Interview with Frances Scarff, AXELOS Ltd.

PRINCE2 and Global Best Practice – Product Strategies of AXELOS

With an ambitious strategy AXELOS Ltd., the new owner of the British Global Best Practice portfolio, wants to achieve strong growth for its certification products amongst which PRINCE2 and ITIL are the most well-known items. In order to prevail in the market of project management certifications AXELOS has started several activities as e.g. a Global Partner Programme addressing organisations that want to forster the Global Best Practices. Dr. Georg Angermeier interviewed Frances Scarff, Product Development Director of AXELOS, about the strategies AXELOS is going to pursue in order to achieve its ambitious objectives.
Interview with Frances Scarff, AXELOS Ltd.

PRINCE2 and Global Best Practice – Product Strategies of AXELOS

With an ambitious strategy AXELOS Ltd., the new owner of the British Global Best Practice portfolio, wants to achieve strong growth for its certification products amongst which PRINCE2 and ITIL are the most well-known items. In order to prevail in the market of project management certifications AXELOS has started several activities as e.g. a Global Partner Programme addressing organisations that want to forster the Global Best Practices. Dr. Georg Angermeier interviewed Frances Scarff, Product Development Director of AXELOS, about the strategies AXELOS is going to pursue in order to achieve its ambitious objectives.

PRINCE2® and ITIL® are the most well-known products in the Global Best Practice portfolio. Other products include "Managing Successful Programmes" (MSP®), "Management of Portfolios" (MoP®), "Portfolio, Programme and Project Management Offices" (P3O®) and "Management of Risk" (M_o_R®). The portfolio was owned up to July 2013 by the Cabinet Office. Up to June 2010 the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) had been the owner of the Global Best Practice portfolio. OGC then became part of the Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG) that sat within the Cabinet Office. In 2013 the British government decided to set up a public-private joint venture to manage the intellectual property and called for proposals.

The British company Capita plc won that competitive bid (Jellinek, 2014). On July 1st 2013 Capita plc and Cabinet Office founded the joint venture AXELOS Ltd., of which Capita holds 51% share. AXELOS now owns the intellectual property and is responsible for maintaining and developing the products.

Through effective collaboration, professional qualifications – based on the whole Global Best Practice portfolio – are offered by Examination Institutes (EIs). Currently there are six EIs that have extended their contracts for three years from January 2015. All EIs are accredited by AXELOS and are permitted to operate an examination scheme through a network of Accredited Training Organization (ATOs), who deliver accredited training courses.

AXELOS Ltd

On 1 July 2013 "AXELOS" was announced as the new Joint Venture company that the British Cabinet Office had formed to promote and grow the UK Government's portfolio of Global Best Practice accreditation and publishing services, including ITIL®, PRINCE2® and the other products concerning portfolio, programme and project man-agement. AXELOS now owns the intellectual property of the whole Global Best Practice portfolio and will build on the current business activities and develop products in new areas. The organization also has an ambitious programme of investment and growth, and the primary focus will be on stimulating the growth of training, consultancy and examination organizations. Latest news from AXELOS can be found on their website www.AXELOS.com or if you have specific queries, requests or would like to be added to the AXELOS mailing list please contact [email protected].

On behalf of Projekt Magazin Dr. Georg Angermeier talked with Frances Scarff, Product Development Director of AXELOS, about the changes this development entailed and what strategies AXELOS is going to pursue in order to achieve its ambitious objectives.

Frances Scarff

Frances Scarff At AXELOS, as the Product Development Director, Frances is responsible for leading the organization in research for new products, product enhancements and product re-design. This includes evaluating the potential and practicality of products in development and relies on extensive experience and judgement to accomplish AXELOS' goals. Frances started her career as a computer programmer before progressing to become a systems analyst and acting as project manager on a range of ICT projects. She was involved with the UK government-wide Year 2000 programme, in particular providing guidance on business continuity management. More recently Frances project managed a multi-million pound business-change project. Additionally Frances has a wide range of experience including as an examiner, a quality co-ordinator and as a qualified OGC Gateway reviewer. She is a member of the BCS (British Computer Society) and is a Chartered IT Professional.

Five Routes to Growth

Projekt Magazin: AXELOS Ltd. starts with the obligation to deliver enormous revenue to the British government for which no other competitor dared to bid. What is the strategy of AXELOS to meet this ambitious objective?

Scarff: We believe that there is more than sufficient potential for growth. So the question should be how AXELOS intends to achieve substantial growth. AXELOS has five routes to growth to meet the overall aims of the organization:

  • Existing Products: We continue to ensure these are relevant, looking at gaps as well as different approaches to delivering the material. We use surveys to seek the views of the wider community and specific groups on an ongoing basis. For example, from the first survey in 2013 focusing on PRINCE2 we learned that there is a need for combining PRINCE2 with agile methods.
  • New Products: In response to this feedback from our user community we announced in August 2014 the development of guidance and qualification on combining PRINCE2 with agile approaches. We have published a new guide on Integrating PRINCE2 (AXELOS, 2014) in July of this year that looks at how an organization can adapt and adopt the generic guidance contained in PRINCE2. New products are also being developed outside the PPM-Portfolio. You will be aware we are working on a new product suite around Cyber Resilience, since combatting cyber-attacks is an increasingly important issue for maintaining IT security.
  • International: Through collaboration we are gaining a better understanding of the issues across different geographies so that we can provide better and, where relevant, localized support. This includes translations of examinations and manuals, in order to meet the needs of the region more effectively.
  • Community: We are looking to build stronger collaboration with the community. The first stages of this are about working more effectively with partners such as Accredited Training Organizations (ATOs) and Examination Institutes (EIs), through the Global Partner Programme that is now running. Details about the Partner Programme can be found on our website. We are also aiming to build a stronger practitioner community – more information on this will become available in the coming months.
  • Major industry players: we believe it is important that we better understand how…

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Jürgen
Bruns
Just another ad.
Georg
Angermeier
Hallo Herr Bruns, danke für Ihr kritisches Feedback. Ich bedaure sehr, dass Sie diesen Artikel als Werbung empfinden. Als Redaktion des Projekt Magazins bemühen wir uns sehr, unseren Lesern Informationen aus erster Hand zu liefern und Hintergrundinterviews mit wichtigen Personen des Projektmanagements zu liefern. Speziell für dieses Interview habe ich einiges an Aufwand getrieben, um kritische Informationen zu recherchieren, die im Artikel auch deutlich werden. Z.B. erfahren Sie, wie sich AXELOS im Wettbewerb mit PMI und IPMA positionieren will, welche Expansionsstrategie es verfolgt und dass diese Strategie durchaus nicht von allen ATOs mitgetragen wird. In der zitierten Pressemitteilung steht z.B. dass TÜV Süd die Zusammenarbeit mit AXELOS als ATO beenden wird. Ich denke nicht, dass dies als Werbung gewertet werden darf. Beste Grüße Georg Angermeier
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