Thursday, 25 March 2010

Accreditation a double edged sword?

The I.T. world is full of accreditation on the face of it it all sounds sensible but is it really?

As I run a training company I looked recently at a well know I.T. accreditation programme; I shall keep the name to myself for now.

I was surprised to see that it was the exams that were accredited not the training and it involved both substantial fees to be paid to the accreditation authority and lots of process and bureaucracy. There was no insistance on qualified trainers either PTTLS or ITOL which seemed a bit ironic to me.

The exam providers get there exams approved, quality control the examiners/course directors and then the approved examination centres train delegates to pass their exam.

Is accreditation therefore more about making money for accreditation authorities that improving professional capability or am I being cynical?

As a qualified trainer I am more interested in delivering long lasting skills and capability than getting delegates through tests.

Perhaps this is why senior I.T. leaders say to me "Well the team got accredited but they still can't do the job - is this perhaps what is going wrong?

Perhaps accreditation is creating the wrong behaviours, creating closed shops and delusion particularly when ignorant agents and HR professionals are filtering out candidates based on their accreditation credentials; but that is another subject for another day.

Friday, 19 March 2010

What is PTTLS

Answer: Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector.

Any training course funded by public money in the UK has to be delivered by a trainer holding a PTTLS certificate. So if you are in the public sector - NHS Trusts, Government Departments, Local Authorities or in receipt "train to gain" funded training you need a qualified trainer.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Shareholder Value As a Measure of Value?

I asked someone the other day how they defined value as they described their efforts to add value in their business change efforts - The reply was quickly given "shareholder value".

I reflected on this over the last few days and thought actually this is pretty difficult at the moment and really doesn't help us in project land - why?

Well shareholder value is the combination of divided and gain on share price and really is a longer term goal through a complete economic cycle because it is dramatically affected by short term volatility of share price; particularly in recent times.

I mean when do you measure it? at balance sheet date each year? or is it over a full economic cycle? which would make it quite difficult to use to measure shorter term initiatives.

You could embark on a major piece of change to radically re design the business and in reality that may well have been highly successful but the market falls of 2008/09 would wipe any so called value off the face of the project making the initiative a complete failure if that what the programme uses as its measure?

Is shareholder value a useful measure for business change. Well perhaps not? Is it just too high level and abstract to be really practical; give me NPV any day.

Tom Graves, in a recent thread on a linkedin group robustly thinks that shareholder value is a massive distraction and other definitions of value are much more important, I have sympathy for his views.