MSP- Managing Successful Programmes

MSP is an acronym that stands for Managing Successful Programmes. Although MSP is a certification programme, it can simply be considered as a methodology comprising of a unique set of principles, methods and processes that can be used when someone needs to manage a program effectively and in a successful manner. MSP is one of the best certification programmes when it comes to project management. Although this certification programme is about the program and not projects, it is closely related to project management as well. One should understand that there is a very close link between programme management and project management. Every programme is made up of many projects. These projects are the small units and blocks of the programme. The programme only succeeds if the projects comprising the programme succeed. The entire concept of a programme is that its output should be more than the output of the projects in it combined. MSP is a program or a set of methods and techniques that provide a framework in which large and complex change or event can be easily broken down into projects that are inter-related and easy to manage. The programme has been adopted by both private and public-sector organizations. The reason for this is that it is very flexible and it has been designed to meet different needs and to prove to be useful in different circumstances. The set of principles and the processes that MSP comprises of for managing a programme are founded on the best practice. The MSP certifications are made for members of a business change team, a project delivery team or anyone who needs to understand and know the concept of MSP and utilise them.

MSP’s first version was released in 1999. After a few years, the second version was also released. This new version was released with new and updated methods. This version was updated with an aim to meet all the demands of the business people. The next updated version came in 2007. It was an even updated version and it was refined to such an extent that it was simply amazing for the users.

Who should do it?

MSP training course is made up of almost all kinds of professionals. Every program manager, program team member, business managers and the change managers should take up at least one of the MSP training courses. Even the foundation level can change the careers of professionals to a very great extent. In simple word, if you want to be a great program manager, you should do your MSP certification. MSP certification is widely regarded as the kind of training one receives in this. In recent times, it has been proven that the MSP certification is very popular among the employers and the professionals. MSP certification can be considered equivalent with the PRICE2 certification. The MSP certification courses are the keys to success in the field of program management. These certification courses are tailor-made for anyone who wishes to achieve enormous success in the field of program management. Even with the foundation course, one can hope for great success and advancements in his career. Certifications like MSP are the essential ingredient that one’s career needs to stand out from the others’.

How is this beneficial?

There are many reasons that one can consider for taking up one of the MSP certifications. There are hundreds of benefits that one enjoys after completing one of the MSP certifications. Some of them are as follows:

The first and foremost reason that one should consider for taking up an MSP certification is the success that comes with it. If you want to be successful in your career, obtain your MSP certification. No matter if you are a program manager, a business manager or just a program team member, if you get one of the MSP certifications, you are going to be successful in your career. Moreover, when you get this certification, it is a guarantee that you will outstand everyone who has the same job profile as yours, just without the certification.

The second reason is that when you get this certification, you are valued more than everybody who does not. This certification is a proof of the fact that you are very good at what you do and you are better than all the others out there. Program management plays an important role in an organization. It works functionally and it is about making changes in the organization. Therefore, when you have a certification that clearly tells the world that you are great at program management, the way in which your organization looks at your changes. You become a more valuable employee to the organization.

When you become certified… and that too, with a widely regarded certification like MSP, you are paid well. According to recent stats, the professionals who are certified with an MSP certification are paid up to fifty percent higher than the professionals who are not. Having a high pay is something that everybody wants. For a professional, there are not many better sights than having a big fat paycheque in the hands at the end of the month. This certification helps the professionals get exactly that. You get rewarded for whatever you do for your firm if you have this certification. The MSP courses are trustworthy and advanced in terms of the supervision of a program. The MSP practitioners are considered as the resources that bring progress to the organisation. This increases the value of the professionals. For the practitioners of the MSP course, the acceptable framework is offered and attention is preserved on the trade. The MSP courses are great at stressing what is essential and avoiding repetition. This delivers skilled power over the plan. MSP courses make the professionals competent enough and in a better position to organise the assets of the business to accomplish the goals. MSP is an ideal course for a project manager. One can see immediate professional growth with this course. One of the biggest benefits of this course is that it teaches you how to bring positive outcome and benefits for the trade.

The professionals who are equipped with the MSP training are preferred over all the others who are not. They are always chosen since the MSP certification tells the employers that they are capable and have knowledge which will bring excellent results and grow the company to greater heights.

How to prepare for the MSP exam?

Taking up an exam is not easy. It can be a pretty daunting task at times. Many people tremble at even the slightest mention of an exam. Taking up an exam is one of the most difficult and intimidating things that a student or a candidate comes across. Even with all the required knowledge, a candidate can fail at going through an exam if he does not have the required methods of preparation. There can be no widely accepted method of preparation. There can be no method of preparation that is appropriate for everybody. Every person works and learns in his own way and according to his own abilities and calibre. However, there are many things that a person should do in order to prepare for the MSP exams in an effective way.

Some of them are:

1. Review your MSP guide

You should always review your MSP guide before your exam. You should also tab it prior to the exam. This will prove to be helpful in many ways. For instance, the practitioner exam is an open book examination. You can reference your tabbed and highlighted MSP textbook in the exam, which will prove to be really helpful in the exam. If you tab the MSP guide before the exam, you will just be referencing it during the exam and not read it. Thus, it will save a lot of time during the exam. Every minute in the exam hall is very precious. So, you just cannot waste any time during the exam in casually browsing the guide looking for the answers. You should have gone through the guide so many times that when you need to check something in the guide, you know exactly where to go. At the same time, you should always keep a limit to tabbing. Make sure that you do not tab everything and anything and end up with a book tabbed up from all the sides possible.

2. Take the practice exams

Taking practice exams or mock tests prove to be really helpful for every exam. You should make sure that you take a lot of practice exams. By taking these practice exams, you can make sure that you understand all the topics thoroughly. Like every other examination, the MSP exam requires the candidates to have a clear understanding of all the elements of the syllabus. The practice questions in these exams ask the candidates to apply MSP to a scenario. Therefore, it is very important that you know the foundation theory and know how to apply that theory in different circumstances.

3. Manage your time

This is another thing that is helpful and important for every sort of exam. For an exam like MSP, it is imperative that you manage your time before the exam, during the preparation and also during the exam. When you are in the course of your preparation, manage your time to the best of your ability.

What is the test format?

There are three levels of the MSP certifications. These are MSP foundation, MSP practitioner, MSP advanced practitioner. All three certifications are precious for anyone who is planning for a career in program management. The test format for these three level of MSP certifications are:

1. MSP foundation:

The exam of MSP foundation level consists of 75 multiple choice questions. The duration of this exam is one hour. This foundation exam is a closed book examination. One needs to score at least fifty percent marks in the exam to pass.

2. MSP practitioner

The next level of the certification is MSP practitioner. This paper is of objective type. There are only objective type questions in this exam. There are eight questions in total in this exam and each question is of eight marks, thus making the exam of eighty marks. The duration of this exam is two and half hours. Again, the candidates who appear for this exam have to score at least fifty percent marks to pass the exam. The exam is an open book one. The candidates are allowed to take the MSP guide with them in the exam hall for reference. Moreover, the pre-requisite for this exam is a score of at least sixty percent in the foundation level.

3. MSP advanced practitioner

The advanced practitioner exam is the final and highest certification among the MSP certifications. This one is an open book paper and it is an essay based examination. The paper consists of up to three questions. The maximum marks that the candidate can score are seventy-five. The time available is three hours. The candidates who take up this exam need to score at least thirty-eight marks to pass it.

What are the requirements?

The candidates who take up the foundation exam need to pass it with at least sixty percent or more before attempting the practitioner exam. This condition is a must only if the candidate appeared for the exam on or after 1st March 2008. Moreover, if the candidate wishes to take up the advanced practitioner exam even before he has his results from the practitioner exam, he can do so. However, if such a candidate passes the advanced practitioner exam and yet fail the practitioner exam, he should take up the practitioner exam within two years to validate his registered advanced practitioner status. If the candidate fails to take up the practitioner exam in the next twenty-four months, he will be required to take up the advanced practitioner exam again. If a candidate takes up the foundation exam only and passes, then he will receive a “foundation exam’ certificate only stating that he passed. However, if the candidate takes up all three levels of the certification on the same day and passes all three, he will get an “Advanced Practitioner” certificate, but not any certificate for the other two certificates.