APM Introductory Certificate examination can available online
APM’s Introductory Certificate in project management is now available to take online whenever you want. “We wanted to improve the candidate experience when taking our entry-level qualification, making it more accessible, convenient and in line with e-learning opportunities,” said Liz Wilson, head of professional standards and knowledge at APM. “It is a great example of our flexible approach to delivering world-class, professional qualifications.”
You also get your results back immediately. This makes it a lot easier for international candidates to sit the exam and the exam is properly invigilated (although I’m not sure how this works – my experience of invigilated exams involves a disinterested teacher sitting at the front of the room making sure we don’t throw pencils at each other in the exam room).
It’s another example of how more and more stuff is moving online and I expect we’ll see more online options available from other providers in the future.
PMI buys Human Systems International
In mergers and acquisitions news this month, PMI has bought the UK assessment and benchmarking firm Human Systems International. “HSI and PMI are like-minded organizations, focused on providing thought leadership, knowledge and networking opportunities designed to improve company and practitioner capabilities in project, programme and portfolio management,” said Mark Langley, President and CEO of PMI.
You can see that there is a good fit. HSI has what they call “the world’s largest and most robust database” of project management best practices. PMI will no doubt use this information to build resources for their members and hopefully to share the knowledge around a bit so that we all benefit.
The plan is for HSI’s benchmarking approach to remain methodology-independent and standards-agnostic, focusing on the best practices that have emerged over two decades of data collection from multinational organizations. Hopefully that will ensure that all standards get the same treatment and that we don’t end up with research only into certain areas.
New PRINCE2 ebook
There’s a new PRINCE2 ebook available from Knowledge Train. I found out about it through G+. Most of the links shared there aren’t that interesting but this ebook is good and if you are studying for the PRINCE2 exam I’m sure it will help explain the major themes. And it’s free! What’s not to like?
It seems like every couple of months a standard gets updated at the moment and now Best Management Practice is in on the act. The Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (P3O) standard has just been updated. It covers the different types of offices that may exist within a P3O structure, the roles required to manage the functions and services that the P3O team carries out and the key techniques and tools used by P3Os.
The standard has been updated to be more in line with the other standards from The Stationery Office including Management of Value and Managing Successful Programmes, there’s some new guidance on Key Performance Indicators and a new case study. I doesn’t sound like the changes have been too radical but the standardisation with their other products is very welcome.
BBC Move to Salford – Committee of Public Accounts Report released
Last year the BBC moved many of its departments to Salford in the north of England near Manchester. This was quite a controversial project at the time, especially as many staff, presenters and executives received relocation allowances, in one case of £150,000.
The Public Accounts Committee report has now been released and it concludes that the move was successful. It was on time and at a total cost of £224m, which was £9m below budget. And there was no disruption to broadcast services. However, it also says that it’s too early to tell if the wider benefits of better serving northern audiences and creating jobs and economic growth in the region will be achieved. The report recommends routine monitoring of benefits through clear measurement and reporting of progress.
The report also talks about the Digital Media Initiative project which was closed down after delivering nothing but costing £98m. I don’t think the premature close of this project was directly linked to the relocation, but there is going to be more investigation into what went wrong and why the committee was told they were making “good progress” and it was “fully on track” when in reality nothing seemed to be happening and the project didn’t achieve anything or deliver any programmes. Watch this space for more from the National Audit Office who will no doubt be releasing their findings.