Ed Lively is a senior consultant and senior trainer at the International Institute for Learning, an AXELOS Accredited Training Organization (ATO) headquartered in New York. Ed attended a free AXELOS PRINCE2 'Train the Trainer' session in January 2015 in Chicago where he underwent training in the PRINCE2® Practitioner course. In this blog post, Ed gives us an attendee’s viewpoint of the session.
Before attending the 'Train the Trainer' course in Chicago I would not have been able to offer the PRINCE2 Practitioner course.
I had zero background in PRINCE2 but felt that by going through the course and exam it would give me both the knowledge and confidence to deliver the training myself. Thankfully, I was right! The trainers were simply fantastic and presented the training to us in a way that we can now use with our students. Michelle Rowland – a great trainer in her own right – gave us tips and tricks which will be hugely beneficial when I present the course myself.
The benefits to a training organization
The course has given me a foundation in PRINCE2 without having had any previous background in it and has helped me learn and understand a new vocabulary in best practice guidance. And it has put us on a fast track to training PRINCE2 in the USA which would have been very difficult to accomplish without AXELOS’ support.
The benefits to project managers in the USA
The PRINCE2 Practitioner course will fill in the missing pieces for many project managers. It’s important that project managers still have the PMP knowledge, but PRINCE2 will complement that with a greater structure for applying the project management techniques.
For senior management, the biggest problem is often that they don’t fully understand how project management should be implemented in their organizations; PRINCE2 gives a well-defined methodology and structure that the C-suite can appreciate, that’s tailored to the organization and with the same approach and language wherever you go.
Tracking the business case for a project is extremely important, but often this is not actually done. Many students struggle with the concept of a business case because they learn the necessity of one but aren’t shown how to implement it. The PRINCE2 qualification emphasizes the continuous review and evaluation of a business case throughout the project and discusses how project managers should frequently check that the original objectives and benefits are being achieved and delivered.
PRINCE2® complements PMBOK®
The trainers showed us how the two qualifications complement each other with one filling in knowledge or structure where the other lacks. PRINCE2 is a methodology, addressing things on a procedural level whereas PMP is our encyclopaedia of good practices in project management, telling project managers what they need to know but leaving the application to them. For example, the PMBOK is not prescriptive. It speaks to subjects in a specific sense, talking about how to calculate the critical path, stakeholder evaluation, requirements gathering, etc. PRINCE2 however talks more about the reporting structure, responsibilities and the flow of management deliverables (i.e. reports and exceptions). It doesn’t get into the details of scheduling, because each organization has its own methods to do this, and whilst it recognizes the importance of stakeholders, it doesn’t elaborate on stakeholder analysis. These examples of the differences between PRINCE2 and PMP training also highlight the complementary and collaborative nature of the two.
The 'Train the Trainer' experience
The course has taught me many things and I’ve taken on board some great advice. Even if you have previously studied PRINCE2, you would still benefit from the opportunity to ask the instructors questions and make full use of the diagrams, examples and resources they have.
There are still places available for AXELOS’ free of charge 'Train the Trainer' courses next month, available on a first come first served basis:
- 2 - 6 March – Los Angeles, US
- 16 - 20 March – Ottawa, Canada
To register for one of these courses or for more information, contact Lex Barber, AXELOS Global Events Manager, at [email protected].