A New Way Forward For Portfolio, Programme And Project Management

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Delivering successful, organizational change via projects and programmes is under pressure and scrutiny like never before. This piece, created in association with Axelos®, looks at ProPath™, a new certification scheme designed to tackle complex projects in a fast-changing world.

Our so-called VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) was challenging enough already – and then came the Covid-19 pandemic.

Enterprises seeking to both recover and thrive need the capability to respond to constant change and compete confidently in rapidly shifting markets.

Such a situation needs project and programme experts and leaders; adaptable and well-qualified to identify and guide the right types of change and improvements.

Therefore, professionals certified in best practice that provides the skills to master the pace of change are fast becoming indispensable.

The future is indeed bright for them, as they strive to provide organizations with the crucial skills, methods and frameworks needed to reduce costs, increase efficiencies and make sound investments for the future.

Bridging the gaps in professional skills

The “half-life” of an acquired skill – according to Denning and Brown’s A new culture of learning book – is five years. This suggests a need to refresh and enhance professional skills more frequently than in the past, or risk becoming obsolete.

Project and programme managers should have the capability to think beyond their immediate tasks and responsibilities; offering a broader perspective and more strategic approach to how change initiatives will affect their organization.

Ultimately, this means that landing on one certification and practising one set of skills indefinitely is no longer enough to meet today’s enterprise demands. And professionals must also be mindful of limiting their own career progression by ignoring life-long learning.

AXELOS® ProPath is designed to address this skills challenge: to provide a progressive development structure of best practice certifications that are specifically geared towards delivering meaningful change.

It provides individuals with multiple skill sets to make significant and sustainable improvement in their organizations.

What is AXELOS® ProPath?

The new AXELOS® ProPath certification scheme brings together the world’s leading project, programme, and portfolio best practice certifications, for the breadth of skills required to enable effective organizational change.

AXELOS has conducted extensive research with trainers and end users to create the required designations and provide a clear, professional development journey for professionals working in project, programme and portfolio management.

With AXELOS ProPath, professionals are in control of their career journey and ongoing progression by continually upgrading their knowledge and skills along the way. The clear structure of the scheme makes it easier to select and follow a pathway in whatever industry professionals choose to lead projects and programmes.

What does AXELOS ProPath comprise?

There are three AXELOS ProPath paths to choose from:

  • AXELOS® ProPath Project Expert
  • AXELOS® ProPath Agile Project Expert
  • AXELOS® ProPath Programme Leader.

Each path is made up of a specially selected combination of AXELOS best practice qualifications: step by step, one certification at a time, ProPath builds the skills that lead to outstanding results and a standout professional profile.

What does each designation involve?

AXELOS® ProPath Project Expert:

This path is designed for project management professionals that are looking for a holistic view of their projects; certifications that will strengthen their ability to deliver consistent results and help maximize benefits and efficiencies, whilst managing risk. The three certifications within this designation are:

  • PRINCE2® (Practitioner level): PRINCE2 Practitioner enables you to successfully manage a project from start to finish, on time and within budget.
  • Managing Successful Programmes (Practitioner level): MSP Practitioner provides a wider perspective and understanding beyond individual projects. MSP upskills project managers, who are also managing programmes, to have a holistic understanding of the business, why multiple projects are happening and how they align to the business goals of the organization. So, it is truly strategic, its outcomes are benefit-focussed and its effects can be felt across the business.
  • Management of Risk (M_o_R®) (Foundation and Practitioner levels): In an ever-changing world, risk management is a critical part of ensuring a project or programme is delivered on time and within scope. M_o_R helps candidates identify, assess and control risk across the organization.

AXELOS® ProPath Agile Project Expert:

For those passionate about the flexibility and responsiveness of Agile project management, this is the path to choose.

This path intentionally combines PRINCE2 Agile®, M_o_R and MSP for similar reasons to the Project Expert path, with the main difference being the option to take the PRINCE2 Agile 1st edition certification instead of PRINCE2 6th edition.

AXELOS ProPath Agile Project Expert provides the skills and guidance to help maximize benefits and manage risks, with agile delivery techniques.

AXELOS® ProPath Programme Leader:

To increase your ability to manage the complexities of multiple projects and programmes – whilst controlling the impact of risk and maintaining alignment with corporate strategy – the path to choose is the Programme Leader, which comprises:

Combining the rigour of P3O, with the big picture focus of MSP and MoP, the AXELOS ProPath Programme Leader route will allow senior professionals to demonstrate leadership that inspires and delivers change to the organization.

MoP provides advice and examples of how to apply principles, practices and techniques that help optimize an organization’s investment in change alongside its business as usual (BAU) work. MoP focuses on the achievement of strategic objectives.

Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (P3O) builds on the references in PRINCE2, Managing Successful Programmes (MSP), Management of Risk (M_o_R) and Management of Portfolios (MoP) to provide a single information source and support for organizations or individuals wishing to set up or maintain an effective delivery support office.

AXELOS® ProPath Certified Portfolio Director

This is the ultimate designation in project, programme, and portfolio management. With this industry-leading endorsement behind them, the ProPath Certified Portfolio Director will operate as a key player for change within their organization; using significant expertise to plan, direct, monitor and correct the course of change and to ensure extraordinary outcomes for the organization, and for themselves.  

AXELOS has created AXELOS® ProPath as a clear pathway to benefit best practice certified professionals and their organizations. Let’s begin this exciting journey together.

Allan Thomson, AXELOS® ProPath Product Ambassador
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