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which one? ISEB or PRINCE2?

 
#1 which one? ISEB or PRINCE2?
01/10/2009 18:25

Depressed!!

hi, i took VR from ACN after 2yrs being fed up of working under a tw*t on a pmo role. 8mnths later still havent had much luck with jobs! Now thinking about doing a foundation courses in either ISEB or Prince2. Any idea which of the two would hold better job opportunities in the current market place for a junior analyst with 2yrs experience?

thnx for any suggestion.

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#2 RE: which one? ISEB or PRINCE2?
01/10/2009 23:46

anon to Depressed!! (#1)

there are many different ISEB qualifications, which one did you have in mind?

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#3 RE: which one? ISEB or PRINCE2?
02/10/2009 07:43

Anon to anon (#2)

I think it's really important that you get back in contact with ACN and let them know via their HR department the reasons why you left. At the very least, it is important that they know these things so that they can act on it accordingly. If you're lucky, they may even have you back in a different role! Good luck!

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#4 RE: which one? ISEB or PRINCE2?
02/10/2009 12:33

Depressed!! to anon (#2)

Im considering ISEB in Business Analysis.

is that better or Prince 2. any idea which course has more need / demand in the market right now?

Cheers!

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#5 RE: which one? ISEB or PRINCE2?
02/10/2009 13:44

Anon to Depressed!! (#4)

Depressed,

Firstly there is no point going back to Accenture. They don't care about why you left and if you return within 2 years you have to pay back your redundancy !

Secondly PRINCE2 is an exercise in sitting an open book exam NOT in PM skills. It is pretty worthless unless you plan to manage government contracts ?

You should look to do training that is drawn from your experience, Anyone can choose a PRINCE2 or ISEB and that wouldn't set you apart from anyone else.

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#6 RE: which one? ISEB or PRINCE2?
02/10/2009 13:57

boaby to Anon (#5)

You also need to demonstrate significant project management experience to be awarded PRINCE/2. And with respect, 2 years as a PMO is not that.

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#7 RE: which one? ISEB or PRINCE2?
02/10/2009 16:27

Brenda to boaby (#6)

Minor correction: you don't need to demonstrate any project management experience to sit or be awarded either of the PRINCE2 qualifications.

The Foundation paper is a 75-question multiple choice and if you pass this and choose to take the Practitioner exam, it is an open-book 3 hour written test.

As Anon points out, the only real advantage of PRINCE2 is if you wish to work on UK public sector projects / programmes. That said, it is relatively cheap and I guess will look ok on a CV in terms of showing your interest in the area of PPM.

On the downside, as discussed, P2 won't give you any of the skills needed to be a PM. On the other hand, you may already have some of these. I was 1st involved with P2 in 2001 and I honestly believe it is easier to pass the exams the less experience you have on actual programmes - less to get in the way of the methodology.

In summary, I know nothing about ISEB but would say that P2 is only useful if you wish to be a PM in the public sector.

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#8 RE: which one? ISEB or PRINCE2?
02/10/2009 18:35

anon to Brenda (#7)

agreed, it is PMP which requires significant experience (initially as part of the application process, 4,500 hours iirc).

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#9 RE: which one? ISEB or PRINCE2?
04/10/2009 19:06

hardhat to anon (#8)

I don't consider the advice on this thread is particularly robust.

It is a fallacy that Prince2 is only applicable to public sector projects (a statement more biased by recent economics than the content of Prince2).

It is a fallacy that Prince2 does not ehance pm skills (knowledge of how to manage a project, ability to make sense of large quantities of information in a short space of time etc)

'Depressed' I would question more rigourously whether project management is right for you first. If you are convinced it is then Prince2 would most probably be worth serious consideration.

Be careful in interview though if you are asked why you left ACN. You should really have prepared some more convincing reasons that are more forward looking by now. Its not very clear whether you were fed up working in a pmo role, or whether it was because the person was as you described them to be (so eloquently!).

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#10 RE: which one? ISEB or PRINCE2?
04/10/2009 19:46

Princely to hardhat (#9)

Why not both? Really don't bother with a foundation course in Prince2 - it takes 2 days to read the book and memorise the necessary bits. I sat through a 1.5 day course for the practitioner, but you could probably self study. Am also not sure how relevant it is to non govm't projects - it's quite a prescriptive system

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#11 RE: which one? ISEB or PRINCE2?
04/10/2009 23:39

hardhat to Princely (#10)

P2 authors have both public and private sector backgrounds. Its applicability is skewed to the public sector, currently, given current political and economic realities in the UK. But it is not purely public sector focussed.

If you are most most interested in the here and now though why not take a look at the job postings, as though you already had either of these courses on your CV.

There is always some risk attached to converting qualification into improving your career horizons, but after spending say an hour researching the job market ask yourself "does it currently seem like a risk worth taking?" Improving your career is not an exact science.

There is alot of information out there, given your analytical skills it makes some sense to consider some of these things.

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#12 RE: which one? ISEB or PRINCE2?
05/10/2009 10:10

Brenda to hardhat (#11)

I agree that PRINCE2 is applicable across different sectors - it is a reasonably robust methodology, designed to be tailored to specific needs etc.

However, at the moment (and to my knowledge over the last 8 years) it is not valued outside the public sector. I know of no consultancies that encourage staff to gain a PRINCE2 qualification that do not have a substantial public sector focus.

Apart from an individual's learning style, the main reason for doing a taught course is the chance of meeting people who work in / for organisations which value the qualification and the chance to network. If you're lucky with your course, people's stories will also be useful.

Hardhat - you seem to have a positive experience of PRINCE2 - if you attended a course on this, who was it with?

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#13 RE: which one? ISEB or PRINCE2?
05/10/2009 16:48

Anon to Brenda (#12)

Hardhat, You are a little inaccurate in what you say.

PRINCE2 is a methodology which is only recognised in the UK and although designed to be used in managing all projects it is only EVER used by the UK public sector.

The reason for this is that it is so prescriptive that it burns almost all of your PM budget before you have got PID approval and completed Startup.

I don't rate it or recommend it, Even although I have it, Or maybe because I have it.

One of the people on my course was only there because her boss who was meant to attend couldn't and it was costing her company anyway, she had no PM experience and passed the practitioner exam because she could read, learnt how to stick coloured tabs to her book and was able to find the correct references in the alloted time !

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#14 RE: which one? ISEB or PRINCE2?
05/10/2009 22:05

hardhat to Anon (#13)

Look, nothing I have said in the above is inaccurate.

Prince2 is used in the public and private sectors whether you like it or not. Try putting 'Prince2' and 'private sector' in google and you will see some examples! I very much doubt its a complete list but it proves that Anon's point that it is 'NEVER' used in the private sector is a fallacy

The Prince2 course I was on had public and private sector folk (including someone from a FTSE 20 corporate). Their rationale (and his employers had sent others on Prince2 courses) was that they wanted their people to have Prince2 knowledge themselves, rather than hire consultants to do it.

I agree that it does tend to be used for larger rather than smaller projects (but again thats a tendency not an absolute). It has been used successfully on medium sized projects, whether you want to debate this or not. With experience of managing projects before doing Prince2, it was a reasonable way to deepen my pm skills.

It was a nice quick way to do that.

I'm not necessarily saying 'Depressed!' should definately do it, but why not consider it if youve got 2 years experience as analyst? Can it be any less inspiring than playing politics with ACN?

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#15 RE: which one? ISEB or PRINCE2?
07/10/2009 15:26

Anon to hardhat (#14)

OK, Lets look at what you said here then shall we.

"The Prince2 course I was on had public and private sector folk (including someone from a FTSE 20 corporate). Their rationale (and his employers had sent others on Prince2 courses) was that they wanted their people to have Prince2 knowledge themselves, rather than hire consultants to do it."

I agree that there were private sector people on my course doing PRINCE2 but I maintain private sector clients don't use it.

Also depressed, PRINCE2 is only recognised in the UK so any global company won't use it as a methodology which is why it is only used by public sector projects.

Hardhat, Get back in your box !

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#16 RE: which one? ISEB or PRINCE2?
07/10/2009 16:47

Mr Cool to Anon (#15)

Prince2 (yes I’m qualified) is very UK centric and almost only ever USED in public sector environments. HOWEVER, numerous banks and other larger organisation routinely request it when advertising for contract or permanent Project Managers. It is rarely USED in these environments, as most banks etc have their own similar but slightly more relaxed structure process for project delivery. In this respect PRINCE2 becomes a label that says you understand structured PM methods, just like a Geography degree says you’re clever enough to attain a university qualification (even though you then never use geography in your job)

I have rarely heard of management consultants being required to have it by their clients – when you are paying 1500 a day for a PM it’s a lot more important that they have delivered similar sized projects before, than that they have a piece of paper.

There are two further issues worth considering: often stupid under-trained, tick-the-box recruitment agents (I do not mean all agents) slavishly write down verbatim what their clients says they need and then reject excellent candidates because they do not tick the PRINCE2 box, as such a lot of contractors take the course just to make sure they are never rejected for not having it. Conversely attaining PRINCE2 is 99% never going to help you break into project management if you have no experience. It is more likely that you would manage a few small projects without it (or perhaps have the foundation certificate only) and then consolidate and formalise your experience by taking the Practitioner course.

On balance I think the whole thing is a con – evidenced by the fact that no matter how experienced you are it is almost impossible to simply turn up and take the exam – you need to sign up to a 3-4 day course (with exam included) and pay about a grand for the privilege. The only true beneficiaries are the training companies that offer the courses.

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#17 RE: which one? ISEB or PRINCE2?
09/10/2009 21:49

hardhat to Mr Cool (#16)

Most of the authors of Prince2 are actually from the private sector.

If we are to believe that 'the only true beneficiaries are the training companies that offer the courses' then it is rather ironic that a very significant number of them are from private sector companies (particularly given that it is only ever USED in public sector!).

Anyone else want me to debunk their theories?

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#18 RE: which one? ISEB or PRINCE2?
10/10/2009 07:50

Experienced PM to hardhat (#17)

Hardhat, what you are saying is not incorrect it can be used regardless of sector however I think Mr Cool summarises it very well. In my experience, mostly private sector, it is rarely used - this doesn't mean it is never used. Personally, the people I know with prince2 are weaker and less experienced in PM and are using the qualification to boost their creditentials - it's value is very limited - it certainly won't be the definitive reason why you would get a PM role.

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#19 RE: which one? ISEB or PRINCE2?
15/10/2009 00:30

hardhat to Experienced PM (#18)

Not a bad summary, in fact parts of it were something else, but that does not mean I have to agree with some of the introduction or the conclusion.

It is absurd to think that managing a high level project in a bank can be done only on the strength of being a P2 practitioner. But to then make a leap of faith and consider that this means it is only applicable to the public sector, or to imply that it is somehow necessarily a disadvantage, is to misunderstand cause and effect. Honestly I can think of at least one bank board that has got through the recession comparatively well and it does not take your stance on P2.

Cost probably is a disdavantage here, but to jump to the conclusion that its value is characterised as limited, is less obvious to me (given the economic backdrop). Its also likely to be a bad idea to do P2 without any pmo experience.

Fine to go for experience in this situation, but sometimes you have to reappraise what are you actually offering them (versus other candidates)?

Considering P2/ISEB/other project mgt courses as possibilities for career advancement is fine, but pre-research the courses a bit. Its often a choice of what seems right for your career advancement these days. Information is not in short supply.

I would also go on about how there was a twit (or something like that) above me in my 20's (!) but it happens. Eventually you have to move forwards.

And please folks dont tell me that it is usually better to be in a top working environment careerwise. Its usually a known known in this industry.

I'd like to thank Brenda, Depressed!, various anons, Princely, Mr Cool (of course), Experienced PM, boaby, a lady that posted me a piece of card once, and various clients with projects that needed managing, that all made this "speech" possible. So thank you.

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