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Certification – a Route to Structured Working Methods

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"It’s important for us to be able to check and give direction so that there are no slips in requirements. It’s all about making sure a project is well organised." Andreas Lörinc, sub-surface programme manager, FMV

For a project intensive organisation like FMV, talented project managers are worth their weight in gold. Andreas Lörinc and Caroline Löfgren are two experienced project managers who completed their certification as project managers in 2013.

- It has been great fun doing the different courses and I can put this knowledge to good use when we are planning our activities, says Caroline Löfgren, project manager for the Helicopter 16 project at FMV.

FMV places great emphasis on developing expertise in the three core areas of project management, systems engineering and procurement. There is a four-stage development ladder with a number of courses at each level, e.g. risk management, negotiation techniques and leadership.

- The courses have been interspersed with the practical experience I get here at FMV. This has given me a more systematic approach, which helps me as a project manager, not least when we are preparing for future equipment modifications, says Caroline.

One part of the development ladder is Project Management Institute (PMI) certification, which involves a lot of project method theory and concludes with an examination. Over the last 10 years about 60 FMV employees have gained PMI certification.

Andreas Lörinc is a programme manager for underwater equipment. He says that, even though most of FMV’s work is done before the actual project begins – statements of requirement and the tender process – this is the way that FMV should run their projects.

- FMV has many different types of projects, but the larger projects involve lots of different parties with different roles. We need structured working methods to make sure we know which the governing documents are, and how changes can be made.

Once people in the defence industry start design, programming and manufacture, FMV take a step back and have fewer employees involved in monitoring and testing.

-  It’s important for us to be able to check and give direction so that there are no slips in requirements. It’s all about making sure a project is well organised, says Andreas.

When asked if this is the way FMV works today, Andreas answers that much of this is incorporated into our internal management systems, but he thinks that there is room for improvement.

- Standardised structures should be used more widely. At present there are a lot of differences between the different departments. We also need to be better at stating requirements, so that whatever industry is required to deliver is crystal clear, says Andreas.

Structured working methods provide a basis for running a project. Then there are other equally important factors, the so-called soft factors, such as how to build a team and conduct meetings. To be really successful, a project manager should be good in all these areas. Therefore, leadership is an important element in FMV’s programme for developing project managers.

- There are project managers who are good with people, but not so good at administration and this can lead to a loss of control. On the other hand a misplaced faith in structure can lead to a lack of commitment and difficulties in keeping to schedule. Both sides are needed, says Andreas.

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Published: 2014-05-28 10:51. Changed: 2014-05-28 10:58. Responsible: Show e-mail address.