Portfolio Management Masterclass

Portfolio management is becoming ever more popular and one of the leaders in the field – Terry Doerscher – is making a rare appearance in the UK on May 15th in London. Terry will be hosting a Taming Change with Portfolio Management workshop which brings together his experience in PMO, portfolio management, change management and EPM. Many of you may be aware of Terry’s work through Planview which releases the PMO 2.0 Trending report ,  whitepapers such as The Relevant PMO and podcasts The Portfolio Management workshop is a must for anyone currently working within an organisation which is looking closely at portfolio management. The workshops, hosted by BOT, are content rich and I came away brimming with ideas after the last one I attended 18 months ago. If you’re available, there are one or two places left and you can find out more about the day workshop here . To find out more about Terry Doerscher, read his biography Related Posts Is 2012 the year to maximize the value your Projects deliver?

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Book Review – Project Sponsorship

Book Review – Project Sponsorship

During my 8 years as a project and programme manager, I’ve experienced a great variety of project sponsorship styles and approaches. While there are many popular and mature project, programme and portfolio management courses, books and frameworks, I haven’t encountered much material devoted directly to project sponsorship. I was therefore keen to see what this book: Project Sponsorship – An Essential Guide for Those Sponsoring Projects Within Their Organisations by David West has to offer. Content This book is broken into three parts: Part 1 defines the nature of project sponsorship and sponsors. Part 2 focuses on project sponsor duties and skills, and Part 3 gives an overview of project management. Plus points The author clearly has vast experience of delivering complex projects and programmes, particularly in the construction and engineering sectors, and useful anecdotes and nuggets of insight litter the book. The book is very thorough and touches on all of the key components required for successful project sponsorship. The book contains detailed technical guides for developing robust business cases and managing project finances. Each tool includes well presented examples to aid understanding. I can see that the rigorous financial approaches described are vital for high value projects and programmes (multi-million pound plus initiatives), however a tailored and selective approach would be required for smaller scale projects. I really enjoyed the soft skills portions of the book, where subjects such as negotiation, leadership, conflict resolution and team building were covered. I think that these sections are vital reading for anyone operating in a project environment, and from memory these subjects are given minimal coverage in other texts such as the Prince2 handbook, which sponsors may have read in the past. A word of caution Given David’s background (engineering / construction), the book naturally works around the assumption of a waterfall project management approach. I would therefore caution that portions of this book are not universally relevant – the discussion on project planning and budgeting doesn’t really work for an agile software house. Nonetheless, the interpersonal skills content is clearly universally applicable (and excellent!), as are many of the other topics. You’ll just have to pick and choose which approaches fit with your environment, and hey, it’s always interesting to see what your peers are doing in different sectors

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The Winners of the April Ten in Ten Draw are…

The Winners of the April Ten in Ten Draw are…

…Stephen Field, Elanor Crossland and Sarah Owen. Stephen, Elanor and Sarah were selected from a collection of hundreds of participants in the premier edition of the Prize Draw commemorating the 10th Birthday Celebration from Arras People . As was the case last month, hundreds took part in the April contest, with several repeat participants from our opening contest in March. We just can’t thank all of you enough for the interest. The May edition of Ten in Ten opens Tuesday – be sure to get in with a shot at a PPM course voucher by checking out the Arras Ten in Ten website and taking the PMI UK/IIL survey As our grand prize winners, Stephen, Elanor and Sarah all win a free distance learning course places for the APMP qualification. As April’s grand prize winners, these three will also receive the renowned Parallel Project Training study guide that accompanies their APMP exam preparation, Your Journey to Professional Project Management: How to Pass the APMP , by Parallel’s John Bolton & Paul Naybour. Congratulations are in order to Stephen, Elanor and Sarah – well done to all of you! As a courtesy to Parallel Project Training, here’s a look at some of the courses they have to offer.

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Presentation Counts

Presentation Counts

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is an extract from ‘The Lazy Project Manager and The Project from Hell’ – Peter Taylor’s new book, currently free as an eBook from Amazon I was recently in a restaurant in a foreign land (well, foreign to me of course, but less so to the locals). The location was good, the décor and ambience very acceptable, the company most enjoyable, and the snow fell softly outside providing a winter wonderland visual delight through the large windows. But sadly, all of that positive build-up for a great evening’s dining was almost outweighed by the food and service. After an initial ordering experience, the diners elected to eat the same main course but each agreed that the chef’s vegetable of choice for the evening was not to their personal liking. It was the humble Brussels sprout, a member of the brassica family that enjoys a somewhat tarnished image which, considering its status as a nutritional powerhouse, is perhaps a little unfair. Its reputation is perhaps mostly due to the great British Christmas Day cooking technique: take sprouts, cut, trim, boil until at least twice dead and then for five minutes more.

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Project Management Cookbook

Project Management Cookbook

In a recent project management careers clinic I was asked the question – PRINCE2 or APMP, which one should someone looking to increase their project management knowledge early in their careers spend their money on? Most people who are new to project management have of course heard about PRINCE2, it’s difficult not to when looking at job advertisements because that’s the thing most employers ask for. That doesn’t mean its the right choice when looking to improve your project management skills and ultimately become attractive to potential employers. I’ve heard the analogy about PRINCE2 and APMP being likened to cookery and  it really drives home the fundamental differences between the two. The APMP – which is the Association for Project Management’s training and accreditation is the equivalent of “how to cook” . It’s the course you would look for having never boiled an egg in your life when you’ve decided to host a dinner party for 16! The APMP covers the project management techniques – the how of project management. A great example is the whole area of project schedules and plans

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