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Successful Completion of 2015 PM Paper Competition

  • By: pcadmin on 15 Sep 2015

This year Procept successfully hosted the 5th Annual PM Paper Competition.  Founded in 2011 by Procept founder Keith Farndale, this event had students of project management courses at the post-secondary level compete in a "PM lessons learned paper competition."  In past, contestants were primarily from University of Toronto, Queens, and Western.

The 2015 event successfully concluded on Saturday, September 12 with the final presentations, judging, and awarding of prizes. For a list of contestants and details of who won, go to the competition web site at www.PMPaperCompetition.com.  This year's event included entries from an expanded list of five universities plus an entry in the newly-formed "professional" category for those who have completed school and have been in the workforce for at least two years.  The quality of the submitted papers was excellent.  Thank you to the volunteers who helped read through the papers to select the finalists who were invited to attend the second stage (presentation portion) of the competition.


Although audience attendance was low this year, feedback was very positive and many plan on coming back in 2016.

Finalists had to present a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation summarizing their paper's key points and answer questions for 10 minutes from the audience and the judges.  Finalists were judged both on their presentation and how well they were able to handle the audience questions.  All finalists received $250 cash plus a "5th PM Paper Competition Finalist" T-shirt and two books "Project Lessons from the Great Escape" by Dr. Mark Kozak-Holland (a new Procept associate) and "Titanic Lessons in Project Leadership: Effective Communication and Team Building" by Ranjit Sidhu. The winning group in the academic category additionally received $1,500 in cash, with the second place team receiving $500 cash plus $25 Chapters gift certificates for each team member.  The winners of the new professional category received $500 cash.  In all, Procept gave out $4,250 in cash plus other prizes.

Special thanks to all those who helped out, especially Alana Hughes with the web site and marketing materials, Kevin Aguanno for managing much of the logistics and facilitating the day, Darya Duma for providing some prizes and helping out at the registration table, and Dr. Mark Kozak-Holland for providing an inspiring and engaging lunch-time presentation on using project lessons learned to foster project innovation.

Dr. Mark Kozak-Holland gave a lunch-time presentation



Simon Baker (our videographer) recorded the day and he will be preparing a highlight reel and videos of each individual presentation so that those of you who could not attend can still get a bit of the experience. The videos should be available in about two to three weeks. Our publishing partner, Multi-Media Publications Inc. will be publishing the student papers in a book to be released later this year.  And Procept will publish summaries of many of the paper submissions on our Farndale's Lessons Learned blog.

Perhaps we can close with a comment from one of the university professors who came to cheer on his students:

"I especially wanted to congratulate [Kevin], [his] family [who helped at the event], the people at Procept, the judges, Mark, and those others who contributed to make the day the complete success that it was. Everything was perfect - the venue, food, organization, awards, and especially the outstanding opportunity for all of the students from each of the institutions. If I may say, I am truly impressed with the interest that Procept Associates has taken with what we do in our various classrooms and the way in which you have helped students to leverage and build on the PM fundamentals that they have come to learn through this competition." — Peter Northrop, Trent University

Congratulations to the Finalists of the 5th Annual PM Paper Competition!

  • By: pcadmin on 02 Sep 2015

As a major sponsor and organizer of the 5th Annual PM Paper Competition, Procept would like to congratulate the finalists (and two honorable mentions) who made it through the first round of judging.  The first round consisted of judging papers on project management lessons learned from a real-world project. All finalists and honorable mentions win cash prizes just for making it this far in the competition.


University Team Topic Status
Queen's University Jamie-Lee Freeston, Alexandra Rauseo, Alexander Le Floch, Cordelia Staffieri Burj Khalifa Finalist
Queen's University Madeline Van Der Paelt, Haley Miller, Vanessa Lim, William Li Novopay Payroll System Finalist
Trent University Karina Sarsenbayeva, Alaadin Adda Berlin Brandenburg Airport Finalist
University of Toronto Zhamak Abdi Dezfooli, Ying Ling Lin, Sheng Xu, Jay Yerrapragada, Yifan Zhang McGill University Health Centre Finalist
Western University Rohit S Kulkarni, Yuyang Wang, Ziyu Zhang Millau Viaduct Finalist
University of Toronto Manvir Dulai, Kyle DuPont, Jennifer Eversley, Hardik Patel Sydney Opera House Honorable Mention
McMaster University (UNENE) Michael Sim, Emily Porter Watts Bar Nuclear Generating Station Unit 2 Completion Honorable Mention



Team Topic Status
Peter Stumpf (Siemens Canada Ltd.), Peter Northrop (Trent University) Three Lessons Learned: Techniques for Developing Highly-Efficient Project Management in an Ever-Changing Business Environment Finalist

On Saturday, September 12th, finalists will give a short 15-minute on their paper followed by 10 minutes of questions from the audience and judges.  The teams will be judged on their presentation and how well they address the questions.  The winning team earns the grand prize and bragging rights!

Come watch the event and earn FREE PDUs while supporting your favourite team.  The event is free to attend.

Location: University of Toronto, downtown campus, Bahen Centre for Information Technology, 40 St. George Street, Room BA1190, Toronto, ON.

A schedule for the event plus further details is at www.PMPaperCompetition.com.

Free PDUs at the Annual PM Paper Competition - 2015

  • By: pcadmin on 12 Aug 2015

On Saturday, September 12, 2015 the finalists in the 5th Annual PM Paper Competition will face off in a judged event.  Each team of university students will give a short presentation on a past high-profile project, extracting lessons learned that can be applied to future projects. The teams will then answer questions from the audience and judges about the project, the lessons, and how they came up with them.  Responses from the teams will be judged along with the presentations.  The winning teams will earn cash prizes.

This year, for the first time, there will be a second category for professional project managers working in the field for 2+ years.

In between these two groups will be a featured keynote speaker, Dr. Mark Kozak-Holland, who will present on how to properly take advantage of lessons learned to improve our project management practice.  Filled with fascinating stories, Dr. Kozak-Holland will show how lessons learned were captured in the past and used to improve success through innovations on later projects.  Best known for his "Lessons from History" presentations and books where he examines historical projects using modern project management and business analysis tools, Dr. Kozak-Holland always entertains with engaging stories and unique views on how to improve the success of today's projects.

So, why not take advantage of this opportunity?  Come on out and root for the team from your favourite university.  Hear about some interesting projects, ask questions to satisfy your curiosity, and earn some FREE PDUs along the way.  Refreshments will be provided.

Remember, there is NO COST for this event.

Procept Nigeria Signs Partnership Agreement with PECB International

  • By: pcadmin on 27 May 2015

Procept Associates Ltd. is proud to announce that its West African affiliate, Procept Associates Professional Services Limited (a.k.a. Procept Nigeria), has signed a partnership agreement with Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (International) to distribute PECB’s training courses in Nigeria and the USA.

The partnership will see Procept Nigeria expand its existing range of project management, business analysis, ITIL and business continuity management offerings to include other courses supporting the international standards certifications of PECB. Sola Oduko, Managing Director/CEO of Procept Nigeria commented that “Procept Nigeria is delighted to join the PECB family as the partnership enables us to broaden our portfolio of courses, especially in the area of international standards. We have a strong desire to help our clients thrive in their chosen business areas, through niche consulting services supported by unique training solutions.”

PECB is a certification body for various international standards including ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO/IEC 20000, ISO 22301, ISO/IEC 27001, ISO/IEC 27005, OHSAS 18001, ISO 22000, ISO 26000 and ISO 28000. PECB has earned a reputation for integrity, value and best practice by providing assurance through the evaluation and certification of professionals against rigorous, internationally-recognized competence requirements. Elizabeth Bradshaw, Managing Director of PECB International added “We are very enthusiastic for this agreement and we promise we will provide our full-time services and best efforts on behalf of this partnership.” For more information about PECB visit http://www.pecb.org.

Procept Associates Professional Services Limited (Procept Nigeria) was established in 2006 as a franchisee of Procept Associates Ltd. of Toronto, Canada. Procept Nigeria is the de-facto leader in service management training based on the Information Technology Infrastructure Library®, as it has trained most of the leading service management practitioners in Nigeria today starting from ITIL® v2 through to v2011. Through its network of partners, Procept Nigeria provides training in Control Objectives and Information Related Technology (COBIT5) as well as in Projects In Controlled Environments V2 (PRINCE2®).

Procept Partners to Launch New EPC Project Management Certification eCourse

  • By: pcadmin on 20 May 2015

Procept training and consulting associate Morley H. Selver has worked with Procept and its e-learning course development partner GenXus Corporation to convert his popular Certified EPC Project Manager classroom-based course into an online learning option containing over 17 hours of streaming video, an electronic copy of his popular textbook, many EPC project management templates and tools, and much more. The new e-course offers four full days of training (28 PDUs) that can be taken all at once or spread out in bite-sized pieces over several days or weeks.


Government Training Grants Help Procept Clients

  • By: pcadmin on 04 May 2015

Has your employer cut their professional development budget this year? Are you an employer who wants to offer training opportunities for your employees but just can’t cover the cost? The Canada Job Grant and Procept can help!

Having the right skills helps employees excel and succeed in today’s fast-paced labour market. The Canada Job Grant helps employers train new and existing employees for jobs that need to be filled. This program is flexible enough to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, in all industries and regions across Canada.

Through The Canada Job Grant, the Government of Canada could provide 67% of the cost of training, up to a maximum of $10,000 per grant. Employers will be required to contribute the remaining one-third of the training costs.

Don’t let this amazing opportunity pass you by; contact Procept today for more information.

Procept Launches New eLearning Course: Managing Large Project Teams - Modern Lessons from the Giza Pyramid Project (20 PDUs)

  • By: pcadmin on 02 Apr 2015

Procept Associates and its partner GenXus Corporation are pleased to announce the release of a new self-directed online e-learning course called "Managing Large Project Teams: Modern Lessons from the Giza Pyramid Project." Developed by Dr. Mark Kozak-Holland, a world-renowned author, speaker, and researcher who investigates historical projects to extract lessons learned that can be applied in today's business scenarios.

During this course, participants will take on the role of the project manager for the construction of the Giza Pyramid. People commonly believe this project was delivered with a workforce made up primarily of slaves controlled through threats and violence; however, the latest archaeological research proves this to be not true. While some slaves were undoubtedly used, the bulk of the workforce was made up of craftsmen, farmers, and other skilled workers who were managed using rewards and other motivation techniques. Using the latest available archaeological evidence, the course puts learners into project simulations where they must make a complex series of decisions that could mean the difference between life and death for the workers and that illustrate key techniques in managing large workforces on complex projects that can be applied in modern projects..

Click on the button below to view a more detailed course description including a short illustrative video.



FREE EVENT: Managing Strategic Programs: Discovering the Structural and Governance Differences Between Projects and Strategic Programs

  • By: Alana Hughes on 27 Mar 2015

Join us on April 27th from 10:00am - noon in Toronto for a free session on managing strategic programs led by Rajiv Khanna.

In the world of management, people use the terms project and program freely, many without a solid understanding of the differences between the two. Project management and program management are distinct frameworks, each with its own practices. Using the wrong framework to manage a new initiative could mean the difference between success and failure.

Join UK-based expert Rajiv Khanna in this 2-hour seminar as he brings his deep expertise on project and program management to Canada. During this session, participants will:

  • Identify the key differences between portfolios, programs, and projects
  • Identify the differences between outputs, outcomes, and benefits
  • Discuss the different types of programs
  • Discuss the key roles and responsibilities of program and project management teams
  • Discuss the key elements an organization must have in place in order to increase its chances of project and program success and minimize the level of risk



WEBINAR: Governance of Projects, or is it Project Governance?

  • By: Alana Hughes on 18 Mar 2015

Join us on April 15th from 8:00-9:00pm for a webinar on project governance led by Darya Duma.

Most organizations have strong corporate governance, but often those governance policies and procedures do not apply to projects or at the very least prove to be a poor fit in matrix organizations. Project governance provides the link between the project manager and the executive management of the organization. All the project management processes in the world cannot help if your project does not have the right framework for executive involvement, decision-making and risk management. In this short talk, we will discuss the essential principles of governance for projects, programs and portfolios.

As a member of ISO/TC258 on projects, programs and portfolios, Darya has shared thoughts on this topic with some of the leading minds in project management on the international stage. She will discuss the most recent views as proposed in international standards and how those principles translated to application in a recent case study.

At this session, participants will:

  • Develop a definition for governance of projects, programs and portfolios for their environment
  • Discuss recent developments in international standards with respect to governance of projects
  • See how the principles of governance translate to a live environment



Free PM Training - International PM Day (Nov 5, 2015)

  • By: pcadmin on 16 Mar 2015

To celebrate International Project Management Day (Nov. 5, 2015), Procept Associates Ltd. is going to host a free day-long event in Toronto, Ontario where people can attend a series of 90-minute presentations on project management-related topics and earn free PDUs. Similar to the Professional Development Days held by many PMI chapters, this event will allow participants to learn from some of the best project management trainers in North America, while earning 8 PDUs at no cost to the participant.  A small $20 booking fee will be charged at the time of registration that will be refunded in cash at the door the day of the event. This booking fee has been put in place to reduce the number of people booking but not showing up for the event.

International PM Day is an international movement started in 2004 by Frank Saladis, a U.S.-based project management trainer, consultant, and author. The goal of the movement is to recognize the efforts of project managers who are striving daily to improve people's lives.


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