Training Higher Education project managers and their project board in PRINCE2

We have assisted project managers in the Higher Education sector for several years, working with management and research staff to improve their project management practice.

One particular challenge was working with staff in one of the largest universities who were tasked with developing and implementing a new university wide system to integrate student details and provide a portal for student applications.  The project involved staff from all facets of the university and a project board with academic members who were new to this way of working.

Through a series of workshops we helped them to tailor PRINCE2 for their environment and project, and to  develop their skills to effectively manage the project and its work packages, looking at how work was to be defined, delegated and monitored.

We also spent time with the project board members.  These were mostly senior academic staff that had no experience of project board membership or this way of working.  We therefore spent some time clarifying their roles and responsibilities, what their expectations of the project manager and others were, and what the expectations of these new project board members would be from both the wider organisation and the project manager and team members.

We have also worked with senior researchers seeking grants from various funding councils to enable them to be more successful in the application and bid process.  This has not only included the development of demonstrably achievable project plans but also looked at how they present themselves verbally at interview with the funding council; this work was done with an associate who is recognised as an expert in the use of voice and language as part of the presentation process.