Project and portfolio management (PPM) specialist TPG Africa has signed a deal with global training provider Bridgit Sdn Bhd to offer internationally-accredited, simulation-based project management training for the first time in South Africa under the TPG Africa umbrella.
TPG Africa CEO Pieter Meyer says the new training will not only allow local project managers to obtain internationally recognised certifications that will allow them to work anywhere in the world, but provide practical real-world based training that can be applied almost immediately.
“The great thing about simulation-based training is that it confronts project managers with real situations and problems that arise in projects,” says Meyer. “They immediately see the consequences of the decisions they make, as well as being able to track all the variables like costs, schedule and quality. Just like flight simulators train pilots, project simulators train project managers.”
Bridgit Africa Group President Kevin in’t Veld says there is a clear move in the South African project management sector towards certifications as companies look to ensure that project managers working for them can justify their experience and knowledge. For compliance reasons, the clients of a project often require that project managers be certified.
“While project management frameworks like the PMI® PRINCE2 or APMP show you how to manage projects on paper, they don’t fully prepare you for the challenge of running projects in the real world,” says In’t Veld. “Our approach provides hands-on training by people who have managed serious projects, have been in the horrid spaces in projects themselves, and deliver coalface expertise.”
Meyer estimates that there are more than one million certified project managers in the world, a figure that grows by around 15% every year. However, to build the project management sector in South Africa, he says the focus of training needs to be on career and competency development, and not just churning out certifications.
“To train well-rounded project managers takes a combination of classroom-based training, simulation, plus ongoing after-work sessions with the client. It’s the blend of technology, theory and practical training that makes the difference,” says Meyer.
Bridgit Africa is the first training company in Africa to have covered the new knowledge areas and process groups of the PMI® PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) Fifth Edition by simulation method and has a 100% pass record on this new certification.
In’t Veld has no doubt that simulation methods are the future of project management training, as they provide accelerated learning potential that is not possible using theory-based training alone.
“There’s always a gap between the theory and the real world – and simulation-based training bridges that gap by customising simulations for specific industries and projects,” says In’t Veld. “The only place you can really learn to drive is in the real world, testing real-world workflow and methodologies.”