What is the APM PPQ? An interview with Julie Brett

How did you get into Project Management?
I have worked in Publishing for many years and moved from editorial tasks to a management role and project managing publishing projects


How did you hear about the APM?
We researched Project Management qualifications and APM came back as the best fit


Why did you decide to undertake the APM Project Professional Qualification? 
See above. We didn’t want to focus on a particular methodology (e.g. Prince/Agile) but instead wanted to study broader principles


How relevant to your project experience did you find the content of the programme?
It was mixed. Project managing publishing projects is a bit of a niche, so one of the reasons for taking this course was to better equip me to project manage a ‘standard’ project in a truer sense. So some of the content was very relevant (e.g. Professionalism and Managing Others), whilst other areas not so much (e.g. Business Case preparation)


Which element of the programme did you find the most beneficial?
Whilst the Governance module of the programme was potentially the hardest (because of lack of experience in this area) it was also potentially the most useful, as it gave clear guidance to what should be done and how to approach a project correctly. This really highlighted some of the issues I was experiencing in my job where project managing was difficult – it helped explain why and gave me some tools to try out.

How did undertaking the APM PPQ fit in with your work schedule?
I had to be disciplined and block time out (I was given time from the company to study). The best way it worked for me was to block an amount of time per week for studying.


How long did it take you to complete the qualification? On average, how many hours did you spend on it per week?
I did the first module in 2020 and the last three in 2021. I spent an average of 4-5 hours a week


Did you feel supported whilst working through the online PPQ content?
I probably didn’t ask for enough support. However, when I did ask for help Phil was always very quick to respond and happy to advise. The on-line material was easy to access once teething problems had been sorted.


How will your new qualification benefit you going forward?
It will benefit me in that I can show I understand the principles of project management in a true sense (which was difficult to assess outside the publishing industry). I hope it will allow me more opportunities to expand my project management experience


How likely would you be to recommend 20/20 to a colleague/friend?
I thought 20/20 was good value for money, but I would also recommend that the service offered (e.g. regular tutoring sessions) was taken up. This may be more important for anyone taking the 2.0 version.

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