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What are PPPs and how can they help infrastructure funding and finance?

As APMG International readies itself to launch a brand new certification in partnership with the World Bank Group (WBG), funded by the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF) it aims to foster a common minimum level of knowledge and understanding among the practitioners for Public-Private Partnerships. This makes it important to understand what are PPPs and how do they help governments improve infrastructure and deliver essential public services to grow their economies. PPPs enable the public sector to engage with the private sector to develop and operate public sector facilities and services. Their key characteristics include:

  • Long term – up to 30 years of service provisions,
  • Access to private sector finance,
  • The transfer of risk to the private sector and
  • Different forms of long term contracts drawn up between legal entities and public authorities.
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Photo credit: WBG

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Posted in Accreditation, Exams, Project Mgmt.

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The agile revolution continues!

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Demand for AgilePM® training and certification goes from strength to strength. Becoming a certified AgilePM Practitioner can enhance your career, demonstrating to employers you have the skillset to deliver projects in a world which demands speed, flexibility and discipline.

It wasn’t too long ago that Agile was rather an alien concept to project managers. It’s often been seen as lacking structure and governance, whilst suitable only for non-business critical projects and developments.

How times have changed in recent years. Job sites and descriptions for project managers are now littered with demands for experience and certifications in agile.

In truth, Agile has always been present in project management, just cleverly disguised. The logic behind Agile is intuitive; it’s about dealing with change as it occurs during the lifetime of a project. Agile concepts, such as improvising and adapting, have long been part of an effective project manager’s toolkit, despite popular frameworks and methodologies not giving them due recognition.

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Posted in Agile, AgilePM, Exams, Project Mgmt, Qualifications.

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Top 5 tips for CESG Certified Professional applicants

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The process to becoming a CESG Certified Professional (CCP) with APMG is managed online via a secure administrative system. Not only does having an online application keep the process simple, it gives you control over how quickly your application is processed. In fact, the fastest time in which an applicant has gone from starting the process to being awarded certification – has been a mere 12 days.

Below are our top 5 tips for processing your CCP application quickly and successfully.

  1. CCP Role
  • Selecting the right role and level to apply for is key. Currently there are 7 roles in the scheme, available at 3 different levels. There are four levels for the Penetration tester role. Generally, for the purpose of this certification a Practitioner works as part of a team, under supervision.A Senior Practitioner manages a team of practitioners, and a Lead Practitioner is operating at the corporate/board level, making strategic decisions. The roles are not cumulative so, for example, you could make your application at the Senior Practitioner level, without needing to achieve Practitioner first. You may also apply for more than one role with any combination of levels.
  • The best way to ensure you are applying for the right role at the right level is to review the role definitions in the CESG framework In the Guidance to CESG Certification for IA Professionals, page 12 has a table that lists the roles in the scheme and briefly describes the purpose of each role.The CESG Certification for IA Professionals framework describes in greater detail the requirements for each role and at each level. Then from page 52 onwards it gives examples of activities, behaviours or responsibilities expected for each of the 25 skills.

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Posted in Cyber Security, Exams, Qualifications.

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Why Better Business Cases is great

Special thanks to guest author Dr. Fatollah Youssefifar, Programme Management Consultant.

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For those working in the public sector – who are involved in creating business justifications for major spending proposals, the task of putting together consistent and cohesive business cases that can withstand independent scrutiny and meeting HMT requirements, often present them with extremely daunting prospects.

For those, whose task is to scrutinize the said business cases, in order to establish their validity or otherwise, ensuring their decisions are based on sound and robust business justification is equally challenging.

The reason for these challenges, on the part of both the producers and the approvers, of the public sector business justifications, is the fact that, until recently, there wasn’t a clear methodology for creating a robust and well-structured business justification, that could address all aspects of a well-reasoned business justification and, at the same time, be acceptable to HM Treasury and/or independent audit bodies, internal or external to the organization.

Hence, many public sector organizations have hitherto been left to their own devices, to create their own version of a robust and all-embracing business case, when putting forward justification documents for major projects. This has led to a multitude of interpretations of what constitutes a ‘well-reasoned’ approach to producing, and the content of, public sector business cases. This has resulted in a situation whereby it is believed that a great deal of public money is being wasted and many poor decisions are being made, based on deficient and inadequate investment justifications.

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Posted in Better Business Cases, Project Mgmt, Qualifications.

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Fusing the project world with ITER – #iterQ10

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ITER is a large-scale scientific experiment that aims to demonstrate the technological and scientific feasibility of fusion event. ‘Fusing the project world’ conference is aimed at providing a truly global perspective of what can be achieved when the world’s greatest minds work together to achieve a well-defined goal.

This event is organized by Steve Wake, famous for twenty years of earned value / project controls events, in partnership with the ITER Project. Steve says, “I guarantee delegates will look at project management in a different light. At just 99 EUROS the conference is great value and the professional development excellent – for example PMI are offering members a full 9 PDUs for their attendance.”

Topics such as complex projects, international project collaboration, earned value management and organization maturity will be addressed. To be held on Friday 4th September 2015 in the South of France, with a very impressive line-up of speakers, this one day event really is a must-attend for project managers.

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Posted in Events, Project Mgmt.

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The new Change Management certification – 3 months on

Special thanks to guest author Ranjit Sidhu, Director at ChangeQuest Ltd. Follower her on Twitter: @ranjit_sidhu

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The updated change management certification was launched 3 months ago. I thought I’d share with you some reflections and observations, from running this course with five very different groups.

Based on the feedback, the two key things that seem to make this course so valuable are also what make it challenging, and help to really stretch people in building their confidence with this material. These key attributes are:

  • It covers a wide breadth of best practice change management theory and practices, based on what professional change managers need to know and do to bring about lasting change.
  • It offers a wide range of applicable tools, techniques and checklists without being prescriptive or setting out a pre-defined method for managing change.

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Posted in Change Management, Exams, Project Mgmt, Qualifications.

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How secure is your castle?

There is a saying that an Englishman’s home is his castle. In essence, this is still relevant, regardless of gender or geography.

What has changed is the parameters of the castle; it’s no longer simply a matter of defending the physical boundary of a home or business, but securing against a threat that is potentially already inside the walls, via technology.

Just the threat of cyber-attack is enough to inhibit business growth; the reality has very tangible results. The motives behind cyber breaches vary hugely and include crime, incompetence, compliance/governance failure, political agitation and terrorism, of various kinds.  Regardless of the reasons, a breach to security systems will have a negative impact.

The Ponemon Institute’ s recently released report The 2015 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis, puts the average cost of a data breach at $3.79 million, with the cost per stolen record being $154.  In addition to the financial impact, there is also reputational damage to the targeted organization.

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Posted in Cyber Security, ISO Schemes, Qualifications.

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AMPG International Showcase, a Cyber Security review

Showcase masterclass

Masterclass with Andy Taylor & Andrew Fitzmaurice

Friday the 19th of June our flagship event, AMPG- International showcase, ran for its 13th consecutive year however this was the first time the event had a comprehensive cyber security programme. I spent the day following the cyber security crowd.

The first cyber security focused element on the agenda was  a joint masterclass with Andy Taylor, CEO of Aquila Business Services Ltd and Andrew Fitzmaurice and Chief Executive of Templar Executives. The masterclass focused on achieving positive change in your organization’s cyber security maturity.  Continued…

Posted in Cyber Security, Events.


ISO/IEC 20000 and human resources

74300;110067;178509;178556;180425;181038;181053No matter how much we try to automate, service management cannot work without people. ISO/IEC 20000-1 contains many references to ‘authorities and responsibilities’. It also has a specific sub-clause about human resources. This blog aims to clarify these requirements and answer some common questions about how to provide evidence of fulfillment of the requirements.

Authorities and responsibilities 

In ISO/IEC 20000-1, authorities and responsibilities are required in many clauses to be defined, maintained, and assigned. The service management plan needs to contain a ‘framework of authorities, responsibilities and process roles’.

Process roles will typically include process owners, process managers, and process practitioners. There may also be other roles in service management such as service owners, business relationship managers, supplier managers, management representatives etc.

Each of these roles needs to have defined responsibilities e.g. a process manager will typically have responsibility to for the effective operation of the process. In addition the authorities of the role need to be defined e.g. who can declare a major incident, who can invoke service continuity, who has the authority, perhaps at different levels, for approving changes, accountable for the process.

A common way of showing responsibilities and authorities is using a RACI matrix showing activities for a process with a matrix of roles responsible, accountable, consulted and informed.

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Posted in Accreditation, Exams, ISO Schemes, Qualifications.

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IT drives me bonkers

Mark Smalley rountable

Mark Smalley’s roundtable at APMG Showcase 2015

The quote is from a participant in one of my two sessions at the APMG Showcase in London in June 2015. These highly participative sessions were set up to help people improve the often troubled relationship between business and IT, and the quote illustrated this frustration. With a better relationship, both ‘parties’ will perceive that they are getting more value from IT and are working towards common goals for the organization.

The participants considered two perspectives: what kind of behavior business people would like to see from IT people, and what kind of behavior IT people would like to see from business people. It takes two to tango, so both parties should be equally proficient in their respective roles.

So what does the business want to see from IT?:

  • Don’t over-promise – it only leads to disappointment and worsens the relationship
  • Come off the fence and share your uncertainties – business people are realistic and realizes the complexities
  • Service ethos – all too often IT people don’t have a clue how to provide decent service
  • Early engagement – the earlier IT is involved in IT investments, the better they are able to contribute
  • Use the clues that the business gives you – make proposals that are related to current and future business issues

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Posted in Events, IT Service Mgmt, Mindful ITSM.

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