An essential competency for all project managers

Process and procedures (T068) is a core competency for project managers. Candidates must demonstrate competence to Level 2. If you recall from previous articles, assessors are trained to ask questions that ascertain candidate’s progress against the three APC competency levels:

Level 1 knowledge and understanding (‘knowing’)

Level 2 application of knowledge and understanding (‘doing’)

Level 3 reasoned advice and depth of technical knowledge (‘advising’)

The following questions are typical of those that could be reasonably expected at Final Assessment:

Level 1

Question What sort of information would typically be contained within a Project Execution Plan (PEP)?

Answer The candidate should frame a response citing at least some of the following:

• Background

• Project definition:

o Project objectives

o Method of approach

o Scope

o Deliverables

o Constraints

o Interfaces

o Assumptions

• Project management team structure (incl. roles and responsibilities)

• Communications plan (for stakeholders and team members)

• Quality plan

• Project change control:

o Reporting

o Monitoring

o Risk management

Level 2

Question What project management processes and procedures did you adopt on your last project?

Answer The candidate may have adopted their client’s processes/procedures as clients often impose them on their consultants and contractors.

Alternatively, the candidate may have used their firms own processes/procedures and, if so, they should be able to describe them. Often companies systems are accredited and mention/knowledge of ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems) is relevant.

Finally, the candidate may have used a standard methodology such a PRINCE2. If this is the case they should expect more probing questions to test their understanding as to how this is applied.

Level 3

Question What is PRINCE2 and when could it be used?

Answer The candidate should be aware that PRINCE stands for PRojects IN COntrolled Environment.

It is a structured method for effective project management. It is used extensively by the UK government and public sector although in theory could be used in any situation to govern the delivery of a project.

It contains a complete set of concepts and project management processes. The way in which PRINCE2 is applied to a project will vary considerably. Candidates should know that by tailoring the method to suit the particular circumstances of the project is critical to its successful use.