Programme Management Best Practice: MSP®

What is MSP?

MSP (Managing Successful Programmes) represents proven best practice in the successful delivery of transformational change through the application of programme management. Adopted by public and private sector organisations around the world, it is built on the experience and knowledge of thousands of experts in transformation and programme management over many years.

Organisations today exist in a climate of constant and increasing change and those who learn how to transform themselves through effective leadership and strategic control are more likely to survive and prosper. The approach is recognized as key to enabling organisations to manage that transformation.

All major change involves complexity, risk, many interdependencies to manage and conflicting priorities to resolve. MSP provides a structured framework and approach to programme management that can help organisations rise to these challenges and achieve their goals.

The approach is supported by an accredited training and qualification offering which teaches practitioners the fundamentals of the framework. It is highly recommended that practitioners seek further guidance on how to apply and embed the framework in their organisation with coaching and consulting from experienced professionals such as Tanner James.

MSP is owned by AXELOS Global Best Practice, who are responsible for maintaining and updating the framework.

The benefits of using MSP

Further information

The MSP method can be used by any organisation for any programme. The effective use of MSP requires experienced professionals who have an understanding of how to tailor the method to a particular programme, organisation or context.

Tanner James has supported the implementation of MSP in a range of settings and contexts. This includes the:

  • Physical and virtual transformation of one organisation to embrace the concept of activity based working.
  • Planning and coaching executives driving the transformation and integration of the service delivery models of 3 separate statutory agencies into one department.
  • Coaching of key executives to fulfil their roles in a business process driven change initiative enabled by major technology upgrades.
  • Coaching of Programme Executives involved in the direction and leadership of strategic change initiatives to provide clarity of the roles they should be playing, the information they should be receiving/ understanding and the decisions they should be making.
  • Managing an enterprise-wide capability improvement programme to address capability issues raised by the conduct of a P3M3 Capability Maturity Assessment. This initiative created a best practice exemplar approach for the use of MSP, which other programmes (and constituent projects) could seek to replicate.
  • Creation of an MSP based Programme Management Framework for a large APS agency following a review of organisational strategy and capability.
  • Establishment of governance arrangements and benefits profiling for a multi-agency data integration program.

The MSP certification and training scheme has been designed for any professional working in a programme environment. Depending on the level of involvement in the day-to-day management of the programme there are various options as detailed below. It is though important that anyone working in a MSP programme environment understands the basic language and workings of MSP in order to avoid confusion and miss-use of the framework.

There are a number of different certification and training options to cater for each organisation and individual need.

MSP is comprised of two main certification levels; Foundation and Practitioner.

Foundation is typically offered as a 3-day course and Practitioner as a 2-day offering. Both are typically offered within the same week, with those who take and pass the Foundation examination progress to the Practitioner level.

The Foundation exam is comprised of:

  • 75 multiple choice questions per paper
  • 35 marks required (out of 70 available) to pass: 50%
  • Five questions to be trial and not counted in scores
  • One hour’s (60 minutes) duration
  • Closed book.

The Practitioner exam is comprised of:

  • Objective testing
  • Eight questions per paper, 80 marks available in total
  • 40 marks required to pass – 50%
  • Two-and-a-half hours’ duration
  • Open book exam. Only the official printed hard copy of the Managing Successful Programmes Guide is allowed.

In order to take the Practitioner exam you must have passed the Foundation exam.

Tanner James offers MSP coaching and consulting services to support organisation who wish to apply and embed elements of the framework into their programmes and organisations. Tanner James coaches work alongside your staff to building their capability to effectively leverage the framework.

Tanner James is an official AXELOS Consulting Partner (ACP) and has extensive experience in successfully helping the APS to embed best practice in their department.

Visit our services page to find out more.

The MSP guide contains a detailed description of the method and strongly recommended to be taken into the Practitioner exam as support.

Tanner James provides a copy of the guide to participants in every MSP training course as part of the main price.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the MSP guide, you can do so by contacting us for a quote.

Tanner James offers public training courses in MSP every in both Foundation and practitioner regularly.

Participants do not have to take the exam at the same time as training, as Tanner James offers flexible exam options.

View our training calendar for the next available dates.

Tanner James offers clients the ability to run an in-house training course for both MSP Foundation and Practitioner. We would highly recommend the in-house delivery if you are considering investing in more than six staff members taking the course.

In-house training enables Tanner James to provide organisation specific examples, to really bring MSP to life in the classroom.

Each in-house delivery also includes;

  • A free workplace implementation pack
  • A free executive briefing.

To find out more about Tanner James in-house training delivery, visit our in-house delivery page.

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