Tag Archives: Survival Guide

Upcoming MSP® Survival Guides

Following on the success of the MSP® Survival Guide for BCMs, two more books in the Survival Guide series will be launched in the autumn. mspsurvive

The Survival Guides are written specifically with a role in mind. The BCM guide focused on benefits, the techniques and processes of business change that the main manual could not cover.

The MSP® Survival Guide for Programme Managers is just about to go into production and will be available in the early Autumn. It focuses on the techniques needed by programme managers and how to interpret MSP® into things they must do, should do and might do.

The MSP® Survival Guide for SROs has just been completed and is being distributed by the TSO (publisher) to a select group of programme leaders around the world for their comments, and it will be on the bookshelves sometime around November.

The books have been written by Aspire Europe programme consultants and trainers to bring a wealth of expertise, in a plain talking, practical style.

MSP® is a registered trademark of AXELOS Limited.

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Survival Guide to Project Planning is finished

In the last 10 years, Aspire Europe has been involved in over 200 maturity reviews using the P3M3® maturity standard, worked as consultants in over 250 organisations, and delivered training to around 5,000 people across the globe. The one astoundingly consistent fact that has come out of this is that most organisations are very poor at project planning; it is a major constraining factor on their ability to deliver.

The industry isn’t helping itself, if you have a project manager who is qualified in the major qualifications, APMBOK, PMI, IPMA or PRINCE2® – the reality is that in the 10 days training they may have spent less than 10% of the time learning about planning – so we shouldn’t be surprised.

The majority of project methods and in-house handbooks fail to provide standards or guidance on techniques to be used.  Therefore, we have developed a step by step approach to developing a plan that is aligned to the common stages in a project.  We have explained the best practice techniques simply and given you an example based on a simple case study. The book review team noted that the guide goes ‘beyond just planning’, which is true since planning and project management are inherently linked through the project lifecycle.

This isn’t a survival guide to project management, planning is a specific element of that so it will be helpful if you have a basic understanding of the bigger picture.

Whether you are new to project management or have the general qualifications in project management, you will find something in this book for you. It will help to demystify some of the common vocabulary so when people use the terms you will understand what they mean, rather than nodding sagely whilst being totally confused.

If you are looking for a practical guide to help improve your project planning and increase your ability to control the plan – this is the book for you.

Expected release date: Summer 2015

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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 jane.pennington@tso.co.uk, and copy in tom.ford@aspireeurope.com 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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