Tag Archives: PM Training

APM Book Review: The Mentoring Manual, Julie Starr

Here is the full review for the Mentoring Manual published in APM’s Project magazine Summer 2015 edition:

Book title The Mentoring Manual

Author (s) Julie Starr

ISBN number 978-1-292-01789-1

Publisher Pearson Education Limited

Price £14.99

It makes you look at mentoring from a different angle – helping you recognise where existing relationships may already adopt the role of mentor, and how to distinguish mentoring from other relationships.
The book encourages you to take on the theory as you work through it, even if you don’t fully accept the concepts rather than re-engineering to enhance your own methods.
The book benefits project managers in that it has short exercises to practice which are easy to follow and not too time consuming – this helps the reader fully grasp the methods and can benefit from quick win scenarios (ideal for those working in busy environments). PMs ideally should be nurturing their teams and the book uses business scenarios which can be aligned to your current needs. The book takes a common sense approach to delivering and makes you think about how mentees might receive information, a trait I would say is required for a PM, however to have a refresh is always good practice. This would make an ideal beginner’s book for PMs new to mentoring and is ideal reference material to keep on the shelf to go back to as it doesn’t need to be read from start to finish in one go. The general theme is about working on relationships, therefore perfect for any PPM professional who could benefit from assistance in this area. Arguably it is the relationship management which harvests the best results within projects and programmes. It’s not PM specific, so it is also good for all management professionals, it is this generalist approach which does however feed well into any given scenario – as PM can be very diverse this lends itself well to the field.
There is a split between self help content and practical detail, the switch between the two makes for a different approach to this type of book.
You are encouraged to question your approach and as such this will shape your methods and management style in a positive way as it really tries to embrace how our actions are viewed from all angles.


Enhancing Your PM CV – PM CV Tips

I am often asked “what can I be doing to enhance my CV further to attract employers” – it’s an interesting question which is often followed up by “should I take a PM qualification?” It is the 20 million dollar question, some organisations ask specifically for PM qualifications whereas others are happy with the experience in delivering through structured methods. My first response is have you set aside some funds to take a course? If you have been made redundant you may have an agreement with the business for them to pay for a course or two and as a seasoned contractor I would expect you to be investing in your business (i.e. you) with some courses. However if you are new to PM or looking to break into PM then a course may not be the best use of your time or money, I would always say it is good to back up practice with a formal qualification but just taking an exam when you have little or no exposure to putting the theory into practice isn’t going to set you much further ahead of your peers. An introductory course might be a good option for those new to PM, this will provide an insight into how projects are run and assist you in the terminology used within the PM field.


As a practitioner with a number of years exposure to structured methods, it is a clear indicator that you are dedicated to the field by gaining the PM badges and is always good to get back in the classroom now and then to brush up on current practices. Also those wishing to move from PM to programmes may look at qualifications which are relevant to that level of delivery, as you are likely to be managing a programme or two within your portfolio it would be a good exercise to apply a more robust structure to the delivery and set you in better stead moving forward.

In regards to which PM qualification to go for – it is always difficult to know which one the employer will be asking for, my advice is to research the roles you are relevant for and see what the adverts are asking for. However if you have a PM badge or two which are not what the employer is asking for, don’t be put off applying if you fit the rest of the job wish list – some employers just name a qualification but don’t necessarily use that structure, they may just be looking for a PM with a structured approach as opposed to a “just do it” approach. Another good idea is to talk to PM recruiters and ask what they are being asked for most within your field, they have their fingers hot on the pulse of what the trends are in reality.

Why The Role Of A Project Manager Is Often Overlooked And Why It Shouldn’t Be

A project manager is essential to the success of any project. Without utilizing this invaluable resource, projects will operate inefficiently, team members will lack motivation and miss deadlines and the overall project will cost significantly more than originally budgeted resulting in losing long-term clients.


The project manager is the glue that holds the entire project together. They will act as the liaison between team members and upper management. In some instances, they may also act as the liaison between the company and the client. Each project management role will be slightly different; however, the level of importance of the role for successfully completing a project on time and on budget while ensuring the client is satisfied is equally important in all organizations.


Communication is key to the success of all projects. Today, most people work on a number of projects simultaneously. Without the direction of a project manager, every person on the team must wait for another member to complete part of a task before they are able to complete their job. Communication in these circumstances is appalling which leads to delays and frustrated team members without the guidance of a project manager.



Part of the role of a project manager is to keep team members motivated. A happy team member is a productive team member. By being in constant communication with the team, the project manager maintains their motivation and focus on the project at hand. If a team member is not performing as well as the others, the project manager will be able to work with the team member to determine ways to increase their level of productivity.


Part of the importance of constant motivation is to keep team members on task to meet deadlines. A project manager will follow up on task assignments to ensure each milestone and deadline is met. These deadlines are created with both internal and external clients. Missing deadlines in business will cost companies money and long-term business partners. Managing deadlines is a critical role of the project manager.


One of the most important reasons to hire or assign a project manager is to ensure the project does not exceed the predetermined project budget. Poor communication will result in poor efficiency and poor efficiency will lead to missed deadlines. Any misstep will lead to greater expenses. A project manager will monitor the cost of the team, materials and any other expenses directly related to the project to ensure the budget remains on target. Because emergencies do occur, the project manager will be able to immediately communicate such emergencies to directors and executives so that the client will be informed as soon as possible to prevent any dissatisfaction from the client.

To ensure the success of any and all projects, a project manager should be utilized. They will act as a liaison, enhance productivity, keep tasks on target and the budget in check. Companies that use a project manager will have far greater success than companies that do not.

Sally writes for Milestone UK who specialise in Primavera courses and Oracle training in the UK, to learn more about their enterprise solutions.