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Business leaders in professional services firms need to know where and how technology can help achieve business goals. The IT leader needs to create the IT strategy, procure technology and services, and lead business change.



We help business and IT leaders in professional services firms to meet these challenges. Our clients span from global leading law firms, to mid-sized professional bodies, regional specialists, and small boutique firms.



For our SME clients we also provide IT support services.

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    • Technology

Business leaders in professional services firms need to know where and how technology can help achieve business goals. The IT leader needs to create the IT strategy, procure technology and services, and lead business change.



We help business and IT leaders in professional services firms to meet these challenges. Our clients span from global leading law firms, to mid-sized professional bodies, regional specialists, and small boutique firms.



For our SME clients we also provide IT support services.

    Why project management certifications are a waste of time

    Why project management certifications are a waste of time

    Reading time: 14 minutes

    I’ve been delivering projects and programmes for over 20 years. During that time, I’ve interviewed countless numbers of people for project management positions. Despite the hundreds of people I’ve interviewed who professed to have Prince2 qualifications, I’ve never met anyone who could tell me what the ethos of Prince2 is (and if you think its ‘Project in Controlled Environments’ you don’t know the answer either!).

    In this article I’m going to explain why project management certifications can be a waste of time and money, and what you can do about it, whether you’re looking to get certified or whether you run a project management function. And I might even explain to you what the ethos of Prince2 is.

    Before I go any further, I should declare that I do have project management certifications. These include CompTIA: IT Project+ (that takes me back a long way!), Prince2 Practitioner, and Agile PM Practitioner.

    So what about you? Are you certified? Did you take a Foundation exam and end your certification path there, or did you go on to become a certified Practitioner?

    If you stopped at Foundation level, I guarantee that you know very little, if anything, about that specific methodology.

    I once had a member of my team who boasted to me that he didn’t have the time to study for his Prince2 foundation exam, yet crammed the night before, and then passed the following day. He saw this as a great achievement. It took my asking him questions about the methodology for him to realise that he’d learnt very little, and simply tested his short-term memory.

    Why get certified in project management methodologies?

    When considering certification, people typically fall into one of 3 camps:



    * They want to learn a better way to deliver projects

    * They get certified to increase their value, either to gain a pay rise, stay competitive with colleagues, or seek new employment

    * Their organisation is tied to a specific methodology, and it is mandatory that they are trained in it



    Most project management certifications have multiple levels, such as Foundation and Practitioner. And they typically lead on to further study and certification paths, such as Managing Successful Programmes (MSP).

    Why certification can be a problem

    I’ve seen organisations of all types attempt to implement a project management methodology only to fail. I’ve also seen many people achieve certification, only to become disillusioned some time after, and to eventually ignore much of what they’ve learnt. Here’s why I think this happens:



    * You get certified, but you’re not in a role that currently requires the skills: This is a frequent and easy mistake to make. With the best intentions you head off to get certified. If you’re lucky, the investment is made by your employer, or you may be choosing to invest your own money. Training in something that you then don’t use results in the knowledge being mostly lost over time. You need to be in an environment where you can immediately put your training to use. (If you are investing your own money recognise that it typically costs more as an individual, as companies can take advantage of bulk purchase discounts. It always pays to shop around, but also research the training organisation to make sure you will receive quality training. Make sure that the fees include exam fees too, and ideally look for an organisation that guarantees a pass, which means they will pay for multiple exam attempts).

    * Your organisation doesn’t have many, or even any, other people currently certified: It’s very difficult to apply project management methodologies in isolation. Training a single person and then expecting them to introduce the methodology into your organisation is a fast route to failure. You need a small team trained in a methodology in order to have critical mass.

    • 19 min

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