Professionalism – why settle for less when it comes to managing projects?

Professionalism – why settle for less when it comes to managing projects?

Historically, people have moved into project management later in their careers, either in a planned way or they have found themselves managing projects as part of their role. Project management is now being recognised as a profession in its own right and increasingly the need for project professionals is coming to the fore. There are numerous case studies of where project professionalism has led to a positive project outcomes, recent successes include ; King’s Cross, The Shard, the Digital TV roll-out, and the 2012 Olympic Games and the need for project professionals is growing. 13 separate Sector Skills Councils reports and cluster reports in the UK have identified project management as either an immediate skills shortage or one that will hit in the short to medium term.

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Any advice on becoming a project management contractor…

Any advice on becoming a project management contractor…

At Project Challenge earlier this year, every second person who drop by the stand said pretty much the same thing, “…any advice on becoming a project management contractor…” Contracting has always been an attractive option – especially in terms of the rates contractors can work at and the variation of opportunities that exist. Seasoned contractors will also be quick to tell you that it’s not necessarily plain sailing. Rates have been taking a hit lately and it can be nerve-racking if a new contract doesn’t materialise soon after the last one has ended. These are just a few of the facts that make up a contractor’s lot. There’s also the competition they face from other project management contractors who are available at any one time and the need to differentiate themselves in some way to be a more attractive proposition for an organisation. Then there’s the administration that needs to happen, each week, month and year. There’s certainly bookkeeping to be done, alongside sales and marketing activities.

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Project Recruitment Changes – One Day at a Time

Project Recruitment Changes – One Day at a Time

“I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.” Aldous Huxley So on that note we’re happy to announce that Arras People have just launched their new job and career portal for project management practitioners. We do want to change the world eventually (……muahahahahahhahahahha!) well the world of project management recruitment anyway, and to do that we’ve just made the first stepped change. The first step is creating a platform that allows us to carrying on bringing additional changes to project practitioners – for ones that are currently job seeking and the ones that are interested in developing their career. Today, the platform enables project practitioners to gain control of their data at Arras People; have the ability to manage when they get alerted about new vacancies; are able to benchmark against others based on role and sector and receive exclusive offers. Tomorrow? Watch this space, we’re serious about changing the way project management recruitment works and this is just the beginning.

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Masterclass in Programme Management Delivery

Masterclass in Programme Management Delivery

We’ve often been asked at Arras – what training or courses are available for programme manager level practitioners? There is definitely a gap in the market. Sure you can look at Managing Successful Programmes which focuses on the methods, process and governance – a bit like PRINCE2 for the next level up of practitioners but what about the behavioural aspects of leading programmes and change at a higher level of the organisation? There is a marked change from delivering projects to delivering programmes – everyone knows that but what is the real difference when you’re on the ground delivering a new programme? In project management you don’t have to look far for training, accreditation and texts on processes, techniques and I think there has been much more focus on the “softer skills” of project management over the last few years too. We still have a way to go but project managers can tap into texts such as emotional intelligence; NLP; communication skills and leadership. When looking at the programme managers on the other hand – where is the support, guidance and practical advice that (a) enables a project manager make the transition to programme manager or (b) gives a programme manager some options when it comes to their own development plan?

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Book Review: “A Short Guide to Operational Risk”

Book Review: “A Short Guide to Operational Risk”

David Tattam’s ‘A Short Guide to Operational Risk’ fits into a series of Short Guides about risk published by Gower. The series is planned to comprise around 15 books, addressing risk management topics as diverse as Climate, Fraud, Kidnap and Ransom, and Tax Risk. The Short Guides series aims to provide an easily digested, 100 page introduction to each subject. Although this book exceeds that page count by a considerable margin, it provides a thorough, detailed guidance and discussion of its subject whilst retaining an easily assimilated style. Tattam provides a context for risk management in terms of regulation and guidance through a critique of the Basel II regulatory framework, and basing the characteristics of risk management processes around ISO 31000. Much of the book shows clear themes from Tattam’s background in banking and accountancy, though he extends the ideas successfully into other operational domains.

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