Association For Project Management PPQ Podcast Series

Paul Naybour

7 Episodes Available

1. PPQ Introduction

In this Parallel Project Training podcast, Paul Naybour welcomes Tom O’Shea, the new leader of their PPQ programs. Tom shares his extensive involvement with the PPQ, including his role in its initial development and evolution from the previous PQ version. He highlights the PPQ’s transition to a more efficient half-day assessment format and discusses his work in guiding and coaching candidates through the PPQ assessment process.

The podcast delves into the PPQ’s purpose, positioning it as a crucial bridge between foundational project management knowledge, as covered in the PMQ, and the advanced technical skills required for achieving chartered status. Unlike the PMQ, which focuses on theoretical knowledge, the PPQ emphasises practical application. It requires candidates to demonstrate their project management capabilities in real-world scenarios, particularly through case study assessments.

Thomas explains that these case studies often involve turnaround situations, challenging candidates to apply their knowledge and experience to poorly managed projects. He underscores the importance of practical application in the PPQ, as it assesses the candidates’ ability to bring tangible improvements to real-life project scenarios. The podcast aims to provide insights and tips for candidates preparing for the PPQ, emphasizing the value of practical experience over theoretical knowledge in achieving success in the assessment.

2. APM PPQ Structures and Hierarchies

In this  podcast episode, Paul Naybour and Tom O’Shea discuss the PPQ assessment criteria, specifically focusing on 1.1, which relates to governance in project management. They highlight the importance of aligning project structures and hierarchies with the organisation’s structure and the chosen project lifecycle. They also discuss the possibility of proposing a different approach to project management if it aligns better with the project’s nature.

They emphasise the need to evaluate appropriate structures and hierarchies, considering factors like organisation structure and team setup, especially when taking over an ongoing project. They mention the relevance of the seventh edition of the Body of Knowledge as a reference and provide insights into creating governance structures, such as project boards or steering groups.

The conversation continues with a discussion on establishing roles and responsibilities within a project team, ensuring formal documentation and individual acceptance. They suggest methods like mapping roles to skill sets and conducting workshops to gain team buy-in.

Lastly, they touch on maintaining reporting hierarchies and structures throughout the project’s lifecycle, stressing the importance of adapting to changing needs and circumstances. They mention that regular progress reporting can help reinforce accountabilities.

Overall, this podcast episode delves into the complexities of governance, roles, responsibilities, and reporting structures in project management, offering insights and guidance for project managers.

3. APM PPQ Use Information To Inform Reviews And Help Manage Deviations From A Project Plan.

In the podcast, Tom and Paul explore the APM PPQ assessment criteria related to project reviews and management. They underscore the vital importance of critically evaluating reliable and valid information to assess various project factors across its lifecycle. They also emphasise the significance of aligning reviews with organisational, legal, and regulatory requirements.

Furthermore, they analyse scenarios where deviations from the project plan may arise and discuss strategies for resolving them. The podcast underscores the need for accurately documenting deviations and highlights the advantages of doing so. Additionally, they discuss change control processes and protocols, including a critical assessment of their benefits and features.

Throughout the conversation, they provide valuable insights into effective project management practices.

4. APM PPQ Manage change control processes and protocols

In this podcast, Paul Naybour and Tom O’Shea discuss change control in project management, focusing on four key areas: the benefits and features of effective change control processes, methods for capturing, recording, and reviewing change options, implementing and managing approved changes, and the use of trend analysis. They emphasise the importance of understanding change control’s rationale, the need for structured management approaches, and the role of trend analysis in project improvement. The discussion also highlights the challenges in adapting change control processes in dynamic project environments, underscoring the necessity of clear communication and documentation updates.

5. APM PPQ: 5. Deliver the intended benefits of a project.

In this podcast, Paul Naybour and Tom O’Shea explore the complexities of benefits management within project governance, with a specific focus on the APM’s PPQ qualification. They highlight the critical nature of ensuring that benefits are measurable, meaningful to stakeholders, and align with an organisation’s strategic objectives. The conversation delves into developing a benefits management strategy, emphasising the importance of setting priorities, assigning responsibilities, and defining timescales.

The significance of prioritising benefits based on their contribution to strategic objectives is a key point of discussion. Naybour and O’Shea also address the creation of a benefits realisation plan, considering factors such as funding, tracking, monitoring, and scheduling. They explore strategies to maximise the achievement of planned benefits, including integrating benefit considerations into project design and management.

Throughout the podcast, the importance of project managers’ understanding and active involvement in benefits management is underscored despite it not being a routine task. The speakers recommend consulting the APM’s guidance on benefits management and suggest embedding benefits planning into various project stages to ensure effective project outcomes and value for the organisation. The podcast concludes with a discussion on the role of benefits management in programmes, emphasising its importance regardless of project scale or complexity.

6. APM PPQ Provide visionary leadership for a project.

1.1 Critically Evaluate Ethical, Flexible, Inspirational, and Collaborative Approaches to the Leadership of Others in Evolving Situations

The discussion emphasizes the multifaceted nature of leadership within the context of project management, highlighting the need for leaders to exhibit ethical, flexible, inspirational, and collaborative behaviors. Ethical leadership involves openness, honesty, and integrity, ensuring transparency and trust within the team. Flexibility in leadership styles is crucial to adapt to varying team and stakeholder needs, fostering an environment where the project manager’s approach evolves based on situational demands. Inspirational leadership focuses on motivating and encouraging team members towards achieving project goals, cultivating a sense of purpose and commitment. Collaborative leadership underlines the importance of engaging with the team in problem-solving and decision-making processes, promoting inclusivity and collective ownership of project outcomes.

1.2 Critically Analyse Ways in Which to Engage with a Diverse Range of Individuals and Teams to Agree Aims and Objectives Which Are Aligned to a Project’s Strategic Goals

Effective engagement with a diverse team is central to aligning individual tasks and broader project objectives. This involves utilizing tools like RACI charts to clarify roles and responsibilities, ensuring everyone understands their contribution to the project’s success. The approach requires analyzing different methods of engagement, identifying the pros and cons to tailor communication and leadership strategies that resonate with varied team dynamics. This segment also stresses the significance of establishing clear, tangible goals that are communicated effectively, fostering an environment where every team member is bought into the vision and motivated to contribute to the strategic objectives.

1.3 Critically Evaluate Environments Which Encourage and Sustain Empowered and High-Performance Teams

Creating an environment conducive to high performance and empowerment involves considering both the physical and cultural aspects of the workplace. This includes decisions on co-location versus virtual collaboration, which hinges on the nature of the team and project requirements. The importance of daily or regular check-ins, such as agile stand-ups, is highlighted as a means to foster communication and accountability. The discussion also touches on the significance of the project manager’s role in setting up structures that facilitate performance, including the strategic use of work package descriptions and ensuring alignment with the project’s objectives. Lastly, it mentions the need for a supportive culture that encourages innovation, responsibility, and collaborative problem-solving, enabling teams to thrive regardless of their geographical distribution.

APM PPQ Establish And Develop Teams To Achieve Project Aims

2.1 Critically Evaluate Tools, Techniques, and Leadership Behaviours

The podcast discusses various tools, techniques, and leadership behaviours that project managers can use to improve team development, adapt to changes in the project environment, and effectively manage team dynamics.

The Tuckman model is presented as a useful framework for understanding team development stages, emphasising the importance of building trust and confidence through practical approaches such as kick-off meetings, social events, and fulfilling commitments. Effective leadership in project management is highlighted through the necessity of under-promising and over-delivering, ensuring clear communication of expectations, and actively maintaining commitments to build credibility within the team.

2.2 Critically Analyse Response to Changes in Project’s Environment

Adaptation to changes in a project’s environment is essential, and the podcast suggests the situational application of leadership models such as Hersey and Blanchard, and Max Landsberg’s skill-will model to cater to evolving team needs and environmental contexts, ensuring that team requirements and interests are continuously supported.

2.3 Critically Analyse Tools and Techniques for Effective Team Development

For maintaining an effective team, the session underscores the importance of clarity in roles and responsibilities through tools like RACI matrices and comprehensive project plans. It also suggests regular updates and adaptations to the project environment, advocating for proactive management of team dynamics and ensuring alignment with project goals through continuous development and training.

2.4 Critically Evaluate the Role of Monitoring and Feedback

Monitoring and feedback are framed as crucial for recognising individual contributions and guiding team progress. The discussion points out that both project-oriented and personal feedback are necessary. The former ensures that the project stays on track, while the latter supports individual development, addressing personal challenges and aligning them with project goals.

2.5 Critically Evaluate Relationship Between Performance Management and Motivation

Performance management is linked directly to motivating team members by aligning individual professional growth with project goals. The podcast highlights how performance appraisals, development opportunities, and potentially even financial incentives like bonuses can enhance motivation, leading to successful project outcomes.

2.6 Critically Evaluate the Use of Conflict to Improve Performance

Finally, the concept of ‘positive conflict’ is introduced, suggesting that controlled, constructive conflict can be beneficial. It can stimulate innovation, challenge ideas to improve project outcomes, and enhance performance through healthy competition. Moreover, resolving conflicts respectfully can strengthen team cohesiveness and trust among members.

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