Doing the right things right

With a focus on “doing the right things and doing them right” the Cayman Islands Government (CIG), in partnership with UK based company CITI, has rolled out a programme of training and development across the CIG.

While almost 200 persons were put forward for this programme, 100 available spots meant that over 90 persons are on standby. Over the last two weeks of June the 100 participants selected for this pilot programme participated in an orientation session, marking the first step in their five month journey that leads to qualification in either project management or business case development.

In total, the orientation session was delivered to five groups to ensure that participants derived the maximum benefit from being in workable class sizes.

Bringing together the complementary skills of business case development and formal project management, 30  government departments are represented in this development opportunity. Among the entities there were the Cabinet Office, the Cayman Islands Fire Service, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, the Department of Education, the Needs Assessment Unit and Government Information Services.

Arming civil servants with the skills needed to prepare well-developed business cases, the programme will enable sound investment decisions to be made within the CIG and serves as a reference and focus point for political and strategic leaders, project teams and the wider organisation over the life of a project.

The introduction of formal project management methodology and the training required to execute projects provides greater confidence in the timing, quality and predictability of delivery for projects taken forward.

The programme’s design

Coordinated by the Strategic Reforms Implementation Unit (SRIU) this development opportunity is built around four key elements.

  • An initial capability assessment which identifies gaps in knowledge and provides baseline data that will be used to measure programme outcomes,
  • Interactive in-class sessions designed to encourage a culture of learning while building skills, knowledge and competencies in key topics areas over five months,
  • Course, facilitated by CITI, designed to ensure participants gain a good understanding of the required topics; and
  • An external exam culminating in an internationally recognised certification in either business case development or project management.

A key feature of this development opportunity is the internationally-recognised qualification that participants can obtain once they successfully pass the external exam.

Sixty persons are pursuing a Project Fundamentals Qualification (PFQ) offered by the Association for Project Management (APM). Committed to developing and promoting project and programme management APM is the chartered body for the project profession operating out of the United Kingdom.

Forty persons are pursuing a Better Business Cases (Foundation) Qualification offered by APMG International whose certification schemes, exam and accreditation services enable organisations and professionals to maximise their effectiveness through the use of the latest methodologies and core competencies.

Future opportunities

Those persons who are successful in achieving these foundational qualifications will have the opportunity to pursue the next level of qualification in both the areas of project management and business case development in 2019.

At that time those persons who did not have the opportunity to participate in the pilot will be considered.

Participants impressed

“This initiative, in due course, should significantly professionalise project management and business case development within the service, ultimately enhancing value for money and effectiveness,” said programme participant and Acting Director of Special Projects in the Cabinet Office Robert Lewis.

“I am excited about the up-coming opportunity to develop my professional skills and knowledge in producing business cases,” said the Director of the Department of Education Services and programme participant Lyneth Monteith. “At the Department of Education Services the procurement of goods and services is a crucial part of our work. This requires the officers to execute the correct procedures in the right way.  The course schedule is a ‘no-hassle’ one, which has been crafted to accommodate personnel with extremely busy schedules.”

Other participants were equally impressed with the course content and its applicability to the work of their entitites. “It was obvious from the very comprehensive orientation that SRIU put a lot of thought into the programme, including the support that they are offering participants,” remarked GIS’s Chief Information Officer Suzette Ebanks. “I look forward to taking part in the project and believe it has the potential to greatly benefit GIS staff.”

“I am quite eager to engage further in this learning opportunity. I have found the orientation session to be extremely friendly, informative and engaging,” said Acting Deputy Director of Operation and Work in the Public Works Departmen, Robert David Johnson. “As an agent representative providing assessments and information needed for client’s business cases, the Better Business Case programme will allow us to better anticipate the need from our client’s perspective, and provide us with tools to assist them with putting forward their proposals.”