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Project Management FAQ

What is the role of a Project Manager?

Project managers are the point people responsible for coordinating activities of project team members to achieve project objectives. Whereas project team members tend to have narrowly focused skills and expertise, and are primarily concerned with day-to-day functions, Project Managers focus equal attention on near- and long-term activities. Historically the role of “Project Manager” focused on the larger, more technical projects. However, in recent years it is being applied to a variety of smaller, less technical projects as well. The Project Management function has received a lot of attention over the last 10 years and has become a highly desired competency in most organizations.

Specifically, what are the responsibilities of a Project Manager?

A true Project Manager is responsible for effectively and efficiently:

  • Defining the scope of projects
  • Developing project schedules
  • Estimating project costs
  • Gaining stakeholders’ approvals
  • Measuring project progress
  • Controlling project changes
  • Closing out projects

Why are soft skills important to being a great Project Manager?

The common thread running through all the essential skills needed to be a great Project Manager is working with people. Whether it’s defining the scope of a project, exercising change control or closing a project out, the more comfortable Project Managers are with interacting with people the more successful they will be in their role.

Why do organizations need project management training?

The most important reasons are expressed with cold, hard facts. (per the 2013 CHAOS Report by The Standish Group) In the year 2012:

  • Only 69% of specified requirements were completed
  • 74% of projects had time overruns
  • 59% of projects had cost overruns
  • Project failure is typically due to inadequate upfront work, including poor requirements, poor documentation, poor communication and inflexibility.

Effective and efficient, highly trained Project Managers will ensure project success and help organizations exceed stakeholder expectations.

What does a company gain by employing highly trained certified Project Managers?

Certified personnel can set your company apart. When your employees have a solid project management foundation, you can be sure they possess the necessary knowledge and skills that can be readily applied in the workplace. That’s a powerful “plus” that can have a very positive, and measurable, impact on the way your company does business.

Project Manager certification implies true professionalism in a mission-critical corporate function. More and more corporate leaders with an eye on execution and productivity are seeing the value of certification for their business analysis practitioners. They know that a broad base of certified practitioners gives their companies a competitive edge by having:

  • Knowledgeable practitioners with a shared understanding of the lexicon and processes required to plan and execute the business analysis process
  • A built-in base of mentors to work with and teach others
  • The capacity to standardize organizational project management processes and procedures
  • A staff of practitioners that are required to continue their education in order to maintain their credentials
  • The ability to achieve better project results

Why should I choose Systemation for project management training?

Systemation maximizes the performance of individuals and organizations by instilling immediately usable project-related processes and techniques across the enterprise while ensuring they align with corporate culture and business strategies. Unlike most training and consulting companies that provide highly theoretical advice, Systemation offers practical learning solutions tailored to fit a wide array of project management needs.

As an innovative business transformation organization, Systemation began specializing in project management training many years ahead of our competition and was one of the first companies to offer Project Management Certificate Programs. In business since 1959 and with a rich history rooted in proven client success, our learning improvement solutions have generated measurable results for many Global 2000 companies worldwide. And to best serve our clients, we have forged a strong partnership with the renowned Business School at the University of Colorado Denver, which endorses our formal Project Management Programs.

What is the source of content for Systemation’s Project Management programs?

Systemation training is based on best practice application development methodologies and real world experiences garnered over a long period of time working with world-class organizations. In addition, Systemation is a Global Charter Registered Education Provider of the Project Management Institute (PMI®). We have defined 44 competencies that Project Managers need to be proficient in their discipline. All of these competencies originate from PMI®’s A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide). From these competencies and best practices we have created the content for our Project Management training workshops.

What is the Project Management Institute (PMI®)?

The PMI® is an international not-for-profit professional association for project management professionals. PMI®’s vision is to be the leading worldwide professional association that develops and maintains standards for the practice of Project Managers and for the certification of practitioners.

Are the processes and templates used in Systemation’s workshops easily integrated into my organization?

Yes. The main objective of our learning programs is to make sure the content of our workshops is applicable and easily transferred into the participant’s day-to-day experience. Students not only learn the content, tools, templates and techniques required for success, they are also able to apply what was learned immediately in the workplace environment.

Can the content be customized to our organization?

Yes. Systemation realizes that every organization has unique processes and forms, reflective of their specific business and approach. We typically integrate these seamlessly into our workshops without disrupting the context and flow of the workshop. In addition, if some topics are more important to your organization than others, we can modify the flow of the workshop to accommodate those areas of emphasis. Systemation has a long history of success personalizing the learning experience to the needs of specific organizations to increase relevancy.

Does Systemation Provide a suite of Assessment tools?

Yes. Systemation provides 4 levels of Assessment:

  • Knowledge – Individual and Group
  • Behavioral
  • Organizational
  • Workshop Specific – Pre and Post

Assessments are web-based and accessed through our Client Portal. Extensive reporting is provided.

Does Systemation offer post workshop support?

Yes. All participants of Systemation workshops have access to our Client Portal. This is an anytime, on-demand, web-based environment that provides increased timeliness, flexibility and accessibility to project-based learning and performance improvement. It contains a vast reservoir of tools, training materials and templates that have been developed and refined by Systemation over its more than 50-year history. This invaluable stable of resources helps build project management competencies, raise proficiency levels and boost everyday workplace performance.

Within the Client Portal participants can access:

  • List of workshops in their program
  • Impact Assessment
  • Electronic workshop materials / templates
  • Personal Transcripts
  • Completed workshop Certificates
  • PM KnowHow Methodology

As a capstone to Systemation’s post-workshop support we offer a program called “Workshop to Workplace”. This unique program helps ensure that employees will be able to translate their clasroom learning into improved on-the-job performance.

Systemation’s “Workshop to Workplace” program includes:

  • Commitment Forms: At the end of all workshops, participants are asked to create a plan for improving and being held accountable their project management performance.
  • Performance BoosterTM Emails: Participants receive emails for a period of 8-10 weeks after the workshop reminding them of key concepts covered in the workshop.
  • Manager Support: Managers get on board with a brief overview of key workshop concepts. They receive a list of behaviors to watch for as employees put their new knowledge to work. And we equip the managers with questions to ask to gauge the level of behavior change.
  • Ask My PM Coach: An online tool that provides project management answers 24/7.
  • One-on-One Virtual Coaching: Pick an area to focus on and we’ll pair your employee(s) with a project management expert to accelerate skill adoption via one-hour online sessions.

Is Systemation training for IT professionals only?

No. At Systemation we see all work as projects. And because projects are everywhere and affect all aspects of a company’s business, many organizations are recognizing the tremendous value that comes with developing and enhancing the disciplines that directly contribute to greater project success. These include the all-important skills of project management and business analysis. In fact, the majority of Systemation workshop participants in the last few years are not project managers by title, but are functional project managers by job role. That is, their work is made up of projects and they need the skills, tools and techniques of project management to deliver consistent results.

What core workshops are required in order to receive a Practitioner Certificate in Project Management?

There are four essential workshops required to earn a Practitioner Certificate in Project Management endorsed by the University of Colorado Denver:

  • Fast Start® in Project Management (FSIPM) – 3 Days
  • Estimating and Risk Management (EST/RISK) – 2 Days
  • Making Projects Work (MPWORK) – 2 Days
  • Maximizing Project Success Through People (MPSP) – 2 Days

In addition, participants take an online test after each workshop via our client portal. Participants need a score of 80 percent or better to receive a passing grade. Certificates for each successfully completed workshop are then awarded to the participant. After a completion of the four workshops and satisfactory completion of all tests, the participant receives the official certificate from the University of Colorado Denver.

To go further and receive an Advanced Certificate in Project Management, Systemation offers four additional workshops:

  • Advanced Project Management (ADPM) – 3 Days
  • Managing Project Crisis (MPC) – 2 Days
  • Program and Portfolio Management (PAPM) – 2 Days
  • Project Management Simulation (PMSIM) – 3 Days

What is the duration of the Project Management certificate programs?

Participants have up to two years to complete our Project Management certificate programs, but in order to reap the most benefit from the training we recommend that no more than eight weeks pass between workshops. This allows participants time to practice the new learning from one workshop and to link the outcomes into the new content while the tools, templates and techniques are still top-of-mind.

Can a client build their own custom certification program?

Yes. The majority of Systemation clients tailor either the workshop or the series of workshops to build their own company specific certification. Ask a Program Consultant how easily this can be done for your company!

Does Systemation have a recommended curriculum for PM job roles?

Yes. Systemation has developed the “Banding Approach” to provide just the right amount of training necessary by job role to achieve desired results. The Systemation “Banding Approach” gives clients a roadmap for success by defining the specific number and type of courses needed by individuals located within each band. It’s extremely customizable allowing us to address a widely diverse set of needs within an organization, and is based on many years of successful training experience. This ensures the true needs of each and every client are met, saving students a lot of time and the organization a lot of money. What’s more, the “Banding Approach” accounts for future growth by mapping out a clear path that accommodates each individual as they mature in their respective disciplines. No other method offers such a high return on a client’s training investment.

Can our employees receive academic credit, CEU’s and PDU’s for attending your workshops?

Yes, this option is available for individual workshops as well as the Project Management Certificate Programs.

What is the difference between a workshop and a program?

Programs are a series of seamlessly integrated workshops that build upon one another to produce a highly proficient practitioner. Although workshops instill a significant amount of knowledge for a targeted topic, Systemation programs are more effective in changing workplace behaviors as they focus on performance improvement. Because workshops within a Systemation program are designed to reinforce and build upon previous learning while integrating real-life applications, they have immediate applicability in the workplace. In addition, completion of a program earns a certificate providing credibility and professionalism for the individual and the organization.

What are the credentials of your project management trainers?

All Systemation facilitators are experts in the practice of project management, having successfully performed as Project Managers for a minimum of 10 years, plus are PMP® certified through PMI®. Their performance is measured in a number of different categories, and minimum standards must be maintained on a continual basis. Many trainers are also consultants with expertise in a variety of vertical markets.

Can Systemation provide in-house marketing support for workshops?

Yes. Systemation offers a number of ways to help our client’s market in-house workshops to individuals or work groups. Specifically we can customize workshop Boosters or email Posters for delivery to targeted audiences, provide keynote Executive Overviews, or deliver onsite symposiums depending on the need and the audience. Ask a Program Consultant for some specific examples.

What other training and consulting services does Systemation offer?

Systemation provides full project management and business analysis curriculums for novice, advanced and expert practitioners as well as project team members, project stakeholders and project sponsors. Other programs available through Systemation include:

  • Practitioner Certificate in Business Analysis Program
  • Advanced Certificate in Business Analysis Program
  • Rapid PMP® Certificate Program
  • Accelerated Project Management Proficiency Certificate Program
  • Methodology Development and Implementation
  • Project Management Maturity Assessment
  • Individual assessments for Project Managers and Business Analysts
  • Project Management Coaching and Mentoring
  • Project Training for the Unofficial Project Managers (“Got Projects?”)

Can Systemation assist us in implementing a PM Methodology?

Yes. Systemation has a long history of success assisting companies of all sizes and scope in implementing and ingraining a company-specific methodology.

In addition, Systemation has developed a best-practices based project management methodology…PM KnowHow. This methodology can be implemented in your company with ease and with minimal expense.

PM KnowHow:

  • Covers all 5 components of the PM process
  • Is detailed enough to help Novice PMs gain valuable experience
  • Gives PMs guidance throughout the duration of their projects
  • Establishes standards and guidelines to promote best practices
  • Provides electronic templates with guidance on how to complete them
  • Educates PMs on the more complex aspects of project management
  • Integrates tightly with MS Project and MS Office
  • Consists of 128 pages filled with text and graphics
  • Is ready for you to implement TODAY in your company!

What does Systemation do to maximize the effectiveness of adult learning in the classroom?

At Systemation, while we believe that tools and technology are important in project management and business analysis, they are only as effective as the people that use them. Unlike most other training companies that give tools and process a priority (heavy classroom lecture!), we put people, process and technology on equal footing. Strengthening competencies, stimulating productivity, improving employee interaction and sustaining expertise are emphasized throughout the Systemation approach. To be successful, people must learn how to work in teams and collaborate with one another, not just use a tool. In a Systemation workshop, you will work 80% of the time discovering all of the wonders of successful project management. When we lecture 20% of the time, it will be focused on the practical aspects of project management…you will gain knowledge and techniques that are immediately useable when you return to your desk. Systemation workshops are renowned for their enjoyable interactivity, lively collaboration and enhanced knowledge transfer, a truly performance enhancing experience!

Can I integrate business analysis training into my project management curriculum?

Yes. More and more Systemation clients are customizing certificate programs that are specific to their organizations. At a bare minimum, our “Fast Start® in Project Management” is ideal for integration into a business analysis curriculum.

How does my organization get started with a PM learning solution?

For over half a century, Systemation has been improving the business performance of many Fortune 2000 companies as well as city, state and federal agencies. The process always starts with a thorough understanding of your environment and what you are trying to accomplish with a learning solution in project management or business analysis. We call this Discovery. Only after we become familiar with your needs, do we recommend a customized path for your company, always easy to implement and always cost effective. We call this our Value Proposition. The solution we offer will be practical and your interaction with Systemation will always be no-pressure and enjoyable.

In keeping with this successful approach, we seek clients who want to partner with us to improve performance, and we gravitate towards those companies that openly share information, ideas and business objectives so the outcomes become more predictable. Bottom line – at Systemation, we make it a people business! Working with Systemation is a risk-free, highly practical, relationship-oriented, performance improving and enjoyable experience…you are always welcome to validate this through any of our references.

I’d like further information on your Project Management programs. Whom do I contact?

Speak with a Systemation Program Consultant by calling 800-747-9783, or contact us by email at


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PMBOK is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

PMP is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.