Our CAPM and PMP Study groups have just started and here is some feedback from Adeyemi on how it is going so far and some other information.

 Note: If you still wish to join, you can contact Adeyemi and click here:  https://pmi-belgium.be/profes-devel/study-groups . 

Q1:  What is the goal of the PMP study group  
The first goal is to help the people to prepare for the PMP exam.
For chapters, it is also an occasion to promote membership, since the course is free for PMI members.
For lecturers, it is an opportunity to practice their skills and share contacts.
The limitation of the course is that we do not provide "Contact Hours" necessary to fulfil PMP exam prerequisites. This is because we do not want to compete with or cannibalize the "Registered Educational Providers".
 
Q2: How many countries are involved and which ones? 
It was started last year by Finland and Poland Chapters. Some more chapters joined them with participants and lecturers.
This year participants and lecturers are coming from Poland, Finland, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Canada, USA, Nigeria, Ireland, Greece, Germany, India, Iran, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Denmark and probably some other countries.
Most participants are from Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, Poland and Russia.
 
Q3: Since how many years are the study groups going on?
This is the fourth edition of the PMP study groups.
 
Q4: What were the numbers last year - how many people joined the study groups and how many of them took the exam?  
The first and second year it was 20-50 participants, This year it's over 150.
 
Q5: What is the formation of the study group like ?   
We had a kick-off meeting with project PM and some people from Finland and Poland Chapters that were involved last year, then created a KanBan board on Trello. Then we created the VRMS application for lecturers on PMI site, sent invitations to some other PMI Chapters (including Belgium) to check if they want to join and advertise it locally. Then we created communication templates, meeting sessions, presentations, questionnaires, review of lecturers, sending invitations etc, answering tons of questions, etc... you know :-)
There are two sponsors of the project - PMI Finland Chapter (represented by Javier Martin Perez) and PMI Poland Chapter (Joanna Adamska) and PM Krzysztof Moskwa. 
 
Q6: What are people expected to do between study groups  
We do not have any special expectations, but we recommend people to at least skim the chapter that is going to be presented.
 
Q7: What is the schedule for the study group's session  
We are doing it on Mondays and Thursdays for 6 weeks at 18:00 CET time.
 
Q8: Are the Study Group sessions recorded?   
We are not recording these sessions.
 
Q9:  Can new people still join or is it too late?     
I can still add people to the participants' list, but they have to be aware that they will miss the first session. It should be free for PMI members, and non-members should pay 20 EUR to their Chapter.
 
Q10: How many people are from Belgium and what did they think of it? 
If I count correctly - there are 10 people from Belgium who joined as participants. Starting from today's session we are asking participants to fill feedback questionnaire. So hopefully, we'll get a bit more information. Right now I don't have much data. 
 
Q11:  What was the topic for the first session  
Project Management Framework - PMBoK chapters 1-3.
 
Q12: What is the planned topic for the next session?
Project Integration Management - to be lectured by Oleg Tumosov from Moscow
Schedule and time table is available on the following page
 

The importance of Scenario Planning in strategic projects

Scenario planning is becoming more important than ever given the uncertain and changing environment in which the companies operate nowadays. This notion is especially valuable for PMO leaders driving the pipeline that will strategically fuel the future of the organization.

Either you are an executive recommending the CEO to keep your organization within its core business and stop expensive projects in the riskier arenas, or a Portfolio Manager exploring different variables before defining the strategic path for your programs. In both cases, how should you decide where to place your stakes?

The answer cannot be reduced to a single forecast and traditional risk management. It is important to embrace uncertainty but it is also important to remove (or at least minimize) the negative impact of reactionary responses to changes in the business environment.

The solution to this quandary might be good Scenario Planning.

The scenarios themselves should not be seen as the required end but rather a management tool to improve excellence on strategic decisions in a project or organization.

Example of a Process to Build Scenarios

By doing a quick literature search, you can find different methods on how to build scenarios. I will share with you one that consist of 5 main steps:

Step 1 - The Focal Question: The first step in the process is to agree on the strategic issue we want to address, typically in the form of a “focal” question.

Step 2 - Driving Forces: Identify the forces driving future change.

Step 3 - Critical Uncertainties: Identify critical uncertainties. The emphasis at this stage should be on divergence and not convergence. Of greater concern is to identify driving forces that are both important and uncertain and thus have a wide range of future outcomes.

Step 4 - Scenario Framework: At this stage we should be able to create a clear framework with a combination of the critical uncertainties with possible future outcomes that could be resumed on a diagram. 

Step 5 - Scenario Characteristics and Storylines: Having defined a logical framework, this step involves identifying major characteristics and building a storyline for each scenario in a creative brainstorming session to describe the future end states.

Even if uncertain, the ‘real future’ will most likely contain elements of the defined scenarios. The aim is to gain insights from these on what/why could change, and what this knowledge might mean for strategic decisions.

Also important is to monitor ongoing change by defining flags per scenario that will serve as early warning system to signal that a specific scenario is emerging.

Watching for these flags should allow to make sense of change on an ongoing basis, and to react more effectively than competitors to significant changes in the business.

Conclusion

The strength of scenario planning is to widen and deepen thinking about future business environment affecting projects’ strategic choices by enhancing a sound risk analysis and ultimately improving the organization’s performance.

This is especially important on early-phase strategic projects that might dictate the footprint of the company future portfolio.

What about you: how do you decide where you place your bets in your strategic projects?

-- END --

 

Are you interested in Scenario Planning and want to exchange interesting experiences, tools or best practices on this topic?

If yes, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Carlos at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

He would be delighted to hear from you!

 

 

 About the Author:

Carlos Abreu de Carvalho is a multicultural Project Manager, having worked and lived in 5 different countries across 3 continents. He has the experience in driving projects across governmental, non-governmental and corporate organizations within pharmaceutical and healthcare sector.

Carlos is a Pharmacist by training, a PMI certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and member of the PMI Belgium