of Knowledge (APM BoK). 50 – 60 hours of study are required to prepare this exam.

The exam comprises answering 10 questions from 16 in three hours with a pass mark of 55%.

For current PRINCE2® Registered Practitioners a two hour paper that recognises prior learning. In this paper candidates must answer 6 from 10 questions derived from just 25 topics.

Free videos available on The PM Channel to help you:

Watch Mike Warren giving you an overview of the APMP examination and the types of questions asked in the 3 hour written paper here.

APMP course available on The PM Channel for £149/year. Course content available:

Portfolio and programme management concepts
The project context and stakeholder management
The project lifecycle and business processes
Developing a business case, investment appraisal techniques
Risk management
Project strategy and constructing the project management plan
Scope management and breakdown structures
Time and resource scheduling
Budgets and cost control
Change control and configuration management
Teamwork and communication
Procurement and contracts
Conflict and negotiating skills
Handover and project closure
Exam preparation and exam practice questions, exercises and scored feedback

Rodney Turner – Sustainability in Project Management


Rodney Turner describes how sustainability comprises the three pillars: environmental, social and economic and how important it is to get a balance between these 3 pillars.  He gives a couple of examples of the challenges of balancing these three pillars.

Rodney Turner is managing consultant at EuroProjex Ltd and Academic Director to the PhD in Project and Programme Management at SKEMA Business School, in Lille France. He is Adjunct Professor at the University of Technology Sydney, and the Kemmy Business School, Limerick. Rodney is the author or editor of sixteen books, and over 30 peer reviewed journal articles. He is editor of The International Journal of Project Management. He lectures on project management world-wide. Rodney is Vice President, Honorary Fellow and former chairman of the UK’s Association for Project Management, and former President and Chairman of the International Project Management Association. His research interests are leadership and human resource management in project-oriented organizations, the management of projects in SMEs, the success of complex projects, and governance, ethics and trust on projects.

Rodney Turner – Stakeholder engagement, not management

Recently interviewed by The PM Channel, Rodney Turner highlights the importance of stakeholder engagement  (not management) and the role of the emotional intelligence of the project manager as a key success factor in a project. He describes the four step emotional intelligence model and how it is fundamental to building relationships with stakeholders.


Rodney Turner is Academic Director to the PhD in Project and Programme Management at SKEMA Business School, in Lille, France. Rodney is the author or editor of sixteen books on project management.

Get access to more tips and hints on key project management areas on The PM Channel with the Development package for £149/year.


PRINCE2 or APM? How do I choose


Projects rely on teams of individuals to deliver change. These teams need a combination of both the skills to do the work and a structured method or framework within which the work can be done. Without both of these in place a project is likely to fail to achieve its objectives. Collectively, APM and PRINCE2 provide both of these essential elements.

This document explains how they do this and provides guidance to those deciding which path to go down. It is important to stress that the APM BoK and PRINCE2 approaches are complimentary and not competitive.

What is PRINCE2?

PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is a process-based method for effective project management. It is a de facto standard used extensively by the UK Government and is also widely recognised and used in the private sector, both in the UK and internationally.

The PRINCE2 method provides its users with a structured project lifecycle and appropriate management ‘gates’ to facilitate control which support good governance. The processes detail what activities need to be done at each stage of the lifecycle together with the roles and responsibilities of the team.

The method focuses on the project having a continuous business justification, a defined organisation structure for the project management team and a product-based planning approach. Knowledge of the PRINCE2 method is tested by examination at two different levels.

It is important to understand that the PRINCE2 method is not a ‘one size fits all’. Success in implementing it is highly dependent on how it is tailored for different size projects and the nature of the organisation.

What is APM BoK?

The Association for Project Management (APM) does not provide or advocate a particular method, but rather it is a framework within which projects should be run. The APM Body of Knowledge identifies the key areas of knowledge that those working in projects need to know and apply. The APM Body of Knowledge is promoted through qualifications, accredited training, research, publications and events. These key areas of knowledge are tested by examination at four levels.

Factors to consider in deciding which is most appropriate for my organisation. Do you have the essential knowledge and skills to undertake projects? Look to objectively assess or benchmark your project managers to determine their project management overall competence. If this shows that knowledge and skills are in need of development, then consider APM first.

Are you introducing a new project management method or a major overhaul of your existing method? If so, consider PRINCE2, but look to apply PRINCE2 in a tailored and appropriate way to suit your organisation. Also do think about PRINCE2 method education for project staff levels above and below project managers in order to maximise your success in implementing the method.

Do you have a project management method, but wish to improve the project management understanding of your people and perhaps refine and improve the method in places? Because APM BoK provides both the key principles and a broad understanding of project management, it can help cement the importance of applying a project management method, and is not limited to deployment of a specific method. Hence, APM BoK should be considered as the first approach for such a situation.

Do you lack the skills and the project management method? If so, then consider a combination of APM BoK to embed an overall framework and project management principles, followed by a tailored and appropriately sized application of PRINCE2 to provide the detailed method for project teams to follow.

How does APM differ from PRINCE2?

APM and PRINCE2 are not competing methods of project management. APM training and qualifications are designed to ensure that individuals and teams have the appropriate generic knowledge and understanding in the key areas and principles of project management. APM training is appropriate for anyone involved in project management. It provides the foundation for using project management methods such as PRINCE2.

PRINCE2 provides users with a structured process driven methodology suitable for any organisation undertaking projects. PRINCE2 related training is most suitable to those either using (or about to use) the PRINCE2 method or one that is based on PRINCE2. It will also benefit those who do not work in a PRINCE2 environment as its general principles and emphasis on structure and deliverables will facilitate best practice.

Advantages and disadvantages:

The advantages and disadvantages of deploying APM’s framework or PRINCE2 as a method will depend on the specific situation within each individual organisation. However, there are some general advantages and disadvantages that an organisation should be aware of before selecting their own approach.

PRINCE2 – Advantages: It is an internationally recognised best practice method. It is free to use and is supported by the APM Group Ltd. The training is accredited and provides qualifications to individuals at two levels. It supports governance. It can be used in any organisation for any size of project. As a standard method it can be rolled out across an organisation to provide a common language and support consistency.

PRINCE2 – Disadvantages: It is often seen as bureaucratic if not understood and applied appropriately. In addition, like any method, it can take time and effort to roll it out across an entire organisation. The language can be off putting for those unfamiliar with project management methods. The ‘soft skills’ of project management such as stakeholder management and conflict management are not covered within PRINCE2.

APM BoK – Advantages: It is internationally recognised through its alignment to IPMA and provides accredited qualifications. It is generic and does not rely on one particular method. It provides knowledge and understanding in a wide range of topics for anyone working in a project environment. APM also recognises important ‘soft skills’ and covers topics such as stakeholder and communications management, negotiation, conflict management and teamwork. APM framework and principles can be applied to organisations with an existing project management method.

APM BoK – Disadvantages: The APM BoK and the exam syllabuses cover a wide range of topics. The emphasis is on breadth rather than on depth. APM does not provide a specific method with ready to use templates.


There are two levels of PRINCE2 accreditation available for individuals: Foundation and Practitioner. The Foundation qualification is the first of two qualifications required to become a PRINCE2 Practitioner.

The Foundation exam aims to measure whether a candidate can act as an informed member of a project management team using the PRINCE2 methodology within a project environment supporting PRINCE2.

The Practitioner is the second of the two PRINCE2 examinations you are required to pass to become a PRINCE2 Practitioner. This PRINCE2 examination is aiming to measure whether a candidate would be able to apply PRINCE2 to the running and managing of a project within an environment supporting PRINCE2. To this end they need to exhibit the competence required for the Foundation qualification, and show that they can apply and tune PRINCE2 to address the needs and problems of a specific project scenario.

APM Introductory Certificate – is for anyone looking to understand the basic principles of project management. APMP Certificate – is a knowledge based qualification. Successful candidates are able to participate in projects from individual assignments through to large capital projects. APMP is a qualification recognised both nationally and internationally that successful candidates can carry from one job to another or from one industry to another. APMP Certificate is aligned to the IPMA (International Project Management Association) as a level D qualification. APMP does not require candidates to have first taken the Introductory Certificate.

APM Practitioner Qualification – is an assessment based event not a course, and is designed to test the ability of a practising project manager to manage a project against thirty criteria. It is the only qualification based project management assessment of its kind available in the UK. APM PQ is also an IPMA level C qualification. It is preferable, but not a pre-requisite, for candidates to have first taken the APMP certificate.

For senior project managers, there is also APM Certificated Project Manager (IPMA level B) which is a prestigious qualification with an extensive demonstrable track record of project success being required.

The Association for Project Management (APM) is the largest independent professional body of its kind in Europe with over 16,500 individual and 500 corporate members throughout the UK and abroad. Their aim is to develop and promote project management across all sectors of industry. At the heart of APM is the APM Body of Knowledge; fifty-two knowledge areas required to manage any successful project. The APM is currently seeking a Royal Charter to have project management recognised as a profession (2009).

The PM Channel offers you the possiblility to Study APM Introductory Certificate for £49/year and PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner, APMP for £149/year. You also get access to remote tutor support and exam readiness tests.