MSP Training - The 2011 review

A few minutes ago, I finished another successful MSP (Managing Successful Programmes) Practitioner course. MSP is in an interesting place at the moment, because we’re in the transition between two versions of the official MSP manual. My battered & much used copy of the 2007 version is still relevant to some of the courses that I teach, but I have a shiny new copy of the 2011 version as well. The new version of MSP was only released at the beginning of September, but I’ve already delivered one course based on this for TKA. The MSP framework has not changed radically for this new version, but there have been some interesting improvements in the detail, with changes to benefits realisation catching my eye.

I’ve been a trainer for 7 years and teach PRINCE2, Management of Portfolios (MoP) and APMP (Association for Project Management, Practitioner) courses, in addition to MSP. The whole best practice family of guidance from the OGC (Office of Government Commerce) has evolved quite a bit over the last couple of years, with new versions of PRINCE2 and MSP, together with new manuals about portfolio management (MoP) and portfolio, programme & project offices (P3O) all enhancing the subject area.

The Management of Portfolios manual gives a fresh perspective on how organisations manage change, concentrating more on what changes should be happening, and the co-ordination of those changes, rather than on how to deliver change.

The OGC guidance on portfolio, programme and project offices gives long overdue exposure to the value of an organisation having skilled support for change teams, even to the point of having a corporate “centre of excellence” containing skills and experience of a wide range of change management initiatives.

When you add to the above recent developments in guidance about risk management (MoR) and management of value realisation (MoV), you begin to see how dynamic this whole subject area is.

OK, so maybe I’m considered a bit of a “nerd” for being passionate about all of these frameworks and methods, but having managed projects, programmes and change initiatives for over twenty years, before finding my way into training, I find this whole area fascinating. I can see so much benefit in the establishment of common approaches and common jargon across the whole spectrum of the delivery of change. Additionally, all of the good work that has gone into the evolution of these approaches by professional bodies, such as the APM, PMI (Project Management Institute) and the BCS (British Computer Society) complement the OGC’s best practice family.

Anyway, enough rambling from me. It’s Friday afternoon and I’ve got a train to catch. Hopefully, I’ll see you on a course, sometime soon.

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