Project Management Made Plain

The new Kingsway Business Park is taking shape in the land that lays beyond the bottom of my garden. The activity of the last three months has been the preparatory work for the new Asda frozen food distribution centre which is absolutely enormous. Janice & I have watched with interest the road-building and the tarmac and pipe-laying that’s been going on – only to realise that all of this was for the fourteen (at the last count) portable buildings to house the site management for the rest of the project.

Despite the travails of Rochdale weather, these guys have it pretty easy. The ancient Egyptians built enormous structures in a relatively short timescale. To complicate matters further for them, the process was continually subject to the changing demands of the Pharaoh; the weather; diseases; and wars.

How did they get millions of stones to the right place and make sure that tens of thousands of people worked as efficiently and effectively as possible? Obviously this didn’t just happen all by itself. They could not have been done it without effective project management.

These days we have well-proven practical methodologies like PRINCE2® to help us. It provides Project Managers with an excellent process for ensuring a project starts sensibly; is controlled throughout; and is delivered successfully. And yet, I am continually surprised by how many people find project management such a difficult concept to comprehend. I suppose I’m one of the lucky ones – I’ve always felt that project management is just structured common sense – then again, that’s how I view ITIL.

So when we decided to develop our own PRINCE2 material, I was really pleased and supportive of the approach that my trainers wanted to adopt – no PowerPoint!
Using practical exercises instead of the ubiquitous PowerPoint presentation, Sysop students work through a series of facilitated and very logical case-studies which enable them to understand PRINCE2® in a much more effective and practical way. By the end of the course they have developed their own reference book crammed with the project templates that they have developed – an invaluable reference guide back in the workplace.

Even Richard Pharro, CEO of APMG was impressed. He said: “It is encouraging to see Accredited Training Organisations making the learning experience of delegates as exciting as possible. Learning in a way which enables students to utilise their practical experience when they get back to the office will help them become more effective project managers. I am confident the Sysop workshops will be very popular.”

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2 thoughts on “Project Management Made Plain

  1. I have to be honest that overall I was very impressed with the ITIL material Sysop produced, and if this is using the same approach then I am sure it will be equally good.

    Looking forward to seeing it.

  2. Having attended the course myself I have to say I felt it was thorough effective and worthwhile. I have the benefit of having taken the older version of PRINCE some six years ago as a standard tutor led, PowerPoint course so I can compare the two. Learning through doing is certainly the most effective approach. I also felt that I left the course with a veritable kit bag of tools and templates to use in my role as a consultant.

    I’m now planning the way forward to adopt a similar approach with our ITIL® materials.

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