“It’s a course in a book” is how this study guide describes itself. It is aimed at people who wish to pass the APMP but just cannot spare the time to attend the traditional workshops.
So, how does it fare? Getting a 5-day course into a book is a tall order, and at over 270 pages it could look a bit daunting, especially considering that you also need to have the APM’s Body of Knowledge alongside it. However, when you open the book and browse through a few pages you are immediately given a very good first impression. It looks accessible and interesting.
A few years’ ago I successfully studied for a similar professional examination using a guide rather like this one. I therefore have experience of how helpful these can be if they are put together in the right way; and I think that the authors have achieved just that.
There is a good balance of text, diagrams, multiple-choice quizzes, open questions and reflections on real-life practice. It is presented cleanly and clearly and has a nice work-book feel to it – I actually felt like I wanted to grab my pen and answer some of the questions.
With mock exam papers, glossary and exam tips it has all the items that you would expect from such a guide. But it’s the main sections of the book that bring the value, and here I think that it achieves its ambitions – “a course in a book”.
John Edmonds is Head of Training at pearcemayfield and has over 25 years of programme and project management experience in the educational and financial services sectors. He is one of the authors of the latest version of PRINCE2, and is the author of a blog called ‘The Opsimath’. John is chairman of the education, training and development charity ‘Roots’.