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Author  Andrea Vecchi – Head of PMO, Sonnedix

October 31, 2022 |

 8 min read

  • Blog
  • Guiding Principles
  • AgileSHIFT
  • Axelos ProPath
  • ITIL
  • ITIL MM
  • ITIL4
  • ITSM
  • MSP
  • M_o_R
  • MoP
  • MoV
  • P3M3
  • P3O
  • PPM
  • PRINCE2
  • PRINCE2 Agile
  • RESILIA
  • soft skills

Best practice guidance and certifications – like PRINCE2 and Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) – are more than another line on your CV. They’re “partners” in your everyday work.

In my previous role as head of PMO, I always valued the importance of people developing skills in project and programme management. Even in my new role, I still collaborate on the training side.

This has been ongoing in the company for more than three years and involves giving staff access to e-learning for personal study and coaching to pass the exam.

What’s important is that they can relate the learning to their job, which is why I put energy into explaining how the training fits with their work; making it real, tangible but always having a certification as part of it – which gives personal gratification as well as a “rubber stamp” of their skills.

For example, when people study PRINCE2 we want them to relate documentation like a highlight report, or a theme such as the business case, to their own situation. This approach has also translated to Managing Successful Programmes (MSP). It’s vital that employees see the common thread between these certifications, which reinforces how everything is connected.

As a result, the skills, language and approaches from PRINCE2 have become common knowledge in the company. This creates confidence because we are following a successful framework, bringing long-lasting benefits as people learn to do things differently. It also builds trust between the PMO and the teams it supports.

So, when new people join, one item in our training catalogue is PRINCE2. And our annual staff survey tells us that our people want a certification that connects to their training.

Training, learning and certification – an ongoing, personal journey

After achieving certifications in PRINCE2, PRINCE2 Agile, MSP and P3O I decided to pursue ITIL 4 also. Every year, I review my personal development and think about what I should add to my certifications.

The importance of digital transformation in our company, as in many other organizations, meant that ITIL 4 was the logical next step for me.

As this was an area for development, gaining ITIL 4 helped me to understand how I could improve in that area.

It really is super important to dedicate time for personal development and to open career opportunities.

Bringing a host of skills to a new role

Now I’ve moved into a new role, I’m using the whole spectrum of my skills and knowledge.

The frameworks I’ve trained in give me the reassurance that I can check our direction of travel and challenge myself. The best practice books are like a partner in what I do and I’m often asking: “what does the best practice say about this?”

Referring to best practice principles helps you to see where you are and tailor the guidance to your environment.

When faced with an exciting opportunity – like the role I now have to shape the company in this emerging area – best practices remind me I’m not the first person in the world to take on something new and I don’t need to “reinvent the wheel”.

It also means I can enjoy the journey more by having a “map” to follow – and one I can develop for my own situation.

New skills for a new world

So, what do I see as the key skills professionals needs in the new hybrid world?

Above all, communication skills: understanding what elements of communication are needed to be successful. It’s become more difficult with hybrid working, especially knowing which meetings will help progress projects.

With any level of change – such as implementing a new function in the company – needs communication skills to demonstrate to rest of the company why it’s exciting and important; creating conversations across teams about what’s in it for them.

And governance needs to overlay that communication, so it’s tailored for each stakeholder. This, again, is where PRINCE2 is useful, offering professionals a communication management strategy.