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Milton Keynes Council

QA were chosen by Milton Keynes Council to drive a consistent standard of project management across its organisation, specific to its needs. Learning experts, QA, helped design and deliver bespoke training to embed the method across the council's activities.

The Challenge

Previous projects carried out by Milton Keynes Council had demonstrated that a common method and language for managing projects would contribute to greater project success. As such, the Council sought to introduce a standardised approach to project management. To maximise the impact and relevance of the approach, Milton Keynes Council designed a bespoke project management method, streamlined to suit its local authority context: the MK Approach.

Once designed, Milton Keynes Council needed to introduce the methodnto its employees. To support the adoption of the MK Approach across its organisation, Milton Keynes Council turned to Europe's most established project management training provider, QA, to design and deliver training to introduce staff to the method and demonstrate how it can be applied to their day-to-day activities. The key was to ensure enthusiastic adoption of the new method.

Following the formation of the Portfolio Office, we needed a project management method and training to help our staff pick it up and run with it.

Jill Jones

Head of Portfolio Office | Milton Keynes Council

The Solution

QA's first task was to understand the MK Approach. With this objective, QA selected one of its Project Management Experts with key experience working with organisations to develop and embed bespoke project management methods. This individual met with the Council and reviewed the method it had developed.

As part of the engagement, the Project Management Expert introduced Milton Keynes Council to another UK council which QA had worked with in a similar way. This helped to frame the solution and share key considerations when introducing a bespoke project management method in a local authority context.

Once the MK Approach was understood, QA developed a two day learning event. Delivered at the Council's premises to groups of 16 delegates, the course incorporated a sector specific case study, focusing on a previous project carried out by Milton Keynes Council. This enabled delegates to explore how the approach could be applied in the context of Milton Keynes Council's activities.

As the MK Approach has been embedded in Milton Keynes Council's activities, it has been further updated and tailored to ensure it continues to represent best practice. To make sure this is adopted by Council employees, each run of the course is updated to incorporate any updates to the MK Approach made since the previous run. This confirms that the learning is constantly up to date, reinforcing consistency by introducing employees to the most current version of the MK Approach.

To further support the application of the method, the QA Project Management Expert reviewed document templates produced by the Council. Designed to be used in conjunction with each of the method's four processes (Start, Plan, Do, Finish), the standard document templates would further ensure a consistent application of the MK Approach by Council staff.

Milton Keynes Council

Milton Keynes Council is working to deliver the best possible future for Milton Keynes by creating sustainable communities and opportunities for all.

The Outcome

Delegate feedback gathered during the first two years of training indicates a positive adoption of the MK Approach:

  • 84% strongly agreed that the training was a worthwhile investment in their career development
  • 68% strongly agreed that they would be able to apply the knowledge and skills learned in the training to their job
  • 69% strongly agreed that the training would improve their job performance

In addition, 97% indicated that they were very satisfied with the training course. Following the success of the MK Approach to projects, Milton Keynes Council has engaged QA to help introduce an MK Approach to managing programmes.

Following the success of the MK Approach to projects, Milton Keynes Council has engaged QA to help introduce an MK Approach to managing programmes.

We get great feedback from people who go on the training. I think a lot of it comes down to the style of the trainers – their professionalism and ability to bring their previous experience into the classroom. From what I’ve observed, we’re now speaking the same language, which is underpinned by the approach and the training. We have the tools in place to run better projects.

Jill Jones

Head of Portfolio Office | Milton Keynes Council

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