A path less travelled or a leap of faith

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I always used to think that Prince2 and Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) have their rightful place on the portfolio of formal training that is open to people in our profession. My thinking now is that it is still true but only for certain individuals and certain roles. Should a newly appointed programme planner have Prince2 The answer is every day of the week and twice on Sundays in my view. Should an operational project manager have it; or should a senior programme manager with 25 years of experience have MSP?  I am not convinced!
 
The issue I have with a lot of formal training is that I cannot help but view most of the established qualifications as just a knowledge test. This may have been acceptable 10 years ago but in the world we operate in today and with the pressures that we are all under, they just do not cut the mustard!
 
Being hungry for an alternative that moves away from the norm I was very interested to find out more about Registered Project Professional (RPP) and have spent the last several months trying to really understand what it is, why it is different, what benefit it will bring to my company and the people we choose to put through the process. Well firstly you have to clearly understand that RPP is not a qualification. What is certain is that it is an accreditation, and acknowledgement that an individual can perform at a required level against the APMs competency framework. I am sure that if you are looking at your screen now you are asking well what does that give me that is different? There are several key benefits but the couple that I want to mention are self-awareness of your capabilities and demonstrating that you are a responsible leader!
 
RPP will not test that you can reel off the elements in the project lifecycle in the correct order but it will ensure that everyone who carries the accreditation has demonstrated how to use the appropriate tools, processes and techniques in the management of a complex project. Moving forward I know which qualification would have more weight if I were interviewing for a position.
 
I believe that I have quite strong views on this subject and I also believe that you have to put your money where your mouth (or belief) is. To that end the company I work for will shortly be putting a select group from its overall programme team through the RPP process and I personally will be monitoring how we have individually and collectively benefited from the experience I will keep you posted!
 
In terms of formal project and programme qualifications I really do feel that the RPP offering from the APM will sooner rather than later be the benchmark standard for our industry. In terms of the title of this article a path less travelled or a leap of faith it is actually neither. It is actually a step forward in my eyes to equip our people better to deliver against time, cost and quality and always add value!

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Posted by Peter E Horsted on 18th Oct 2011

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