Knet touts project management courses

Regional training company Knowledge Network (Knet) has unveiled a Project Management course that offers official Masters certification. The course will offer seven learning modules accredited by Regis University, which can also be used as credit towards an online MBA.

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By  Alicia Buller Published  July 4, 2004

|~|Alan-Patching1.gif|~|Alan Patching, former project manager for Sydney’s Olympic Stadium and Knet course director|~|Regional training company Knowledge Network (Knet) has unveiled a Project Management course that offers official Masters certification. The course will offer seven learning modules accredited by Regis University, which can also be used as credit towards an online MBA. Totalling 23 days, the course incorporates both theoretical and hands-on project management skills, including risk management, quality assurance, integrated scheduling, cost control and communication. Knet recommends that the full range of modules are taken over the course of a year for optimum learning. In addition, if all the courses are taken up within this time period, students can take advantage of the training institute’s special offer price of US$9850 per person. The course is welcome step towards official accreditation of project management skills in the Middle East. “A major factor in corporate success is the realisation that project management is a professional skill, not just dog work. Previously, when an employee was asked to manage a project, their reaction was often ‘what have I done wrong?’ The fact that Knet is offering a Masters level certification is another step in underscoring the importance of project management as a desirable skill,” says Alan Patching, former project manager for Sydney’s Olympic Stadium and Knet course director. Evidence of the need for skilled project management comes from the Standish Group, which recently reported that, on average, corporate projects not only go over budget by 188%, but they also overrun time-wise by 218%. In fact, only 20% of projects are reported to be complete on time and within budget. Patching believes skilled project management specifically has an important role to play in Dubai’s exploding corporate sector. “Dubai, in particular, is a potential hotbed for project management. There are so many short-term and long-term projects going on here and the range of industry specialisms is diversifying all the time. The rate of growth is amazing. Dubai is a vibrant market and profitable environment where each new development will require project management,” he adds. But amid such a buoyant and busy market, it’s easy to lose focus and let the projects roll out unmanaged, not paying too much attention to minor time or budget slips here and there. “At the moment, it may seem as though it doesn’t matter if you make mistakes too much as the [Dubai] corporate landscape is thriving. But when the slowdown happens, and it will, maybe in twenty years time — it will be the people with the best systems, the best management and the best project managers with the top accreditation and methodologies that succeed.” “The companies that will reap maximum profitability are the ones who learn to plan things before they start them,” says Patching. “The biggest project management issue in the corporate world is planning and getting the project right first time,” he adds. There are four factors that contribute to successful planning and project management, according to Knet. First, the appropriate training should be taken and cemented with official external accreditation. Next, it’s important that individual project management responsibilities are internally accredited with documented inhouse methodologies. Finally, project management should always be treated as a positive career move, not simply as a sideways step. Patching believes Dubai has a better chance than most of getting the four-step formula right. “I think the Middle East at an executive level has one of the best attitudes to project management there is. The managers don’t sit on a throne, the CEOs are very hands-on and amongst the people. As a result, they know both the issues of management and the problems at the bottom,” he says. “With the number of opportunities here, it [Dubai] has got the potential to be the world’s leading project management region in ten years time,” Patching adds. ||**||

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