Business and IT training courses from QA

QinetiQ

As a project-based organisation, QinetiQ wanted to strengthen its services by aligning its project management approach to best practice. With this in mind, it turned to APM accredited training provider QA to deliver a blended APMP programme which would drive a highly professional company-wide approach to projects.

The Challenge

Project Management is at the heart of QinetiQ’s business, underpinning the success of the organisation. However, while successful, it was found that methodologies varied across the operating divisions. To support the project managers and help increase the consistency, structure and professionalism of project execution, QinetiQ decided to initiate a programme to move everyone to a single methodology which reflected the highest standards.

With this aim, QinetiQ worked with APM accredited provider, QA, to introduce a programme of APMP learning, which could be embedded into the business.

We recognised that our core business model is to deliver projects to plan and maximise repeat business. So, we wanted to give our project managers the structure and professionalism required of a project based organisation.

Alan Horden

Programme Leader | QinetiQ

The Solution

Designed to bring the learning to life in the workplace, QA developed an intensive programme which combined instructor-led sessions with selfguided study and work-based activities. Lasting 14 weeks, it was structured so that the strands of learning complemented one another on the path to APMP certification.

The standard APMP learning was broken down into modules to be completed over the 14 week programme. The components included:

  • A schedule of instructor-led APMP training delivered by Virtual Classroom, with delegates dialing into instructor-led sessions via the internet
  • A self-study workbook split into modules to be complement the instructor-led learning

Alongside the APMP learning, the programme was coupled with a schedule of additional exercises to embed the learning back in the workplace. These included:

  • Trainer marked assignments – Delegates were required to produce essays focusing on how the learning can be applied to the QinetiQ environment. These were then reviewed by a QA project management expert.
  • Work-based assignments – Delegates worked in groups to look at how a specific subject area applied to QinetiQ’s business. Each week, a new subject area was explored, aligned to key competency areas targeted to QinetiQ’s business. Experienced QinetiQ project professionals provided feedback to assist learners in contextualising the topic. Finally, delegates shared their findings in a presentation explaining how APMP was being applied on their projects and any improvements and/or efficiencies that could be made.
  • Exam crammer workshops were scheduled to help delegates prepare for their APMP exam

To reinforce the companywide approach to projects, each training group was made up of project professionals from different areas of QinetiQ’s business, promoting consistency across its teams.

QinetiQ

The UK, US and Australia are QinetiQ’s home markets, but it is already a trusted supplier to more than 40 countries and is continuing to deepen and extend its international presence. QinetiQ’s aim is to provide a world-class defence and security service – wherever in the world.

www.qinetiq.com

The Outcome

To date, this training and development approach has created a step change resulting in an 86% pass rate, with 60 project managers achieving APMP in the last 12 months.

QinetiQ has observed that its teams are networking much more across the business, developing consistency and taking opportunities for further self-improvement by tackling challenges as a team, beyond the requirements of their individual roles.

Following the training, an impact survey was carried out to measure the effectiveness of the training. Of the initial project professionals to undertake the programme, the results indicated:

  • 97% agreed the training had an impact on their overall understanding of QinetiQ’s drive to improve the project management function’s overall capability
  • 88% acknowledged the training had an impact on their technical project management capability
  • 88% stated the training had increased their confidence to perform as a Project Manager

The training has built the confidence of our project managers, as they recognise that what they are doing is now aligned to best practice. A recent survey showed that individuals have a better understanding of the QinetiQ project management journey and recognise the company’s investment in them.

Alan Horden

Programme Leader | QinetiQ

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