A new-look career path for programme and project managers

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Projects and programmes – the vehicles for delivering organizational change – can’t rely on old certainties in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world.

Inevitably, this means those responsible for managing change will need to up their game and operate as effectively as possible, often doing more with less and leading in many new and different ways.

This is the context in which we have launched AXELOS® ProPath – a new training and certification programme to help project and programme professionals respond to the latest organizational demands.

VUCA and Covid-19: inconceivable change

Though the concept of the VUCA world has been with us for some years, the past 18 months – including the Covid-19 pandemic – has seen constant, unpredictable change happening at a pace that was previously inconceivable.

For organizations, it has been increasingly difficult to plan for investment in development and growth using traditional methods of annual plans and budgeting.

Now, enterprises in many sectors are seeking to both recover and flourish; however, they face a profoundly changed and even more competitive economic environment.

This situation requires project and programme professionals who are capable of adapting and evolving their current knowledge and skills, as only the best qualified people can make the global recovery a success.

According to Denning and Brown’s book, A new culture of learning, the half-life of a learned skill is five years. So, half of what you learned five years ago is no longer relevant.

The days of picking up education and skills that last for most of your career are probably gone and this is where lifelong learning really comes into play.

AXELOS ProPath – getting the skills combination right

With business recovery in mind, organizations will focus on having people with the right skills and accreditations in the right roles. To obtain these positions, professionals will need to re-evaluate their careers, so having clear pathways through training and certification is vital and that’s what AXELOS ProPath – our latest certification scheme – has been developed for.

Having people with the abilities to respond flexibly and proactively to emerging challenges needs a particular mix of skills. In AXELOS ProPath, we’ve combined a number of best practice certifications in three, separate paths that will enable project and programme managers to take a more holistic view of their change initiatives, reduce costs, increase efficiencies, identify sound investments and deliver the right outcomes for the business.

The three designations possible via AXELOS ProPath are:

  • ProPath Project Expert – encompassing PRINCE2®, Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®) and Management of Risk (M_o_R®)
  • ProPath Agile Project Expert – including the above certifications, but with PRINCE2 Agile® substituting PRINCE2
  • ProPath Programme Leader – combining MSP, Management of Portfolios (MoP®) and Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (P3O®).

For professionals asking the question “What do I do now in my career?”, AXELOS ProPath offers a number of possible answers based on what you need to deliver successful, organizational change. For employers, it gives them access to people with a cohesive set of training and certifications and a clearer expectation of what they can do.

Exploring and enhancing new skills areas in AXELOS ProPath

While project and programme managers might already have, or be aware of, certifications such as PRINCE2 and Managing Successful Programmes (MSP), other best practice approaches within AXELOS ProPath will offer them a new perspective: for example, thinking more strategically than operationally. These include:

  • Management of Portfolios (MoP): this helps the change professional survey the entire, organizational landscape and where a particular project or programme fits within it. Working at portfolio level means “spinning a number of plates”.
  • Management of Risk (M_o_R): as new risks emerge, professionals need to understand and make better decisions about actively managing such threats.

You might have been an effective project or programme manager for some time, but as the corporate world evolves and requirements change your existing knowledge and skills will be challenged.

Therefore, AXELOS ProPath helps to reinforce your current experience and develop your capabilities for future demands.

For more information visit the AXELOS ProPath page.

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