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Project Management, Applied Learning Program

Introduction

This document outlines the SUKAD Applied Learning Program-Essentials (ALP-E ). 
This program is a unique learning program that SUKAD have developed to help professionals in clients’ organization learning project management, effectively, and build their project management competence. We designed this program for professionals who will lead or manage business projects  or participate on projects’ teams. At the end of this program, the participants will be able to manage small to medium projects that require a few resources and may last for weeks or months. The program will also benefit those delegates who will work on large and complex projects. However, for those candidates who will manage large and complex projects, we propose the advanced programs, such as ALP-1. ALP-1 is also based on the CAMMP™ Model, but it is 21 days. 

 

Why Applied Learning?

Project management is an applied domain and the best way to learn it is on the job by applying the concepts. Secondly, project management must be performed in teams, and not by an individual or an incongruous group of individuals.
Numerous researches by top professional organizations and SUKAD research and observations in the region, suggest that classroom training, especially of a generic nature, is not enough. Even when the training leads to certifications from global project management associations, the desired learning outcomes have not been achieved. Some reasons for this may be:
1.    Most training programs depend on lectures and injecting knowledge. That knowledge is maintained until the exam, but quickly forgotten after, if not practiced on the job. Again, this is true even with generic certifications like the PMP (Project Management Professional) and PRINCE2. Unless those professionals who achieved these certifications are empowered to develop, or update, or enhance the Organizational Project Management system, then the return on investment from these training programs is reduced to a minimal.

2.    Most training, and in particular certification preparation (with the exception of the newly established PRINCE2 Professional), focuses on individual knowledge as the main requirement to pass the exam. 

3.    Generic training often neglects the real life workplace dynamics in organizations, and often the techniques learned in class, even when participants buy into them, are quickly discarded by the work environment as wasteful and unnecessary.
At SUKAD we believe that learning has occurred when behavior has changed for the benefit of both the organization and the individual.
This means that the emphasis must be on creating shared workplace knowledge, leading to the formation of a collective mental model in a given environment. Such a model may include an organization specific OPM system, but also the tacit knowledge of which techniques should be selected and which team members are best suited to a particular project.

For project management, the ideal learning environment is to blend and integrates:

In organizations where there is an established project management department or office, an internal mentor or coach would be helpful. However, if such mentors are not available, or the organization does not have a PM Department or PMO, then SUKAD Principal Consultant can fill that role. In either case, a sponsor, or project owner is necessary, and a real project would be preferred.

In other words, if organizations want the prevailing culture to change, high level support is necessary to facilitate such change, and real life scenarios are needed to ensure relevance of the learning.

 

Section 2: The Program
Structure of the Program:  The way the program works is per the following five-stage model:
1.    Pre-Workshops

2.    First Cycle

3.    The Other Cycles

4.    Final Session

5.    Post ALP-E

 

Course Outline:

Day 1

1.    Program Introduction and Rules
2.    Introduction to Project Management
3.    Overview of a Project Management Method (CAMMP™)
4.    Discover Phase: Concept Stage and Feasibility Stage
5.    Deliverables : Project Brief, Project Feasibility Study, and Project Authorization Document

Day 2
1.    Review and finalize deliverables from the previous workshop
2.    Development Phase: Requirements Stage
3.    Deliverables: Project Requirements Document

Day 3
1.    Review and finalize deliverables from the last workshop
2.    Development Phase: Strategy Stage
3.    Deliverables: Project Strategies (Procurement, Sustainability, Delivery) and the Project Management and Control Plan.

Day 4
1.    Review and finalize deliverables from the previous workshop
2.    Development Phase: Definition Stage
3.    Deliverables: Project Scope of Work and Project Detailed Plan

Day 5 
1.    Review and complete deliverables from the last workshop
2.    Delivery Phase: Implementation Stage
3.    Stage Focus: There are no pre-defined deliverables in this stage since it is doing the project work. The various deliverables will be defined in the previous workshop, with the Project Detailed Plan. Consequently, this workshop will focus on implementing the work, control, and change management.

Day 6 
1.    Review and finalize deliverables from the previous workshop
2.    Delivery Phase: Operational Readiness Stage & Close Stage
3.    Deliverables: Operational Readiness Deliverables (a function of the project), Handover, Final Acceptance, and Close Out Report.

Day 7
1.    All teams to present their work to their managers, sponsors, and other management and organizational representatives as necessary.
2.    Graduation.

Between Workshops and Critical Success Factors

a.    It would be preferred to have three to six weeks gaps between workshops. SUKAD and the project owners will have to decide on the duration of this period since it is a function of the projects and organizational interest.
b.    The teams must work in close cooperation with their sponsors and mentor/coach and take the learning seriously; these are real projects.
c.    The final presentations are important to encourage the team members to do the best they can do. A competition and reward system will help.