Category Archives: Magnificent Seven

What the Academy can offer you

FACT 1 – In 2011 the UK National Audit Office (NAO) reported that lack of programme and project management skills was one of the major concerns for senior managers.

FACT 2 – 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 don’t actually use the fundamental concepts or processes, basically people are gaining qualifications on subject areas they don’t use.

FACT 3 – 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.

If you are interested in more about why organisations fail to extract better value from the training market, why not read our article and paper at delivering better value from training. If you are interested in a broader perspective and wish to fully support your programme and project managers then an Academy model may be right for your organisation, an overview of the key characteristics is provided below.

How we improve your performance through training:

  1. Corporate Development Programmes – that provide targeted development to improve organisational and individual performance in both the processes and leadership of change (including talent programmes for developing critical communities).
  2. Competency Framework – that can be adapted for your organisation to help target your training (aligned to the APM Body of Knowledge).
  3. Competency and Capability Assessment – the process and survey that can profile the current organisation to target your training more effectively.
  4. 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.
  5. I-Learning Courses – we have all the main APM Group qualification courses and a range of topic specific courses that focus on application of the concepts, for example planning. The courses are modularised into over 200 “Knowledge Nuggets”. Which are short sharp sessions covering a specific topic or technique.
  6. Accredited Qualifications – we can offer the full range of APM, APM Group 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
  7. Align Framework – which provides 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.
  8. Community of Practice – which will enable personal development and networking and organisational learning and improvement.

If you are interested contact us at or 01275 848099

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Filed under Align Framework, Aspire Academy, Business Project Management, Knowledge Nugget, Learning, Magnificent Seven, Training

Survival Guide to project planning is finished! Are you interested?

Great news, we have finished another book.

In the summer we launched (in partnership with the TSO) the MSP® Survival Guide for Business Change Managers. We wrote that book because nearly all our assurance, gateway and maturity reviews were highlighting that this was still the problem areas for many programmes. At a project level, nearly every organisation struggles with planning. Qualified project managers with PRINCE2® and APMP will have only had around 1 day of training specifically on project planning management techniques and when to use them, so it is hardly surprising we get it wrong so often.

This book started life as a project planning framework for a client, but as we got into it, we realised that the root causes of planning failure ran very deep, in fact, many are cultural. We stopped digging at that point and decided instead to turn it into a book that takes you on a project journey, applying planning steps and techniques from requirements definition through to project controls and closure. We explain the techniques and give you worked examples as an illustration.

The audience for this publication is newly qualified and medium experienced project managers looking for a practical guide to improve their planning.

At this point the book is in final draft and we need 6 reviewers to be part of the TSO review process. We are looking for 6 newly qualified or experienced project managers to give us feedback on the content and usefulness.

If you are interested, please drop an email to, and copy in our project manager.

For a taster, here is our article – The Golden Thread of Project Planning

If you can’t wait for the publication of the book, we already have much of the content covered in our our Planning Principles I-Learning course. For more details follow this link

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Filed under Articles, Magnificent Seven, News, Planning

5 key principles of MoP – Latte experience

This  vodcast (Latter experience) from our partners at CCL in Brisbane, Australia and our Registered Consultant Elissa Farrow describe the 5 key principles of MoP

Management of Portfolios 5 key principles with Elissa Farrow –


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Filed under Magnificent Seven, MoP®, Training, Vodcast/Video

Magnificent Seven – Communications

Magnificent Seven is a series of hot tips for improving the way you do some aspect of programme and project management

1. Include communication at the outset of a project
2. Create a simple, clear, and concise headline message about what the project is going to achieve
3. Identify and segment the target audience and understand the likely impact on them, adjust your message accordingly
4. Use a staged approach to maintain interest and not overload the audience – take them through the sales cycle
5. The quickest communication methods (i.e email) are often the least effective
6. Include the most senior stakeholder – they can prove to be a strong ally in putting across the importance of the project
7. Welcome questions and comments and value feedback, always acknowledge and respond to it.

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Filed under Learning, Magnificent Seven, Programme Management, Project Management, Training