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Eddie Kilkelly


Managing Director

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Perfect practice makes perfect


Eddie Kilkelly, chief operating officer at ILX Group, examines the advantages that APMP can bring to project managers and how it provides the skills needed to allow candidates to demonstrate knowledge of all elements of project management.

Many HR and training managers are under the illusion that project management process training and accreditation will deliver all of the necessary skillsets. Whilst they do provide a good foundation this is only the start of the journey and there is often a critical gap between theory and practical application.

In order to embed best practice and the skills organisations need, HR and training managers must understand that while a methodology such as PRINCE2 is usually the first step, it is essential for project managers to have the practical skills necessary to apply this methodology. This is where APMP can help, complementing PRINCE2 perfectly with practical techniques and people related disciplines to help put the process into practice.
A good project manager will achieve two key things; the first is an ability to maintain focus on a desired outcome, and the second is the ability to deliver these outcomes through their team. Both of these attributes are achieved through a combination of experience and intuition and in turn, both of these skills develop and feed each other. In a way, it's not practice that makes perfect but developing perfect practice that makes perfect.

"A good project manager will achieve two key things; the first is an ability to maintain focus on a desired outcome, and the second is the ability to deliver these outcomes through their team."

This 'perfect practice' isn't as simple as rolling out a plan that has worked before for every project or challenge, it's understanding the 'what' and the 'how' before setting out and then keeping focused on the outcome throughout the journey. We often have to fight that human instinct to dive right in and start work without fully understanding the problem.
It's at this early stage that the biggest project mistakes are born, hence the old adage – a failure to plan is a plan to fail. Obvious yes, but it is equally applicable whether planning a local marketing mail-out or a multi-national product rollout. The subtle and yet significant difference between these two scenarios arises from the scale and level of importance (or investment) in a project. As the level of value increases, so does the emphasis on managing the detail. We are quite happy to rely upon our knowledge of the postal service when planning our mailer out to the local community but when it comes to the transportation and installation of millions of pounds worth of hardware a whole project team will be brought together to ensure every piece of the puzzle from the factory floor to the installation is planned and understood. In reality both should be approached with the same fundamental ideas and processes that PRINCE2 and APMP provide.
The rise and rise of PRINCE2 has resulted in it becoming the first port of call for organisations that are looking to improve their project management capabilities. Increasingly they are coming to realise that while PRINCE2 provides the framework of how to conduct a project, there is still more that they can learn and benefit from with APMP. The combination of the two gives a great opportunity for complementary practical skills to be developed and with the availability of blended learning and elearning there is a real opportunity to save both time and money.
Building on PRINCE2 which teaches the project manager how to follow a structured yet flexible process and keep the project under control from start to finish, APMP provides project managers with the practical skills and techniques needed to estimate, plan, communicate and measure progress.
Whereas PRINCE2 equips the project manager with a route map of the journey from inception to completion, the APMP Qualification ensures that the project manager is able to run. Independently they will each improve the ability to manage projects well. Together they provide the formula for success.

APMP - a definition

The APMP is an internationally recognised knowledge based qualification (IPMA Level D) that enables you to understand the breadth of skills required to successfully manage a project undertaking.
The APMP for PRINCE2 Practitioners recognises the prior learning and attainment of a recognised qualification and only tests those areas that have not previously been examined.
This qualification is based upon the Association for Project Management (APM) Body of Knowledge v5 and assesses the breadth of knowledge in all areas of project management from strategic and commercial implications, to technical, organisational and people management skills required to participate effectively in project management. Areas covered include:

  • Context of project management
  • Planning and strategy
  • Executing the strategy
  • Techniques
  • Business and commercial
  • Organisation and governance
  • People and profession

Eddie Kilkelly ischief operating officer at ILX Group

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Eddie Kilkelly

Managing Director

Read more from Eddie Kilkelly

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