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Students Put New Knowledge to Immediate Use Back at Work

  • By: pcadmin on 28 Feb 2017

After only 2-days of training in a public offering of our Project Management Essentials for Festival Events & Hospitality course, five workers at Chai Lifeline went back to their office the next day and immediately implemented the newly-learned project management techniques to plan the Best Concert of 2017. They began to think in terms of “work packages”, “deliverables”, “work breakdown structures" and determining the “critical path” for their project — terms that were foreign to them only 48 hours earlier.

Ultimately, those who will really benefit from the course are children with cancer and their families who Chai Lifeline supports with social workers, and respite programs on a daily basis. The implementation of PM tools and techniques at Chai Lifeline will increase efficiencies and enable funds from donors be directed to where they are in greatest need, and to be used with greater efficiency.

Kudos to Janice Petley for being a wonderful facilitator and ensuring that all information was relatable to each participant’s unique environment.

Putting Learnings Into Use

 

Western Continuing Studies Helps Students Prepare for Working in Today’s Global Economy

  • By: pcadmin on 23 Jan 2017

A study jointly sponsored by Maxus Global and the Financial Times in early 2015 noted that change is “the number one challenge businesses are facing today.” The survey of 152 c-level executives plus 56 senior and middle managers, identified a wide range of change drivers that are disrupting entire industries and economies. The study concluded that “existing protocols are gone and businesses have to constantly re-write the rules to remain relevant.”

Business leaders must deal with the pressure to change and the increasing pace of change; yet, many do not have the skills to do so. The Economist (March 16, 2016) notes that “while change is positively embraced as a cause for excitement […] only 2 percent of our business leaders currently feel personally prepared for change.” Given this situation, how can business professionals better prepare to meet this growing challenge?

Western Continuing Studies in London, Ontario can help. It has launched a new course titled “Business Analysis: Planning and Communication.” The course focuses on a relatively new profession that has emerged over the past two decades: business analysis. “A business analyst is part of a transformation team responsible for identifying and explaining the business’ requirements to those responsible for building solutions that will meet the transformational goals,” says Christine Wilton, Program Manager for Western Continuing Studies. “This course explains the role of the business analyst and teaches some of the foundational skills such as stakeholder analysis, requirements gathering, and (most importantly) managing the requirements changes that will emerge during the life of the transformation project.”

Western Continuing Studies offers the course in partnership with Procept Associates Ltd., one of Canada’s leading corporate training and consulting firms, whose business analysis practice was honoured with the “Chartered Endorsed Education Provider” designation by the International Institute for Business Analysis, the premiere global standards setting organization for the new profession.

The first offering of this new course starts on February 16, 2017 at the downtown London, Ontario location of Western Continuing Studies. The instructor for this session, Kathleen Gillis, is known for her pioneering business analysis work at the Bank of Montreal, Consumers Gas and several other Canadian companies. For more information on the course, visit http://bit.ly/2kjUk2B.

 

ABOUT WESTERN CONTINUING STUDIES
A division of Western University in London, Ontario, Western Continuing Studies offers courses and programs designed to meet the needs of a diverse group of learners – from two-day to 12-week courses, both daytime and evening classes, delivered face-to-face and online. Every year more than 3000 adult learners enroll in courses for professional development and personal enrichment at Western Continuing Studies. For every one of those students, the decision to return to the classroom can be life changing. Find out more at http://wcs.uwo.ca

ABOUT PROCEPT ASSOCIATES LTD.
Procept Associates Ltd. is a leader in management education with offices coast-to-coast across Canada as well as in the USA and overseas. Procept started operations in London, Ontario in 1983 and its USA-based subsidiary started in 1965. Procept provides training on behalf of several Canadian and US universities, is the official management training provider to many government bodies, and provides in-house training to many corporations and non-profit organizations. Find out more at http://www.procept.com

Q4 2016 PMI Certifications Update

  • By: pcadmin on 03 Jan 2017

The Project Management Institute (PMI) just released the latest figures on the number of holders of each of its certifications as of November 30, 2016. The figures show growth in all certifications; however, PMI membership was down for the quarter for the first time in recent history by 0.4%:
 

Total Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential holders:

745,081

Total Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® certification holders:

32,608

Total Program Management Professional (PgMP)® credential holders:

1,760

Total PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)® credential holders:

1,597

Total PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)® credential holders:

3,831

Total PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certification holders:

13,712

Total PMI Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)® credential holders:

394

Total PMI Active Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)®:

1,077

New Video: Procept eLearning Experience and Offerings

  • By: pcadmin on 09 Dec 2016

Procept just released a video highlighting its approach to e-learning, its experience developing e-learning solutions, and a brief description of some of its e-learning offerings.

 

New Video: Critical Factors for Project Success

  • By: pcadmin on 08 Dec 2016

Procept has just released a video by Morley Selver, one of Procept's Senior Consultants, explaining several guidelines you need to keep in mind when working on projects. Although they seem simple enough, they can have a huge effect on any project if the team ignores them. He talks about project manager behaviors, project guidelines, and finally explains the four project constraints of scope, schedule, budget, resources and the importance of keeping them in balance as changes occur during a project. 

This is the latest in a series of short instructional videos that Procept will be releasing for free on YouTube to highlight the teaching skills of its instructors and to drive interest in Procept's offerings. Subscribe to the Procept YouTube channel to get notified of new videos as they are released.

 

FREE Webinar - Exploring Agile Contracts: Fixed Price, Time and Materials and Hybrid Options

  • By: pcadmin on 30 Nov 2016

One of the biggest challenges when starting an agile project is figuring out how to set realistic expectations with the sponsor and then creating a contract that reflects those expectations, but does so in an agile manner.

Contracts in their various forms are required when working for both external and internal clients. Join Canada's agile guru Kevin Aguanno as he explores various types of agile contracts including fixed price, time and materials and hybrid contract options. Learn how to set up a formal agreement (contract, statement of work, or document of understanding) for projects characterized by uncertainty and high levels of change.

Earn 1 PDU for attending this 2 February 2017 at Noon Eastern time event.

Register online for this free event by clicking on the button below...

FREE Webinar - All PMOs are Not the Same: Exploring the Many Functions of a PMO

  • By: pcadmin on 30 Nov 2016

Not all PMOs are created equal. Some focus on project portfolio status reporting, some on process compliance audits, others on creating methodology and other process standards. Yet even this short list does not cover ALL of the various functions that different PMOs can play in an organization.

On 11 January 2017 at Noon (Eastern time), join Kevin Aguanno as he explores the many different functions a PMO could undertake within an organization. Along the way, he'll share some interesting research about how PMOs are functioning today and some indicators about how the PMOs of the future will look.

Register online for this free event by clicking on the button below.

Western Continuing Studies Partners with Procept Associates to Stay in Tune with Emerging Trends

  • By: pcadmin on 29 Nov 2016

Many of the largest “new economy” companies (Apple, Google, etc.) are noted for their ability to adapt quickly to changing marketplace trends. As noted in The Economist (Dec. 2015), Apple sells through its inventories every four days and introduces a new product every four weeks, Facebook updates its software in real time, and fashion retailer Zara designs 40,000 new products a year and ships them to stores twice per week, creating an environment of constant change. Trying to keep pace with the speed of change in the current economy challenges all businesses, including adult education.

To help it stay in tune with emerging trends in the business world, Western Continuing Studies (WCS) has partnered with Procept Associates Ltd., Canada’s oldest and largest provider of project management and business analysis training.

“As one of Canada’s leading universities, we take pride in providing top-quality programming using the best instructors. Partnering with Procept, we can ensure that our programming evolves with the changing marketplace needs and that we can bring highly-experienced instructors who are at the top of their professions,” says Christine Wilton, Program Manager for Western Continuing Studies. “My role involves creating and implementing a strategy that helps us enrich and transform the lives of our diverse audience of adult learners in this rapidly-changing world. We believe that Procept’s exceptional instructors and industry-leading courses will help us meet our strategic goals.”

With over 200 classroom and online courses in its catalogue, Procept offers courses ranging from beginner to advanced levels in many fields. Under this new partnership, Procept will be offering several of its project management, business analysis and agile courses through WCS.

Carlo Barrettara, Procept’s president, supports the partnership, stating “We are delighted to expand our network of university partners in Canada and the USA to include Western, Canada’s leading university. We are pleased that Western Continuing Studies decided that Procept met its high standards of excellence.”

Wilton continues: “As industry standards change and business practices evolve, courses quickly become outdated. Procept’s ongoing investments in updating existing courses and developing new courses to address emerging trends frees Western Continuing Studies from having to do so ourselves. This frees up resources we can devote to other programme areas and towards maintaining our culture of customer service excellence.”

The first course of many under the partnership will run at the WCS downtown London campus starting January 25, 2017. The course, Certified Agile Project Manager, will be delivered by Kevin Aguanno, Canada’s leading agile expert and author of over 30 books and DVDs. At the completion of the three-day course, students will write the Certified Agile Project Manager exam from the Project Management Association of Canada (PMAC-AGPC.ca). For more information on the course, visit http://bit.ly/2g4aETM
 

ABOUT PROCEPT ASSOCIATES LTD.
Procept Associates Ltd. is a leader in management education with offices coast-to-coast across Canada as well as in the USA and overseas. Procept started operations in London, Ontario in 1983 and its USA-based subsidiary started in 1965. Procept provides training on behalf of several Canadian and US universities, is the official management training provider to many government bodies, and provides in-house training to many corporations and non-profit organizations. Find out more at http://www.procept.com
 

ABOUT WESTERN CONTINUING STUDIES
A division of Western University in London, Ontario, Western Continuing Studies offers courses and programs designed to meet the needs of a diverse group of learners – from two-day to 12-week courses, both daytime and evening classes, delivered face-to-face and online. Every year more than 3000 adult learners enroll in courses for professional development and personal enrichment at Western Continuing Studies. For every one of those students, the decision to return to the classroom can be life changing. Find out more at http://wcs.uwo.ca

FREE Webinar - Critical Factors for Project Management Success (Dec. 6, 2016)

  • By: pcadmin on 07 Sep 2016

As part of our ongoing series of webinars, join host Morley Selver on this webinar where you will discover the critical factors you need to keep in mind to improve your chances of project success. Although they seem simple enough, they can have a huge effect on any project if the team ignores them.

The webinar will examine the most important project manager behaviours, project guidelines, and the critical relationship between the four most important project constraints of scope, schedule, budget, and resources.

Register online for this free event by clicking on the button below.

On Being Uniform

  • By: morley.selver on 22 Aug 2016

by Morley Selver, P.Eng., IPMA-B

As a consulting engineer we recently did a project for a refinery where the pipe specification called out asbestos gaskets. Knowing that asbestos has not been used for years in North America and the fact that on the last refinery project, the project engineer did not want to use them, we assumed that this project engineer would do the same. We spent some time researching what was used in the past to replace the asbestos gasket, made up a specification deviation and sent it to the refinery project engineer. To our surprise he refused the specification deviation as he liked asbestos gaskets and that was what he wanted to use. To him, it was a matter of personal preference.

This is not an isolated incident and is a problem that all people dealing with Owners have, that is, what does the Owner want? As a service provider, time and money are wasted when there is confusion and indecision on the Owners’ side. People do not know what to do, so nothing gets done. You don’t know which direction to go, so you spin your wheels. You struggle, you waste time, and money. This is not a pleasant position to be in, especially when you figure out what one project engineers’ preference is and the next project engineer has different preferences. This preference issue not only applies to equipment and material, but also forms and other documents.

What to Use, What To Use?

This is the issue of uniformity and it applies to every company, even your own. By uniformity, I mean everyone in your office should look the same to the outside world. If I am a contractor or consultant, I should see only one person. All the forms and letters used should be the same, the letterhead, and formatting should be consistent, in other words there should be no deviation between personnel, no personal preferences. You don’t go to a bank and every teller has a different form based on what they like to use! They are uniform, teller to teller, branch to branch. You need to be the same.

For CAD, materials, and equipment installation there are specifications and standards. These specifications and standards have been developed over the years through trial and error, discussion, study, and research. They are to be taken seriously and should not be deviated from. If you need to deviate from them, the proper procedure is to get a ‘Specification Deviation’ to record the deviation and obtain authorization for the noncompliance.

So, to be consistent, amongst other things, your company should have standard forms, specifications and standards, procedures, letterhead, minutes of meeting, etc. and all correspondence should go through a common secretary who can format it the corporate way. This sounds easy but can be difficult to do. It is the only way to operate a business efficiently.

Oops, We Got The Wrong Item

For equipment and material, one way for the Owner to achieve consistency when working with engineers, vendors and contractors, is to use a Plant Conditions and Standard Component List. This document serves two purposes; 1 Have you ever been in the position of looking for design basis information and the Owner does not have the answer or the answer given differs from the last time the question was asked? This is what the Plant Conditions document is used for. It describes to Service Providers what the plant conditions are. It tells them the plant elevation; water, air, natural gas pressures; fluid temperature and power information; weather information at the plant location; plus any other important information about the plant and its’ location. This allows those designing equipment to have the same operating conditions as the next designer. With the conditions printed out, everyone knows where they are and there is no guessing as to the conditions. This document has to be kept up-to-date. One important section is the earthquake design information. For this the Owner should hire a structural engineer familiar with the location to provide the numbers. If this is left up to the vendors there is a good chance that the information used will be wrong since they are usually taken from general information. These plant conditions will provide uniformity across all designs. For the Service Providers there is no wondering what numbers to use. 2 Have you ever been in the position of buying an equipment skid, it shows up on site and within 15 minutes someone from maintenance is in your office telling you that the components use in the skid are not what the plant use. Now the fun starts trying to get the situation rectified. The standard component list is there to help you prevent this problem. It is a list of the plants preferred make and type of components they like to use. It covers, amongst other things, architectural, mechanical, electrical, and instrumentation. It can have one, two, or three choices of manufacturer to give the Service Providers, Vendors and Contractors some leeway. If you have given this type of document to a vendor then the skid problem becomes a lot easier to handle. You just call up the vendor, tell him he did not use what you asked for and you want it fixed at his cost.

The Standard Component List does not just apply to industrial plants. One of my workshop attendees was a volunteer on a historical gold mine restoration and adapted this document as it was a great way to ensure consistency of hardware / components across all the volunteers and avoid confusion with the vendors / contractors providing services.

Where To Find One

It is important for this document to be developed and transmitted to the Service Providers, Vendors, and Contractors. If you want more information and the actual document, I have written an e-book on this which includes a comprehensive list of components used in a plant. You can take this list, give it to your maintenance people to fill in and you are ready to go. For a copy of this ebook, please contact sales@procept.com.

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