Category Archives: Aspire Academy

Join us in Auckland for breakfast – 19th December

Why not join our MD Rod Sowden, for  a complimentary breakfast briefing in Auckland

Date: Tuesday 19th December, 8am to 9.30am
Venue: JACK TAR, North Wharf, 34-47 Jellicoe Street, Auckland
Speaker: Rod Sowden
Cost: Complimentary

Rod Sowden’s company, Aspire Europe have recently completed a major review of Network Rail using P3M3.  The organisation with the biggest infrastructure investment portfolio in the UK has made massive steps forward and achieved maturity level 3 in project management and are now steadily improving their programme and portfolio management maturity; all in preparation to enable expenditure of nearly £50bn on the UK rail infrastructure between 2019 and 2024, Aspire were also involved in helping to plan that improvement journey.

Rod led the assessments and is keen to talk through how the P3M3 framework should be used as the framework for delivering performance rather than simply benchmarking and the lessons from Network Rail that should shape the adoption by other organisations.

Rod is the current lead author for Managing Successful Programmes and P3M3 itself.

This session is for:

• Anyone accountable for improving their organisations programme and portfolio management maturity

• Those responsible for developing P3M3 frameworks for delivering performance.

Your takeaways will be ……..

  • Hear a bit about the Network Rail story
  • Opportunity to network with the lead author of MSP and P3M3
  • Insight into what a sucessful organisation lookslike, with a range of P3M3 maturity levels

Places are limited, don’t delay register today   Register Here

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about this session.

Kind Regards

Sarah Vivian

Business Development Manager
CC Learning
M 027 4226 062 / 0800 888 897

Leave a comment

Filed under Learning

Case study – implementing a Change Advocates network

As regular blog watchers will know, Aspire Academy were involved in a TJ Awards short-listed change management training and development programme at Cheshire West and Chester Council.

The Aspire Academy team who delivered the assignment were Robert Cole and David King.

This video outlines how we designed and implemented an approach that pulled together a disparate group of change people across a number of sites into a coherent and functioning organisation.

If you would like to see the full case study  click here

Leave a comment

Filed under Aspire Academy, Learning

The great programme management debate – MSP v PMI

student

In the world, there are two main programme management frameworks, the MSP® framework which we have been so heavily involved in, and the PMI Programme Management framework from the US based community.

We were commissioned to write a paper comparing the two approaches and we thought this article would be an interesting reference point if you are looking to develop programme management understanding.

The overwhelming conclusion of this article is that organisations delivering programmes need to exploit the strengths of both approaches and once understood, they are surprisingly compatible and build on the strengths and weaknesses of each other rather than proposing opposing approaches.

The article has been written by Rod Sowden, lead author for MSP® 2007 and 2011.

MSP® is a [registered] trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved

Leave a comment

Filed under Aspire Academy, Aspire Accelerate, MSP®, Programme and Project framework, Programme Management

Portfolio offices play a key role in strategy delivery – Forrester research

In this article by Forrester Consulting, they have written an excellent paper on how strategic PMOs play a key role in increasing an organisations ability to deliver the right projects in the right way, thus improving organisational performance and agility.

It includes an interesting section about the triggers for PMOs taking on this strategic relevance, not surprisingly, most are linked to a corporate calamity of some sort or a new CEO who is a believer.

Their findings illustrate that the critical success factors include:

  • They have a seat at the executive table
  • They are a critical part of the strategic planning process
  • They embrace core competencies
  • They use consistent objectives across industries and regions

For those of you that are familiar with Eileen Roden’s P3O®, some of this will be old news but it is still a very interesting article with current examples.

P3O® is a [registered] trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

Leave a comment

Filed under Learning, p3o, Portfolio Management, Programme & Portfolio Office

Fresh Look – Benefits Management

We thought it would be a good idea to revisit some of the guiding principles that underpin the world of portfolio, programme and project management. In a world of information overload, it is very easy to lose sight of what matters, so this is the first in a series of posts that we revisit to remind about some core concepts.

Picture1

In this article, we revisit benefits management, which is still one of the most mysterious disciplines in the world of transformation. Benefits appear like magic when the business case is being written. With earnest consideration and challenge, even more mysteriously, they seem to disappear as soon as the business is signed off and people get down to the real business of delivering stuff, probably never returning to the sticky subject of benefits and why the change was initiated in the first place.

We’ve pulled together some of what we have found to be guiding principles which may increase your chances of achieving your benefits delivery.

Leave a comment

Filed under Benefits Management, Knowledge Nugget

Wasting money on training – what can we do to help?

Strange but true

  1. In 2011 the UK National Audit Office (NAO) reported that a lack of programme and project management skills was one of the major concerns for senior managers. In 2017 there is an estimate that the UK public sector is 4,000 short of the number needed to deliver Brexit.
  2. Our skills and capability assessments have also highlighted some other alarming statistics, one of which is that 23% of people involved in transformation programmes and projects have no formal qualifications.
  3. Over 250,000 people worldwide are qualified in PRINCE2® and over 50,000 in Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®), but when we undertake maturity assessments and assurance reviews, we find organisations do not actually use the fundamental concepts or processes. So basically people are gaining qualifications on subject areas they do not use.

If you are interested in finding out more about why organisations fail to extract better value from the training market, why not read our article – delivering better value from training

In the meantime, here are the things that the Aspire Academy award winning team can help you with.

15922409225_55d9e38190_o

If you want targeted development to improve organisational and individual performance in both the processes and leadership of change, we can help with the  following:

  1. Competency Framework – that can be adapted for your organisation to help target your training and is aligned to the APM Body of Knowledge.
  2. Competency and Capability Assessment – the process and survey that can profile the current organisation to target your training more effectively.
  3. Short Courses – a range of  ‘off the shelf’, customisable topic and role related courses specifically targeted at improving performance. A number have associated vocational qualifications from C4CM.
  4. eLearning Courses – we have all the main APM Group and AXELOS Limited qualification courses and a range of topic specific courses that focus on application of the concepts, e.g. planning.
  5. Accredited Qualifications – we can offer the full range of APM, APM Group, AXELOS Limited and C4CM qualifications in face-to-face events. Result statistics from the APMG exam institute show our average pass rate across all our products and qualification levels is a 97% success rate over the past year!
  6. Align Framework – A portfolio, programme and project framework which provides a self-help knowledge base and just-in-time guidance for teams. For more information on the Align Framework, click here.
  7. Community of Practice – will enable personal development and networking and organisational learning and improvement.
MSP® and PRINCE2® are [registered] trade marks of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

Leave a comment

Filed under Aspire Academy

10% discount on our Planning guide!

Is it time your organisation improved its planning?

Anyone can claim to be at the leading edge of the industry or a thought leader, but how many people put themselves ‘out there’ and go into print as authors, securing the backing of one of the world’s leading publishing companies like the TSO?

This book was written by Rod Sowden (Aspire Europe’s MD). It started life as a guidance for one of his customers, but later developed into a course and finally evolved into a book. It evolved as a result of P3M3® assessments, spotting a systemic problem with planning in most organisations which we found to be a global issue. The book helps to pull all the threads and concepts together into one practical guide that extracts the best from many bodies of knowledge around the world.

Why not have a look at the British Computer Society review

We are confident this book will make a difference to the success of your projects so why not take a look inside! Contact us to find out more and how to obtain a 10% discount when purchasing through us.

P3M3® is a [registered] trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

Leave a comment

Filed under Aspire Academy, P3M3®, Planning, Programme Management, Project Management