Showing posts with label APMG. Show all posts
Showing posts with label APMG. Show all posts

Friday, 27 March 2015

Better Business Cases, VMware VCP6-DT & more – Firebrand’s new courses


By Sarah Morgan


We are excited to announce the addition of five new accelerated courses to the Firebrand portfolio.

You can now experience Firebrand’s accelerated and distraction free, all-inclusive training on these brand new courses:


VMware® Mirage [V5.0] and Horizon with View [V6.0]: Fast Track - Only 5 Days

Get the latest version of the massively popular VCP5-DT on this five day course you’ll get your VMware Certified Professional 6 – Desktop (VCP6-DT) certification. Learn how to install, configure and manage VMware Horizon and get access to 24-hour labs and the same hardware you’d find in a real data centre.

Find out how to get VCP6-DT certified in just five days on this official all-inclusive VMware course.


Microsoft MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps - Only 6 Days

This brand new accelerated six day course is 50% faster than traditional training! Get MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps certified and you’ll learn the skills you need to manage devices in a modern bring-your-own-device BYOD enterprise.

Firebrand is also a Microsoft Gold Learning Partner - that means you'll get access to Microsoft Official Curriculum. Find out why this Microsoft MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps course is 50% faster than traditional training now.


Better Business Cases: Foundation and Practitioner - Only 3 Days

Learn how to use The Five Case Model, the UK Government’s best practice approach to planning public sector spending proposals. This model is recommended by the HM Treasury for use in Government departments and Government bodies.

Production of business cases is a mandatory part of planning a public sector spending proposal. If you’re responsible for spending public money, this certification that cannot be overlooked.

Learn how to develop an effective business case on this accelerated 3 day course.


Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Trade & Logistics / Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Financials

Get training in line with the newest version of Microsoft’s Dynamics AX 2012 R3 on these courses:


On these accelerated Microsoft Dynamics AX courses, you’ll study the Microsoft Official Curriculum (MOC) and get access to exclusive Firebrand R3 material. You'll also sit your exam onsite at the end of your course.


Over 180 courses and counting

Firebrand is committed to developing accelerated courses in line with new technology. To keep up to date with our newest and most cutting edge accelerated courses, you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and LinkedIn.

Firebrand’s portfolio now exceeds 180 accelerated courses from vendors like Microsoft, Cisco, (ISC)2 and CompTIA.

Find out how you can get certified at twice the speed and take a look at our full range of accelerated training.


About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

How to convince your manager to pay for PRINCE2 Training


By 


Becoming PRINCE2 certified will verify your ability to manage and organise successful projects. But, it’s not always easy to get certified independently - especially whilst trying to juggle your career, family and social life. A helping hand from your organisation could make all the difference.

After all, it’s in your manager’s best interest for you to be more qualified.  The more skilled you are at your job, the more you can contribute to your company.

Educate yourself about PRINCE2 and put across a compelling argument. Get started with these convincing points:


Keep an eye on scope creep
courtesy of 2nix
1. It will save your organisation time and money

1 in 6 projects have a cost overrun of 200% and a schedule overrun of nearly 70%, according to a study by the Harvard Business Review.

Scope creep is defined as uncontrolled and continuous change or growth in a project’s end date. It will cost your organisation the most finite of resources - time and money.

The ‘moving goal posts’ effect of scope creep is often a result of unforeseen changes to the projects requirements. Unfortunately, this typically results in exceeding your initial timescales and budgets. It also has the potential to worsen as the project progresses - you’ll have a hard time planning for a project that is in a constant state of flux. 

But, by using an established project management methodology like PRINCE2, you can manage and prevent scope creep as it happens. Topics like The Process-based Approach, Risk Management Strategy and Baselines for Control will teach you valuable lessons in the management of scope creep.

A reduction in the cost of projects across your organisation is a tangible bargaining chip for winning over your manager. Plus, with PRINCE2’s standardised methodology, you’ll be able to manage any unavoidable change within your projects whilst still maintaining your original objectives.


2. Bring some much needed clarity to your projects

PRINCE2 focuses on providing a tried-and-tested framework and methodology in which to manage projects clearly and efficiently. Your projects will benefit from a common and consistent approach that your stakeholders can take confidence in. 

Clearly measure the success of your endeavours within a standardised system and you’ll be able to provide accurate reports to your project’s stakeholders. Without an over-reliance on bureaucracy, PRINCE2 promotes consistency, continuous improvement and troubleshooting for your projects.

Explain to your superiors how PRINCE2 can provide a standardised framework for every project your organisation undertakes. PRINCE2 gives your organisation greater control of its resources.

The earlier you can adopt the methodology, the better. Fewer costly organisational mistakes will be made and those that are made can easily be tracked and improved upon.


3. It’s Government-backed

PRINCE2 was launched by the UK Government in 1996 and is now recognised as the international standard method for project management because it embodies years of best practice.

According to arras People’s 2013 UK Project Management Benchmark, the PRINCE2 qualification is held by 63% of all Project management professionals - that’s markedly more than the competing PMP (9%) and MSP (23%) accreditations.

With over a million exams taken globally, it’s already recognised as the world’s most popular project management methodology. Press the importance of getting your organisation to take advantage of this industry standard.


4. You’ll only have to take 1 day off work to get fully certified

PRINCE2 is split into a Foundation and Practitioner level. Foundation measures whether you would be able to work within a PRINCE2 project team whereas the Practitioner focuses upon your skill at leading your own PRINCE2 project.

Complete both qualifications in just 3 days and return to work fully qualified to lead a PRINCE2 team. It’s taken over the weekend with only 1 day out of the office - even your manager will have a hard time arguing with that.

About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Friday, 8 August 2014

See what happened when we asked our Project Management instructor your burning PMP questions


By 


We sat down with Pash Lal, resident Project Management expert and Firebrand instructor, to answer your burning PMP questions. Pash is a qualified trainer in PRINCE2, PMP and Polychor Integrated Change.

Q. As a Project Manager, is PMP certification really necessary?


A. Yes. The PMP is an internationally recognised verification of your existing skills, knowledge and experience. 

Improve your project management skills and lead better projects
Image courtesy of  Renjith Krishnan / morgueFIle

The exam is based on 200 multiple choice questions, each having varying degrees of difficulty. 

Going through each question to read, digest, understand and identify what the questioner is really asking for, takes time. In order to select the correct answer, your level of analysis could vary from 30 seconds to five minutes (if you are not careful).

You are not just relying on what you may have learnt during the course and what you have picked up through reading the manual. You’ll also be relying on your own skills, experience and expertise to arrive at the correct answer.

The PMP exam assumes you understand all 42 processes, their inputs, outputs, tools and techniques. Some processes will require you to utilise up to 15 of the tools and techniques.

The employer needs a way of being able to compare between different Project Managers from other PMs and this is one way of doing so.


Q. What are the core principles of PMP?




Q. Is there any way round PMP pre-requisites?


A. No, these are the PMI rules and REPs are not allowed to bend or bypass them.


Q. What is the best book to help me prepare for PMP certification?


A. There is no one book which, on its own, will fully prepare you for the PMP exam. 

I would recommend you have the PMBOK Guide Fifth Edition as a minimum as this is what the exam is based on.  However be aware it does not contain everything required for you to be able answer each of your 200 exam questions correctly.  After all, it is only a guide to a vast Body of Knowledge. 

If you have this book, then look carefully in each section and where it mentions other areas, techniques, theories or specialisms, as you will need to research this yourself. 

The Rita Mulcahy book “PMP Exam Prep Learning Exam” is well thought out and structured and a lot of people rate it highly.  However the authors have added processes which do not map out against the PMBOK Guide® processes and are potentially confusing. 

The Kim Heldman book “PMP: Project Management Professional Exam Study Guide” is also well thought out and structured, however its flow is against the 5 domains and the author has not allowed for easy mapping against the PMBOK Guide®’s knowledge areas.  Additionally the question style needs to be brought up to date and maybe this has been or will be done in the move to the 5th edition.


Q. What is the main difference between PRINCE2 and PMP?


A. PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner is the accreditation offered by APMG in the UK, owned by the Cabinet Office and is crown copyright. 

It has a structure of:
  • 7 Processes: that contain many activities
  • 7 Themes: alongside information, guidelines and content to be able to carry out the process activities
  • 7 Principles: bedrock principles which, if not applied, the project is not a PRINCE2 project
  • 3 Procedures
  • 2 Techniques
The techniques are both optional.  It is seen as structured and applicable (read apply-able) to all projects of any size in any industry but it does not give a focus at all to the people skills without which the project will fail. 

Just ask yourself which Project Manager would you rather work with?  Project Manager #1 is in a constant bad mood, takes no interest in his/her team, barks the orders and castigates you publicly if things don’t go according to plan.  Or Project Manager #2, who smiles when he/she walks in, greets you and asks you how you are, shows a genuine interest when they ask you about your project and individual progress, makes you feel valued, etc…

Deciding which Project Management course to study can be a difficult choice
Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / morgueFIle


The PMP is an accreditation offered by the PMI (Project Management Institute) and is their copyright.  It is a structured methodology which has 5 process groups with 42 processes (47 in the 5th edition), each of which has inputs, tools and techniques and outputs. 

It includes a focus on:
  • People skills
    • Leadership
    • Motivation
    • Communication
    • Stakeholder management
    • Team building
    • Conflict resolution
  • Scheduling techniques
  • Communication and procurement


All of these focuses are covered to a level not seen in PRINCE2.


Q. How long does the PMP certification last?


A. The certification lasts for life.  You have to demonstrate your continuing professionalism and dedication to maintaining your expertise and knowledge, through recording a minimum of 20 PDUs (professional development units) each year in a 3 year cycle.


Q. Will I need to recertify when PMBoK 6 comes out?


A. You do not need to take the PMP exam again for the rest of your life.  You only have to demonstrate your continuing professionalism and dedication to maintaining your expertise and knowledge, through recording a minimum of 20 PDUs (professional development units) each year in a 3 year cycle.


Q. How do I record and prove 4500 hours for PMP pre-requisites


A. By looking carefully at the work you have done over the last 3 years either working in a project or more preferably, in managing a project.  The character limit is quite small, set at between 300 and 550 characters, so you don’t have much room to describe what you have done.

They need your submission to be short, sharp and focused, a bit like your behaviour and performance as a Project Manager in real life.

I would recommend a one liner to describe the Project Objective (that’s right, just one or you may have used your entire limit without having described what you actually did) e.g. Objectives: to design a new staffing structure and implement across the 5 functions.

Next should be the deliverables which you produced and handed over e.g. Deliverables: stakeholder analysis completed, requirements gathered, best practice research conducted, new structure designed, stakeholders consulted, board approval obtained, new structure communicated and implemented.

Just to put this in perspective, just these two lines above (Objectives and Deliverables) are 302 characters including the spaces!

Lastly I would suggest you have a finishing line to detail the outcome e.g. Outcome: New staffing structure designed, communicated and implemented successfully; customer satisfied.

The above is 406 characters and there is space for some more words but not too many as you can see.

The next bit is then adding up the hours and apportioning them across the 5 domains.  If you had worked on this project full time for 10 months, and worked an 8 hour day, then 8 hours x 306 days x (6 months x31 days and 4 months x 30 days) = 2,448 hours.  This one project is about half of your total required.  Obviously you will need another project to get to 4,500 hours or more.

For each project you will need to work out how much time you spent on each domain (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Control, Closing) and record them in each box provided.

About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Friday, 11 July 2014

The minimalist guide to PRINCE2


By 


Whether you want to lead your own projects or need to work alongside other PRINCE2 qualified – it’s becoming increasingly important in business for both employers and employees.

PRINCE2 is the de-facto standard for project management in the UK. According to arras People’s 2013 UK Project Management Benchmark, the PRINCE2 qualification is held by 63% of all Project management professionals - that’s markedly more than the competing PMP (9%) and MSP (23%) accreditations.

With over a million exams taken globally, it’s already recognised as the world’s most popular project management methodology. Unlike its predecessor, PRINCE, the PRINCE2 is designed to be general and useable in all projects from small to large.  


The qualification covers the management, control and organisation of a project. It embodies years of best practice in project management and provides a flexible and adaptable framework to suit different projects. 

But perhaps the most important aspect of PRINCE2 is that it’s so widely recognised and understood. As a result, those experienced in PRINCE2 will find they share a common language, enabling a more streamlined and standardised process when cooperating on projects.

There are two levels of certifications within PRINCE2:


The foundation exam measures whether a candidate would be able to act as an informed member of a project management team using the PRINCE2 methodology. Though there are no formal pre-requisites, though you’ll need to show understanding of the principles, terminology of the PRINCE2 methods to pass the exam.

The certification is recommended for:

  •           New and experienced project staff
  •           Project Managers
  •           Team managers
  •           Support staff

As the name suggests, the Practitioner exam tests whether a candidate would be able to apply the PRINCE2 methodology to the running and managing of a project. You must be able to exhibit the competence required to apply and tune PRINCE2 to address the needs of a specific project scenario.

This certification is recommended for:

  •           Project Managers
  •           General Managers
  •           Programme Managers
  •           Project Management consultants

To become a Registered PRINCE2 Practitioner you’ll have to pass both the ‘Foundation’ and ‘Practitioner’ exams.


What’s in it for me?

PRINCE2 certified professionals earn an average salary of £50,000 in the UK, with that figure rocketing up to £75,000 for senior-level roles. You’ll gain the skills needed to feel confident in the management of your own projects and you’ll gain the know-how to work effectively alongside others using the common PRINCE2 systems and procedures.

It’s also a great certification to have on your resume. PRINCE2 is an international product with hundreds of companies around the world wanting new and existing staff to be certified. Just a cursory glance at online job postings yields a wealth of companies searching for employee’s that can prove they are experienced with PRINCE2.

And my organisation?

The Harvard Business Review found that, after an analysis of 1,471 IT projects, 1 in 6 projects had a cost overrun of 200% and a schedule overrun of nearly 70%.

Adopting PRINCE2 as your organisations standard will improve your ability to deliver projects. With a widely recognised standard, your projects will be more efficient, both in terms of cost savings and smart use of resources. You’ll be able to clearly measure the success of your endeavours within a standardised system which in turn will give you a clear goal to strive towards.

Already have the PRINCE2?

Candidates that have passed both PRINCE2 exams can undertake the PRINCE2 Professional qualification. 


Get PRINCE2 certified in the fastest way possible

If you want to get the PRINCE2 certifications, but don’t have the time to spend every other evening locked away self-studying, there is another option. Complete both the Foundation and Practitioner certifications in just 3-days on the fastest PRINCE2 course in the world.

Get a career boost for yourself and improve your organisations efficiency with a PRINCE2 certification.

About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

What is MSP?

APMG MSP logo


By 


What is MSP?


MSP stands for Managing Successful Programmes. It's a method that is applied to program management, mostly for transformational change.

It provides the framework for implementing business strategies and initiatives, or large-scale change, where there is a "vision" of the programme's outcome - a transformed organisation for example. 

It helps to organise, manage, accommodate and control these changes so that the eventual outcome meets the objectives set by the business strategy.

A program is usually where there are multiple projects that are being managed towards some goal or level.

It's used widely by many organisations, in both public and private sectors. 


What are the benefits of using MSP?


MSP gives a structured framework to ensure a program achieves its goals. It does this by guaranteeing that there is:

  • Strong leadership
  • Focus on the benefit delivery
  • Specific aims to achieve
  • Strong engagement from stakeholders 
  • Realistic aims put into place


What can MSP do for my company?


It maximizes efficiencies in recruiting, hiring, training and promoting employees. It also increases productivity as you’ll be able to perform at accepted industry standards.



Who should earn a Managing Successful Programmes Certification?


  • Senior Responsible Owners and Service Managers considering implementing a Programme Management System
  • Mangers who are new to the whole managing projects management in a multi-project environment
  • Project Managers who are part of a larger programme and who need to be aware of the wider issues
  • Department Managers, whose staff is involved in Programme Management Systems
  • Business Change Managers in all areas of the organisation

Career changer


Managing Successful Programmes certification is an excellent way to develop in the management sector of the IT industry. Managing Successful Programmes focuses on the latest management standards.


What's the difference between MSP and PRINCE2?


MSP helps you manage a program environment which usually means managing multiple projects. Because of this, program management is at a much higher level than project management. PRINCE2 is a structured method which is applied to a project environment to ensure they deliver specific objects. As PRINCE2 is focused on single projects, it usually has specific outcomes which are well defined. Whereas program management usuallygains its outcomes through time.


What MSP exams do I need to take?


There are three exams available for MSP:

Foundation Exam

The first one is the Foundation exam. It is multiple question and closed book. You’ll have 40 min to complete the exam which is out of 50 marks. You’ll need to at least get 30 marks (60%) to pass.


Practitioner Exam

The next exam is the Practitioner. In order to do this exam, you’ll first need to pass foundation exam. This is an open book exam that lasts 2:30 hours and is out of 180 marks. You’ll need at least 90 marks to pass (50%).


Advanced Practitioner Exam

The last exam is the Advanced Practitioner exam. You’ll first need to pass the Practitioner. Unlike the other two, it's an essay style exam which lasts 2:30 hours. It's open book and you’ll need at least 35 out of 75 marks to pass (50%).


Do I need PRINCE2 as a prerequisite for MSP?


No, but it does help and is recommended.

About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, IT training, , IT certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the IT industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

ASL and BiSL exams now available via APMG


APMG has signed a contract with ASL BiSL Foundation and will run the ASL and BiSL qualifications. The ASL and BiSL exams will be processed only through APMG. 

Richard Pharro, CEO, APMG said, “This is an important step in creating international awareness and demand for the ASL and BiSL qualifications. We plan to ensure candidates who currently do not have access to ASL and BiSL will be able to access training in their region. We are experts in translating material and rolling it out globally. This is good news for candidates and for the ASL BiSL Foundation.”

Lucille van der Hagen, Managing Director of the ASL BiSL Foundation said, “From today, our examinations will be processed by APMG. We hope that in the future more candidates who want qualifications in ASL and BiSL will be able to take the exams in their own language because of our partnership. We chose to work with APMG because of its wide international network, its high quality standards and service level and its good relationships with owners of related qualification schemes like PRINCE2® and ITIL.”



Tuesday, 15 May 2012

PRINCE2 examination statistics


Following are the number of PRINCE2 exams taken by region in the month of January, 2012


January 2012
Foundation
Practitioner
Unspecified*
54
2
North America
46
34
Central America
1
0
South America
0
0
UK
2645
2191
Europe (West/Central/South)

- (Germany)

- (Netherlands)

1032
(263)
(484)
343
(104)
(110)
Europe (Eastern)

- (Poland)

513
(452)
92
(64)
Scandinavia

- (Denmark)

379
(254)
150
(119)
Africa

- (South Africa)

67
(49)
43
(36)
Middle East
29
19
Asia (Central)
29
17
Asia (Eastern)

- (China)

14
(2)
27
(3)
Australasia

- (Australia)

335
(293)
190
(169)
WORLDWIDE TOTALS
5144
3108

Source: APMG Marketing Report