Academy Toolkit & OPL Software Combined

Project Professional Academy

At the end of 2010 we completed the work on Atkins Technical Skills Framework (see last Newsletter), which was signed off just before Christmas. Rather than write their own Project Management Skills Framework, Atkins decided to use the Association for Project Management (APM) technical skills framework. Like a number of organisations we have met recently, they have a number of professional project managers who had assessed themselves against the APM framework using an Excel spreadsheet.

Project Professional Academy Toolkit

Unfortunately, an Excel spreadsheet doesn’t give you the flexibility to create your own development plan on the back of any skills gaps, nor does it give you a database search engine to find people with the right skills to match a project assignment. These are standard features in our Academy toolkit software, so it was agreed that Atkins would acquire a software system from us that would combine the Academy & OPL Toolkits. This allows them to assess and develop the skills of all staff, including project managers, against their own Atkins frameworks. For roles requiring project management skills they can create a role profile that has both Atkins and APM skills, so project managers within Atkins have a holistic approach to develop their skills and behaviours and can incorporate development activities from Atkins’ own Learning and Development catalogue, as well as any appropriate training or coaching for their APM project management skills. In addition they can gradually build their portfolio of evidence for each APM competency, until they are ready to create their submission to the APM. We have created a report in the software that creates the submission document for them, in Word, collating all the evidence into the right sections. They can save the Word document in the “My CV” area of our software for later editing prior to submission to the APM.

This combined software system offers the best of both worlds, so Atkins professionals from all disciplines can conduct their personal development against a competency framework of behaviours and business-specific skills, whilst project professionals have an additional area to assess their APM skills. The whole system is in our “cloud-based” secure software and database, for easy access 24 hours a day.

We’re really looking forward to seeing the first Atkins candidates putting their portfolios together on the Academy part of the system. We will be able to import all the data they have entered into the Excel spreadsheet straight into our system, so they will be up and running straight away! A number could be submitting their portfolios for the RPP standard as soon as it is fully launched in March or April. .Who are Atkins? Click here to visit their website


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