WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE A PROJECT MANAGEMENT TRAINING

If you’re looking for a career where you can have a measurable, positive impact on almost any business, project management fits the bill. A good project manager can easily make the difference between a project coming in on time and under budget—or it failing.

Today, more and more employers are recognizing the need for skilled project managers to drive their profits. By the year 2020, 15.7 million new project management roles will be created worldwide across seven project-intensive industries, particularly in technology and finance. However, as the demand grows, the need for highly-skilled project managers will also expand. Earning a Project Management Professional (PMP)®certification verifies that a project manager holds the necessary knowledge and skill to successfully lead varied and agile teams that increase an organization’s profitability.  

PMP Certification Increases Earning Potential

The growing demand for skilled project-based professionals is reflected in the salaries they command. According to the PMI® Project Management Salary Survey, the global median salary reached $90,260 in 2015. In the United States, median salaries now exceed $100,000.

Project managers with relevant certification earn even more than their noncertified peers. PMP certification can provide a significant advantage when it comes to salary and earning potential. Among respondents to PMI’s Earning Power Salary Survey, those with a PMP certification reported a 20 percent higher salary on average than those without one. In 2016, PMP was the fifth highest-paying professional certification and the No. 1 business-related certification on the market.

The Benefits of a PMP® Certification

PMP certification is the most universal and industry-recognized certification for project managers. Unlike others that focus on specific industries or geographic regions, the PMP certification applies to all of them. On a resume, PMP training indicates the individual’s highly professional abilities and strong drive for self-improvement as well as organizational quality.

Companies benefit from PMP training as well. When more than one-third of a company’s project managers are PMP certified, more projects come in on time and on budget and meet their original goals. Here are a few reasons why a Project Manager should become PMP certified.

PMP is a universal language that connects project managers to a global network of professionals and organizations. Having such a network is beneficial when it comes to future career opportunities. For employers, the benefits of hiring skilled project professionals is clear. According to a Price waterhouse Coopers (PwC) survey, 80 percent of high-performing projects use PMP credentialed project managers. Organizations with more than 35 percent PMP certified project managers demonstrated even higher project performance.

How to better manage passing PMP certification

Enrolling in a PMP training course through an online blended learning program is a project manager’s best bet for passing the exam. Geared toward certification, these education providers deliver virtual classrooms and lectures from working industry experts, self-paced online learning and applied learning projects based on real-world scenarios. The instructional material is also updated on a regular basis, which is vital in an industry that experiences constant rapid-fire changes. The flexibility that online training resources have is a huge advantage when it comes to targeted and ultra-relevant professional development.

In Conclusion

In today’s competitive business environment, the need for skilled project managers to lead agile and flexible teams is constantly growing. In the United States alone, new project management-related jobs are expected to exceed 6.1 million by 2020. This constitutes a faster growth rate than average across all occupations at a rate of 19 percent. To help meet the need for highly-skilled project managers, online training programs are an excellent option for upskilling yourself and/or your staff. Flexible online courses designed to optimize PMP test preparation make an ideal option for working professionals. One such program is Ciel Consulting's PMP training. After this approximately 90-day course, most students pass the PMP exam on the first try. Whatever PMP training method you choose, earning a PMP certification makes a positive investment for your own career or your company.

PMP and PMI are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Understanding Business Models: The Business Model Canvas

When you think in an abstract way businesses can appear very complex, after all, all businesses above a certain size contain multiple departments with often competing activities, internal processes, multiple partners, suppliers, and customers etc.

If we try and think about all of this at once it can become very confusing and especially difficult to understand the core of what a particular business is about. This is where a Business Model Canvas can come in very handy. It shows you on a single page the big picture of how a business operates. Because it shows everything on a single page it makes it easy to understand the business model, and easy to share and communicate the business model.

Below you will find a very quick introduction to the Business Model Canvas, giving you enough knowledge to make you productive with it.

Building Blocks

There are nine building blocks which comprise the Business Model Canvas. Let’s briefly describe each in turn:

Customer Segments

Every business needs to serve one or more customer segments. Businesses can define their own customer segments, but standard ones include mass market, niche customer segments, and customer problem based customer segments.

Value Proposition

This defines what customer problem is being solved and what need is being filled. Typical characteristics to base a value proposition on include performance, cost savings, reduction of risk, and price.

Channels

Channels are the routes by which a business’ products and services are delivered to market. Channels fall into two broad categories. Direct, such as engaging a sales force or selling direct to the consumer through the Internet, and Indirect, such as being a wholesaler or selling through affiliates.

Customer Relationships

A relationship is established with each customer segment that a business serves. Examples of customer relationships include personal assistance, communities, and self-service.

Revenue Streams

Products and services (value proposition) which are successfully sold to customers will result in revenue streams. There are many different types of revenue stream including subscription fees, licensing, renting, and brokerage fees.

Key Resources

These are the key assets and organization needs in order to deliver the value proposition. They could be physical resources or human resources, for example.

Key Activities

An organizations key resources will perform a number of key activities. This could be anything from factories producing goods through to problem solving.

Key Partnerships

Are any key partnerships in place to make the business model work? It is for example a common occurrence to outsource the non-core activities of an organization. It is also common to offshore and outsource manufacturing to save money.

Cost Structures

Running an organization results in costs, and we refer to these as the cost structure.

The Business Model Canvas

If the description of the building blocks have left you very confused, then the canvas makes a lot more sense when you see one. I’ve copied and uploaded a Business Model Canvas Template so you can use it to model existing business models or experiment with new ones.

One thing to notice about the Business Model Canvas is that those elements to the left of the value proposition essentially represent costs to the business, whereas those elements to the right of the value proposition generate revenue for the business.

 

 

What Is Digital Project Management?

Digital project management must have something to do with digital technology and project management. But is it really "something", and what does it mean to you? Digital technology has been around for a long time. However, it first came into the mainstream with the internet, probably around the mid-1990.

Digital Technology Has Brought Sweeping Change
With digital technologies, many fields have been turned upside down. Here are a five examples of fields that have changed tremendously as a result of the introduction and development of digital technologies:

  • Newspapers - Movement from paper-based, hand-delivered content to content delivered to and consumed on electronic devices.
  • Photography - Movement from processing pictures using physical processes that produce hard copy pictures, to digital processes that produce store-able and shareable images with no need for physical processes.
  • Mail - A great deal of mail items have been replaced by email, a digital technology.
  • Warfare - Wars in the past were primarily fought and won based on physical strength, but increasingly are based on digital strength - the ability to leverage digital technologies for military advantage.
  • Marketing - The principles of marketing are virtually the same, but digital technologies have allowed marketers to segment market in and extremely fine-grained way.

In all cases, the fundamentals of each profession are really the same - but the introduction of digital technology has increased capabilities in such a profound way that it has upset the entire structure of how these things are done - and how industries around them are structured.

Digital Project Management
So how have digital technologies increased what is possible in project management...and in the process rendered some prior practices - and some assumptions - moot? I believe that the foundations of project management - the fundamental concepts, and the fundamental responsibilities and processes - remain unchanged. However, I think there are two areas where digital technology has created change within the field of project management:

  • Nature of the Projects - Projects have changed! So many more projects today are digital in nature. For example, any project touching those five areas I listed above is probably a digital project - projects to convert content to digital; enable communications through new digital means; leverage digital capabilities in marketing, manufacturing, distribution, finance, science; and more.
  • Digital Tools to Manage Projects - Whether it's the latest technologies for managing issues on an agile project, or project management in the cloud for increased collaboration, project document management, chat, or virtual meetings - all of these have changed the way we can manage projects - but of course still applying the same fundamentals.

Conclusion
A "digital project manager", if there really is such a thing, is simply someone who possesses some combination of skills in digital - ability to grasp and manage technologies based on digital technologies - and mastery of new digital tools for managing projects. As a corollary, a digital project manager is probably also very good with numbers (digits), and therefore excellent at applying metrics to project management challenges.

CBT - Now Available In Nigeria

After several years of waiting, we are glad to inform you that Computer-Based Testing (CBT) option for the Project Management Professional Exam has resumed in Nigeria. At the moment, the CBT exam will be available in Lagos.

Testing will commence from 31st July, 2017.

You can register and book your seat for any of the available dates. Click to register 

Ciel Consulting is a Registered Education Provider with Simplilearn USA. With several years of experience in training and coaching hundreds of professionals towards gaining the Project Management credential, we will like to work with you to reach this global designation.

We have both classroom and online training options, packed with premium resources and mock exams to give you the right platform to scale your PMP exam at first try. Register Here

How to Become Eligible for CBT
You must have registered for your examination with the Project Management Institute (PMI) and received your Authorization to Test (ATT) letter prior to scheduling yeverour testing appointment at a Prometric Testing Center. Ciel Consulting registers candidates for the exam to ease them of the stress.

What to Bring to the Testing Center
You must present one form of non-expired, government-issued, photo- and signature-bearing ID in order to test.
Note: If the primary ID presented does not bear a signature or photo, you must present one form of secondary ID containing a photo and/or signature whichever is missing from the primary ID.
Acceptable forms of primary ID are limited to:
• driver’s license
• passport
• military ID

What Time to arrive at the Testing Center
Plan to arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled appointment to allow time for check-in procedures.Candidates who are late in arriving will not be allowed to test and will incur a penalty fee for lost computer time in order to reestablish their eligibility.

Reschedule/Cancel Policy
If you need to reschedule or cancel your exam, you must call the registration center, or visit www.prometric.com/pmi click the “Get Started” corresponding to the appropriate exam and follow the directions on the site necessary to reschedule or cancel your exam. Rescheduling or canceling submissions thru the online Contact Us form available at www.prometric.com is not a valid method to request an appointment reschedule or cancellation.

You can reschedule or cancel your exam at any time, as long as you do so more than two full calendar days(EST) before your scheduled exam appointment. However, a $70 fee will be charged to you if you reschedule or cancel your exam within 30 days of the scheduled appointment. If you wait until you are within two calendar days of your exam appointment you will forfeit the entire exam fee.

We do hope this bit of information is helpful.

 

User Stories and Mapping

User Stories and User Story Mapping are must have techniques for a Business Analyst.

You can do business analysis without SCRUM, but you can’t do good SCRUM without Business Analysis. Story Mapping enables clarity of user stories.

Agile Alliance talks about the benefits of User Stories, “One intent of this practice is to avoid a failure mode of incremental delivery, where a product could be released composed of features that in principle are of high business value but are unusable because they are functionally dependent on features which are of lower value and were therefore deferred to future releases.”

That’s a pretty in-depth explanation, but in general User Stories help create a higher quality product for the customer. “Story Mapping is an engaging activity where all participants are involved in the process of building the product backlog on a wall, versus writing a dull 100-page requirement document.”

User stories are seen as more visual. It allows you to see the big picture in your backlog.

User Story Components

According to Mountain Goat Software, “User stories are short, simple descriptions of a feature told from the perspective of the person who desires the new capability, usually a user or customer of the system.” A typical User Story consists of:

As a < type of user >, I want < some goal > so that < some reason >.

Know Your Stakeholders

Having knowledge of the process enables bringing the identification of stakeholders into the picture. The additional identified stakeholders help validate whether user stories are accurate and will allow the project team to introduce change management activities early. One change management strategy which User Story Mapping encourages is to facilitate stakeholder buy-in. Stakeholder buy-in is vital and benefits the project team as these stakeholders can help develop additional user stories that the project team potentially have missed, elicit business impacts and helps validate design and prioritization discussions.

Requirements Are User Stories

User stories capture requirements and can be used to model a meaningful sequence of user activities, perpendicularly across a prioritized ranking of user stories. The benefit of which encourages richer discussion in planning and prioritizing user stories, further engages stakeholder participation, is a mechanism to help understand business impacts and can allow a team to see how user stories affect the customer journey visually.

 

Story Mapping

Story Mapping is about taking a series of User Stories and putting them together in a meaningful and visual way.

J Patton Associates says, “Story Mapping is the process of arranging user stories into a useful model to help understand the functionality of the system.” This technique allows for the planning and prioritizing of requirements in order of importance and value. The Agile Alliance elaborates story telling a little further, “Story Mapping orders user stories along two independent dimensions. The horizontal axis is depicting the user activities in order of priority or the sequence of process activities and the vertical axis depicting the release or project milestones.”

 

Once used, story Mapping can enable the project team to dice stories (often at Epic level) horizontally into the main functionality. This horizontal view is important as it visually represents the value stream of the designed solution. This analysis allows the project team to understand the dependencies and highlights gaps for how the created User Story functionality will work. This end to end perspective enhances understanding the customer journey of a person using the solution.

 

The vertical axis is important as it represents the project teams User Story release plans. Project team centers discussions on which user stories are high value and easy to develop. Leave complex user stories to later releases. This focuses the project team on creating a minimum viable product (MVP) for the customer. Sprint reviews can help fine tune the product and allow the project team to assess User Story release patterns regularly. The vertical positioning of user stories enables the project team to discuss whether user stories are prioritized in terms of need, value, and complexity.

 

Story Prioritization

Prioritization of User Stories can help build the User Story Map. User Stories seldom keep their same priority throughout the cycle so be prepared to re-prioritize often. High-Medium-Low prioritization sounds easy, but everything winds up as high priority. Use the hot air balloon technique for prioritization. Is this User Story more or less important than this User Story? Comparison of user stories to each other brings out additional discussion on risk and why a User Story is more important to the overall customer experience.

 

Greater Detail

User Stories are high-level by nature. System Requirement Specifications (SRS) are more detailed and lower level in nature. Depending on the project you might need to use both User Stories and System Requirement Specifications together to create a User Story Map. Thinking about how the User Stories relate to each other in a logical flow for the developer, release to the customer, and other technical, environmental issues will drive putting together a Story Map.

Complex User Stories are typically a good candidate for more technical details. Get details when trying to fit a User Story on the Story Map isn’t making sense. More technical details might help you place the User Story in a better position in the Story Map.

We hope this information has been insightful. In our next series, we will discuss on how to create Personas.

How to Become an Agile Project Manager

Agile project management is a rage in entrepreneurial and enterprise circles. It is being hailed as one of the most flexible and interactive methodologies ever invented. In this new paradigm, the whole process of project management is broken down into a number of phases, following which the end product gets developed in sprints and thus the features and functionalities are added gradually over a period of time with the approval of the client or the product owner.

Some work zones realizes the importance of being well-versed with agile project management principles. The net is replete with information that is stuffed full of jargon. Thus it is important to understand “How-To” trend will be kept alive and kicking with a short series of easy to understand pieces which will help complete novices and beginners realize the concepts of agile project management and understand exactly why it is an improvement over other legacy methods.

Part 1 deals with an introduction to agile project management, its most obvious benefits and a high level bird’s eye view of the phases it entails.

IN A FEW WORDS AGILE PROJECT MANAGEMENT IS

A repetitive (iterative) and incremental process mainly used to develop software solutions.

According to the Portland Business Journal, anywhere between 65% and 80% IT projects fail to meet their objectives, deadlines or budget stipulations. This is a staggering number which doesn’t bode well for the industry. It implies that a client initiating a software development project must survive on a hope and prayer and expect a miracle if the endeavor is to attain reasonable success.

HOW DOES AGILE PROJECT MANAGEMENT CHANGE THAT SCENARIO?

The most important distinguishing feature of an agile project management process is foresight. With all traditional methodologies, a full commitment from the client or product owner is needed. Unless and until a beta of the product is launched, it is almost impossible to assess whether the attempt is successful or not.

However with an agile methodology like SCRUM (which we will discuss in later stages), the product is developed in sprints or sessions and each sprint tackles a certain percentage of features and functions. Thus the essential viability of the endeavor is revealed fast. If the future doesn’t look too promising, product owner can pull out or put a plug on the project till a better plan or product can be envisioned.

Apart from this extremely convenient factor, with agile project management:

  • Better quality products can be developed because there is active involvement of all team members and advisers.
  • There is greater client satisfaction because of the provision of sprint assessment where the progress is evaluated and the product created is discussed in detail.
  • There is a greater sense of involvement and accountability. This translates into better team dynamics and morale. In short an agile project manager has the scope of getting the most out of his resources.
  • There is an ongoing sense of urgency because the large cumbersome project is divided into smaller ones (called sprints). This ensures that team members give their best throughout the project and stay on their toes.
  • Better project predictability is possible. Since the team members working through the sprints do not change and the features to be developed over each iterative session are well mapped out, the cost of each sprint can be easily estimated. Agile projects have a lower tendency of straying from the allocated budget.

AN OVERVIEW OF THE KEY PHASES AN AGILE PROJECT MANAGER SHOULD KNOW

  • Phase 1 or the Project Vision. This phase is also known as Product Vision but if we wish to take agile management techniques out of the monopoly of the IT industry, the first stage must be re-named to Project Vision. This involves deep discussion by the product owner (or the client) in order to come up with an accurate representation of the end deliverable they wish to achieve and the ways in which the deliverable can boost or align with the larger enterprise vision.
  • Phase 2 or the Project Road-map. Over this phase the clients come up with the specific requirements list of the end deliverable, a loose time frame to follow and the tentative costs (and labor investment) involved in executing the project. At the end of this stage, the product owners should have a good idea of what the high priority, non-negotiable features for the deliverable are.
  • Phase 3 or the Release Plan. Taking inspiration from the Project Road-map, the clients create a Release Plan. This merely maps out the features which must be developed according to their priority. The Release plan heavily influences the fourth phase of the Sprint Plan.
  • Phase 4 or the Sprint Plan. This plan is extremely important. As discussed, agile management guides product (or deliverable) development in short well planned sessions called sprints. Depending upon the Release Plan shared by the product owner (or client), the development team then decides the agenda for each sprint – what has to be achieved, the activities which need to be initiated and so on.
  • Phase 5 or Daily Meetings. With the map chalked out, the development team meets every day for 15 minutes to discuss progress, to-dos and possible road blocks.
  • Phase 6 or Sprint R & R. Phase 6 is divided into two segments:

 

Sprint Review – Where the development team shares the features developed as per the Sprint Plan with the product owners.

Sprint Retrospection – Where the development team comes together with an experienced body of project managers specializing in agile methodologies (called the SCRUM masters) to analyse and evaluate the sprint performance.

Agile project management is extremely logical. It is a gated approach, which means that the succeeding phase can’t be activated unless the preceding phase has client approval. Every project manager should know the basis of agile management in order to develop superior products and deliver a higher success rate.

In the next article, we will explore SCRUM as an agile method in order to better understand this process.

 

Prometric is back in Nigeria. Computer Based Test now available.

Ok, so I tried to schedule some participants for the PMP Paper based test (PBT) in Lagos Nigeria. I discovered that the PMI has updated their website www.pmi.org. The Site does not have option for Paper Based Test in Nigeria as was obtainable earlier. Initially I felt it maybe a bug or a glitch on the pmi website.

After a few days I tried again and the same issue persisted. So I did a mail to PMI support. They responded with the following message;

"We have a good news for you: Computer-Based Testing will be available in Lagos, Nigeria by the end of this month (July). This means that candidates will now be able to sit for Computer Based Testing instead of Paper-Based Testing. All Paper-Based testing events will be cancelled".

Note that Prometric provides Tests for over 150 different exams. In a bid to be sure of the information I got from the PMI, I contacted IIBA, the institute responsible for Business Analysis certification (CCBA and CBAP) which is yet another exam organised by Prometric. Below is the email I sent to them.

Read More

What is the Basic Difference Between PMP® & PRINCE2?

Prior to taking up a project management certification, professionals tend to grapple with the issue of choosing between the PMP® and PRINCE2 certifications, two very reputed credentials in the project management field. This makes the question of which to invest in difficult to answer.

Worry not - we've done all the hard work for you! This article offers an overview of the two certifications and job prospects for both. Read on for more - and make the right choice!

What is the Basic Difference Between PMP® & PRINCE2?

The PRINCE2 and PMP® certifications involve two different project management frameworks. Both offer a body of knowledge and a proven approach to managing projects effectively. Picking one over the other is a decision that is a function of various factors. The ideal choice should be based on the industry or company you are aiming to build a career in, and the type of project one is leading or directing. Both the certification programs are of equal value, albeit in different aspects of project management.

The Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification

One of the most-reputed certifications in the world for project managers, the PMP® or Project Management Professional Certification is a qualification program that is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI)®. Various industries use PMP® as a standard requirement for Project Managers. Becoming a PMP® empowers you to work with any methodology and in any industry. The course covers a wide spectrum of project management techniques and competencies that are necessary for any project manager, as well as increasing your earning potential. This course, administered by PMI® in the USA, has also gained popularity in Europe and Asia.

A few features of the PMP® qualification include:

  • It is indicative of your proficiency in using the PMBOK® Guide, the Project Management Book of Knowledge.
  • It validates your knowledge of "generally-accepted" best practices and principles of project management.

The Projects IN Controlled Environments (PRINCE2) Certification

The PRINCE2, or ‘Projects IN Controlled Environments' certification, is a process-based project management method that offers a systematic method for delivering a successful project with clear templates, processes, and steps. The certification is both, process and project focused. PRINCE2 is administered in the UK by the APMG.

A few features of PRINCE2 are as follows:

  • It is a broad, high-level, general framework of project management principles, which means it is recommended for and implemented on just about any kind of project.
  • It has a well-laid out and standardized approach to project management.
  • It spells out the roles and responsibilities of each member of the team tasked with managing the project.
  • It divides the master project plan into Project Plans, Stage Plans, and Team Plans, which eliminates ambiguity and makes it easier to execute the project.
  • It is both project and process-focused.

Industry Demand

If you wish to get one of these certifications, it is important that you do your research before you begin to walk down one path or the other. Each of the certifications is more popular in some geographies than others, making it important to determine which of the two certifications will boost your employability. In addition, a few industry sectors prefer the PRINCE2 certification, while others prefer the PMP® certification.

Salary Prospects

A number of studies and surveys show that certified professionals earn much more than their non-certified peers.  Having a project management certification, especially ones like PMP® and PRINCE2, signifies that an individual knows and understands the universal language of Project Management.

The PMI® Project Management Salary Survey – Seventh Edition, states that the salaries of project managers around the world continue to climb.

In the US alone, the average annual salary of a certified PMP® is $105,000 per year. They earn an average of 16% more than their non-certified peers. The highest salary a PMP® can earn is in Switzerland, $160,409.

The average salary for professionals with a PRINCE2 certification is $77,540.

Benefits of getting the PRINCE2 certification include:

  • Exhaustive Body of Knowledge: The PRINCE2 body of knowledge equips credential-holders with the tools to analyze a project from all angles, ensuring its viability before it is initiated. Factors like user requirements and potential risks are taken into consideration ensuring that a project that is bound to encounter hurdles is nipped in the planning stages.
  • Well Laid-out Methodology: A lot of time and resource-usage is saved during the completion of a unique project since the certification has a clearly laid out methodology.
  • Standardization: Confusion in project execution is eliminated since the same, standard approach is used throughout, with common filing systems, procedures, and documents.
  • Improved Salary and Better Employability Prospects: There is a higher chance of landing a better job that pays well, in countries like the United Kingdom. Your employer is provided with enough justification of your skills to give you a pay raise.
  • Driven by Business Case: PRINCE2 requires users to self-assess and provide updates on business cases at defined points to ensure that a project will deliver value to the organization and its customers. Failure to do so will eliminate the justification for the continuity of the project.

The Exams

With a total of 200 questions, the PMP® exam lasts four hours and is split into the areas of Project Initiation, Project Planning, Project Execution, Monitoring and Controlling, and Project Closing. Within these five larger domains are a multitude of other skills like risk identification, quality management, change management, materials management, and much more.

The PRINCE2 Foundation exam tests the individual with 75 multiple choice questions, for 60 minutes. Out of the 75 questions, 5 are trial based and not counted during the scoring process.

The Practitioner exam is an objective, scenario based paper. The individual is tested based on 9 questions with a time limit of 2.5 hours

Prerequisites

There is a set of prerequisites that one will need to meet to take up the PMP® exam.

  • Secondary degree (high school diploma, associate's degree or the global equivalent)
  • 7,500 hours leading and directing projects
  • 35 hours of project management education

OR

  • A four-year degree
  • 4,500 hours leading and directing projects
  • 35 hours of project management education

There are no defined pre requisites for the PRINCE2 exams. However, it is recommended that you have some project management experience and formal training before you sit for the exam. The Practitioner exam will require you to have passed the Foundation exam.

The Exam Cost

The cost of the PMP® exam - though a little expensive - is well worth the investment. For members of the PMI®, it is $405, while for non-members it is $555.

The cost of the PRINCE2 to exam varies according to the region you are taking the exam in

Maintaining your Credential

To maintain the PMP® certification, you will need to attain 60 PDUs or Professional Development Units, every three years.

The PRINCE2 Foundation exam needs no renewal. The Practitioner exam, however, is valid for 5 years, after which it will become invalid. Professionals will have to complete and pass the PRINCE2 re-registration examination 3-5 years following their previous practitioner exam.

Is it advisable to do both?

Many people view the PRINCE2 and PMP® certifications as different, which is why there is a battle between the two certifications.

The PMP® is related to the knowledge and skills necessary to attain successfully manage a project and its delivery.

PRINCE2 is focused mainly on the processes and the framework to successfully execute the project.

Therefore, it is advisable that you do both of these certifications as it helps in the development of the professional's all round Project Management skills.
 
There may be a few drawbacks to this-

  • Conflicting language: The two courses use different terminologies, which can be confusing at first. For example, project charter in PMP® is what is known as project brief in PRINCE2.
  • Different Techniques: Some techniques differ vastly, such as the categorization of risk.

Conclusion

The certification you choose should depend on your job prospects and the region you are working in. PMP® and PRINCE2 are not competing credentials in all regions. A professional would benefit from the skills and knowledge that both of these certifications offer.

5 Reasons why study of Business Environment is Important

It is important for managers to understand this aspect of the business environment because it can affect their firm and how it should be run. No business is insulated from the outside environment.  Things like political decisions, for example, can have a huge impact on a firm by changing tax laws or regulatory regimes.  As another example, the managers must be aware of things like new competitors entering their market. A proper understanding of the environment is very essential for the business executive to achieve success in his business.

Failure to understand the environmental factors for business will create number of problems, which in fact are difficult to solve. It will reduce the profit margin and will make the opportunities for expansion to slip. But a proper appreciation of the environmental factors will bring many benefits. They are as follows:

1. Successful Conduct of Business: The business executive can successfully conduct the business operation. Since chances for losses are minimized, the firm can withstand in the long run, widen its financial base and face competition more effectively. All these finally lead the business venture to a grand success.

2. Opening of New Avenues: Environment opens fresh avenues for the expansion of new entrepreneurial operations. When the business climate is favourable, new ideas, schemes and ventures may be put into action. The firm can utilize its resources advantageously and derive the maximum benefits.

3. Dynamism in Approach: Business enterprise is essentially a dynamic endeavour. Hence the business executive should be a dynamic personality. Acquisition of knowledge about the changing environment will keep the businessmen always alert and dynamic in his approach. His dynamic approach in turn will help the firm to avoid ecological stresses and to maintain harmony with the environment.

4. Chances for Growth: By identifying itself with the changing situations and environment, the firm can gain the popular support and win the confidence of the consumers and others. This popular support will produce many chances for growth and development of the firm.

5. Control over Environment: We all know that environment exercises vital control over the scope and performance of a business firm. A proper understanding of the nature, character and influence of the environment over the activities of the firm and its continued efforts to identify with the changing economic conditions will at one stage enable the business firm to exercise control over the environment itself. This will result in a smooth and successful running of the venture in the short run as well as in the long run.

Thus, a clear understanding of the environment shall bring many benefits, while a minimum disregard of these factors will entail a heavy penalty to the firm.

How to Push Your Career Forward in Project Management

If you're planning to work your way up the ladder of success in project management then it goes without saying that you should be gaining professional qualifications. Basic qualifications are the first step on the rung of the career ladder and the more advanced credentials will help further along the way. But are qualifications enough? What else can you do to get ahead?

Value your experience

When looking for a new role either in an existing company or elsewhere, many people under-value the experience they already have and how it can help them move forward in their career. Employers will certainly look for certifications but they will also be looking for experience; proof that you have dealt with real-life situations and don't just have theoretical knowledge.

Be a business person, not just a project manager

Remember there are people who don't really understand project management so you need to be able to communicate in their language if you want to get ahead. Essentially you need to speak the same business language as the people who could help advance your career. Try to discuss matters in general business terms and combine this with general project management terms that anyone would understand.

Don't be narrow minded

There are some project managers who believe they should rigidly follow a methodology, regardless of whether or not it's right for a particular project. This approach could be detrimental to the project you are working on so it is important to maintain an open mind and apply the right tools for the job.

Be brave

Try to approach a difficult and complex project with courage and enthusiasm. Volunteer for challenging projects and you're sure to get noticed quickly by senior management (hopefully for the right reasons). You should also make sure you remain positive when issues or problems arise within a project. Look for solutions and inspire the team to keep going, after all, what company doesn't value a problem solver?

Know your personal goals

Don't be afraid of letting those around you know what you want to achieve. If senior management don't know you want to progress, they may not consider you for potential openings. There may also be opportunities you weren't aware of because of assumptions made about your career goals. Ensure everyone knows what your intentions are so that you stand the best chance of progressing.

Don't be the bad guy

A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that nice guys finish last. Sometimes when you're extremely focused on meeting targets it can be easy to discount other peoples' emotions and feelings. This attitude just means you won't get the best out of your team; remember it does pay to be the nice guy and you will see better results when you're kind and courteous to those around you.

A certification in Project Management will help you advance in your career.