‘The Apprentice’ Project Manager – A True Representation?

With the BBC’s popular program The Apprentice back on the television, I thought it worth looking at how true to life are the so-called projects being managed by the so-called Project Managers are; taking in the challenges they encounter and how they deal with them, compared to the approaches set out in the PRINCE2® Method and/or the APM Body of Knowledge (APM BoK).

Now, I know the Apprentice is pretty far detached from what actually goes on in real project management. However it does highlight how leading a team involves a certain amount of responsibility and interpersonal skills, as well as ‘putting your neck on the line’!

And ultimately when it goes wrong, it’s often the project manager who is held to account… “You’re fired” springs to mind! (rightly or wrongly).

Below are just a few situations and the differences in how ‘The Apprentice Wannabes’ typically deal with them and how the PRINCE2® Method and/or the APM Body of Knowledge (APM BoK) would handle it….


Okay, the above are somewhat negative and potentially stressful situations, but then any Project Manager knows that such situations can come with the territory and should know how to appropriately deal with them.

Once you overcome the adversity and deliver a successful project the job becomes very fulfilling and motivating.

Being able to show you can do this consistently as well as holding industry accepted qualifications on a CV can be a significant career booster.

So, what do you need to know to get ahead in this profession?

You’ll certainly need to know your PRINCE2® from your Prince Charles! But to be a good leader you’ll also need:

  • The right style of leadership (e.g. know when to be autocratic or democratic) given the situation
  • The ability to negotiate effectively
  • The ability to manage and resolve conflict
  • The ability to motivate and manage people to get the most from them
  • Knowledge of factors to consider when designing and developing an effective project team

Do you know about health, safety and environment management? Do you understand the procurement process? Can you apply stakeholder management?

This is where having a good understanding of the APM ‘Body of Knowledge’ (APM BoK) comes in. Whilst PRINCE2® provides the general ‘what’ needs to be done and ‘why’, the APM BoK covers these wider areas of project managing.

Combining the 2 together is fundamental to a project manager’s success.

To find out more about more about the internationally recognised professional qualifications, such as PRINCE2® and APMP, which can help to boost your career prospects contact SPOCE Project Management Ltd, the training professionals and longest standing PRINCE2®training company in the world, who specialise in delivering Global Best Practice examined training events.

To find out how to become APM or PRINCE2 qualified for half the price then why not click onto SPOCE Black Friday offers.

SPOCE Project Management Limited is a global leader in delivering best practice training for project programme and risk management. They offer a wide range of courses which can be tailored to suit any form of training need. For example, public courses, ONLIVE Virtual Classroom courses, e-Learning, and client workshops. SPOCE is the flagship training provider for PRINCE2®, PRINCE2 Agile® MSP® and were APMGs first ever training provider.

01202 736 373       Clients@spoce.com   www.spoce.com

Article by Richard Lampitt, Lead PRINCE2® Trainer for SPOCE Project Management.

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