The Techniques and Tools (TT-IPMO®) international certification from AIPMO is based on research undertaken over a period exceeding three years, to understand, define, and structure techniques and tools that, when mastered, will greatly increase the chances of successful outcomes for your project, program, portfolio (PPP) and PMO initiatives.
To date, limited attention has been given by the (inter)national standard’s authorities to an understanding of what and how to use the various techniques and tools across PPPs. Two of the three well-known associations/institutes reference the third one to explain techniques and tools, and the latter does not detail the difference between a tool and technique, nor do they describe how the techniques and tools are applied. AIPMO has realized the need for clarification because of the proven link between using a comprehensive methodology (within which there are hundreds of techniques and tools) and project success. Joslin and Müller (2015) showed that using a comprehensive and tailored methodology directly influences project success by up to 23%. Similar findings have shown that applying the most appropriate techniques and tools at any given stage of a project, or program, lifecycle is also linked to project/program success (Patanakul et al., 2010). Patanakul et al.’s findings also showed that the inappropriate use of techniques and tools in a certain project and program phases increases the chance of project failure. This was due to the lack of understanding when and when not to use certain techniques and tools. The same is likely to be true for project portfolio management but not empirically proven at this point.
Many trades and professions have their own techniques and tools. The professionals competent in applying these techniques and tools are known as experts. Learning and practicing a profession (or trade) to a competent level may take several years. This is due in part to the time in mastering their specific techniques and tools within the context of their environment. PPP management and PMO management are still immature in this regard, as suggested by research from White and Fortune, in two research studies carried out over a period of 9 years across three continents (2011; 2002). What they discovered was that in 2002, typical project managers only knew an average of five techniques and tools and this number only increased to ten in 2011. An even bigger finding was that 70% of respondents identified unanticipated impacts from using the techniques and tools which were most likely due to environmental factors that were not considered and thus made their use problematic. The upcoming AIPMO book on techniques and tools and this techniques and tools certification course are the first steps to address the shortfall in understanding, clarification, and impact.
TT-IPMO certification is based on the upcoming book from AIPMO on “Project, Program, Portfolio and PMO techniques and tools” that focuses PPP professionals and PMO professionals and other technique-driven professions to understand, for the first time the important details behind ‘what exactly is a tool and what is a technique’. The course explains that not all techniques are equal, and some are basic techniques, others are a chain of techniques (hereafter called chains), and the third type is called a category of techniques (hereafter called CATs). All exist within a hierarchy identified by AIPMO. To help in the understanding of the complexities of PPP techniques and tools, AIPMO has built a techniques and tools framework within their PMO Lifecycle Framework (see below). This framework guides the professionals to determine the following:
- What are Basic techniques, Chains, and CATs
- How they should be selected and adapted for one or more PPPs
- What are the considerations to carry out a pilot using one or more complex chains and CATs
- Implementing steps to apply, and use, the techniques including the tools to support them.
Certified TT-IPMO will have demonstrated, through a combination of formal training and competency assessment, that they have an in-depth understanding of the definitions, types, and structures of PPP and PMO techniques and tools. They know the practices including how to identify the need, select, adapt, pilot, implement, use, and improve techniques and tools while taking a holistic techniques and tools topology view across – project types, the organization, and its partners.