The Knowledge Academy
Management of Portfolios (MoP) is one of a suite of best practice guidance issued by The Cabinet Office (HM Government, UK). If focuses on organizational change at a strategic level.
Many organizations have focused for some time on the effective delivery of change initiatives, often through the application of project and programme frameworks that have stood the test of time. However, often, these initiatives have not been prioritized, balanced and managed effectively at corporate, or at least group, level. Therefore, frequently, little attention has been paid to the question “Are we investing in the right change initiatives in the first place? (as well as managing them in the right way). In recent years Portfolio Management has emerged as a way of answering this question. The course and the associated qualification are based on extensive research into the practice of Portfolio Management which is defined as:
“…as a coordinated collection of strategic processes and decisions that, together, enable a more effective balance of organizational change and business as usual.”
Portfolios represent “…the totality of an organization’s investment (or segment thereof) in the changes required to achieve its strategic objectives.”
MoP is about establishing good practices, a supportive and enabling culture and an effective structural framework, all underpinned by five key principles which drive the practices, culture and structure. Therefore, it is not prescriptive; instead the guidance focuses on ‘keys to success’, so enabling sufficient flexibility to ensure it is universally applicable to any type of organization, regardless of sector, ownership, size, etc.
MoP® Foundation and Practitioner Training (including examinations)
Following confirmation of booking The Knowledge Academy will send the pre-course work to the delegate. This work consists of;
1) Reading 3 chapters of the Management of Portfolios course manual
The pre-course work on a The Knowledge Academy course will require around 15 hours of study prior to the course start date. The Knowledge Academy MoP® Foundation and Practitioner training event is an intensive 5 day course that includes the MoP® Foundation and Practitioner examinations within the course. Upon booking, joining instructions that describe the course location and other administrative details will also be emailed. In addition, delegates will be required to complete a MINIMUM of 2 hours homework each evening which will be set by the instructor.
Who Should Attend?
Anyone with an interest and/or role in delivering programmes and projects, and organizational strategy from inception to delivery, will benefit from familiarizing and understanding the guidance . This includes members of management boards and directors of change; senior responsible owners, portfolio, programme, project, business change and benefits managers, business case writers and project appraisers, as well as teams from functions including, but not limited to, finance, information technology, procurement, human relations, strategic planning, performance management.
The nature of MoP
The strategic and organizational context
The five principles of Portfolio Management
Portfolio definition cycle
Portfolio delivery cycle
The Knowledge Academy prepares delegates for both the Foundation and Practitioner level MoP® qualifications.
Preparation for the Foundation level qualification consists of a 3 day course which includes an objective test (‘multiple choice’) examination at the end of day 3 (50 questions in 40 minutes, pass mark 50%).
The Practitioner level course lasts a further 1 1/2 days and includes a thorough preparation for the exam which takes place on the morning of the second Practitioner study day. It is a 3 h examination which is scenario based and tests the ability to apply best practice Portfolio Management guidance to this scenario. The exam is also an objective test examination; there are a total of 80 questions, divided into four sections. The pass mark is also 50%.
How to become a Business Analyst
Business analysis is the task of understanding business change needs – Assessing the business impact of those changes, capturing, analysing and documenting requirements and supporting the communication and delivery with relevant stakeholders. The Business Analyst is someone who is a part of the business operation and works with IT to improve the quality if the services being delivered.
Businesses need to adapt continually if they are to be successful. The business analyst is the catalyst of these changes, working closely with the business to create innovative solutions to business problems.
The typical deliverables of a Business Analyst could very between; business and functional/non-functional requirements as well as as-is and to-be processes including a business case.
The Business Analyst records requirements a form of management tool, whether it be simple spreadsheet or a complex application.
Areas of business analysis:
- Strategic planning - To identify the organisation's business needs
- Business model analysis - To define the organisation's policies and market approaches
- Process design - To standardise the organisation's workflows
- Systems analysis - The interpretation of business rules and requirements for technical systems
You could find yourself in a variation of industries, some including; finance, banking, insurance, telecoms, utilities, software services etc.
To gain a Diploma, candidates must pass four one-hour written examinations on a number of business topics.
There is a combination of core and specialist modules and an oral examination.
There are two types of core modules in the Diploma, these can be gained in any order. You can choose from either “BCS Certificate in Business Analysis Practice” or “BCS Certificate in Requirements Engineering”.
Candidates must also choose one “knowledge-based” module and one “practitioner” module to complete their certificates. You make your choice depending on your own background and preferences. As well as what your organisation requires and the nature of your role(s).
Finally you must sit an oral examination (this lasts for just under an hour). The candidate is required to demonstrate that they can put the competences gained in the written exams into coherent context.
Do you think you’ve got what it takes to become a Business Analyst?