The Programme Manager Masterclass

Facts and Figures

    • So far, over 150 delegates have taken part in the programme.
    • The programme takes place in multiple countries, with cohorts from across the globe.
    • The programme is delivered using a Grounded Experiential Learning approach; a bespoke teaching case made up of Atos examples and terminology.

The organisation

The key words for Atos are digital transformation, innovation and value creation, both for itself and for its clients. They have cemented their position as the trusted partner for their clients’ digital transformation.

Atos are leaders in digital services with pro forma annual revenue of circa € 12 billion and circa 100,000 employees in 72 countries, serving a global client base.

Atos strives to create the firm of the future and they believe that bringing together people, business and technology is the way forward. The company embraces this journey and their mission is to remain the trusted partner that delivers digital empowerment to their clients.

The business issue

One of the Atos strategic goals is to keep their businesses competitive in the global environment by providing a standardised high-quality qualification for all employees working in projects worldwide. They also want to be perceived as one of the global leaders of digital services. Therefore, they needed a development programme that would lead to their employees being recognised by the market as Best in Class Programme Managers.

The challenge

The capabilities to be developed within the programme were mapped to key business outcomes and Atos’ key competencies within commercial drive, delivery management, leadership and project organisation, and relationship management.

  • Planning and controlling very complex portfolios of projects with large geographically dispersed teams
  • Identifying and managing risks, issues and assumptions on portfolio of complex projects, where risks include political and/or reputational damage
  • Influencing and supporting senior stakeholders
  • Identifying trends to support the definition of blueprints and the company portfolio
  • Providing guidance and direction to execute project reviews and evaluation with senior stakeholders
  • Demonstrating effectiveness as an external, independent assessor on complex projects, and recommending feasible improvements/alternatives based on thought leadership
  • Maintaining a view on the bigger picture, even in very complex situations, evaluating interim results and their effect on achieving overall strategic goals.

How the need was met?

The programme comprises three face-to-face modules, interspersed with a series of interactive webinars and supported by on-line learning.

Module 1:

  • Winning assignments
  • Build client relationships
  • Generate profits

Module 2:

  • Engaging stakeholders
  • Managing an extended team
  • Executing a programme effectively

Module 3:

  • Manage international programmes
  • Facilitating change
  • Up-selling opportunities

Within the Atos career framework, the PRM masterclass is now the main global learning vehicle for accelerating Project Managers to become Programme Managers and for advancing Programme Managers to act more strategically.

The participants

So far, more than 150 individuals from across the globe have completed the PRM Programme, which takes place in multiple countries.

Participants gain a great deal from networking with their global colleagues and the variety of topics and delivery methods keeps the participants constantly engaged. One participant commented:

“The programme is highly interactive, challenging and keeps you constantly on edge! It’s a great learning experience and an eye opener in many ways!”

Making a difference

Programme completers are now key drivers of change in the organisation – both in projects and as leaders internally. They set up their own internal learning community post-programme. Cranfield facilitated its inception, but it is Atos employees who now champion their own continued professional development. One employee concluded,

This has been a fantastic opportunity to draw together, develop and consolidate multiple threads in my understanding of Program (and Project) Management. It should be an absolute ‘Must do’ for those considering the step up to Program Management”.

Why Cranfield?

Cranfield University was selected for this partnership due to their ability to collaborate with Atos and create a realistic case study used within the programme. This case study is often cited by participants as being a particularly powerful learning tool.  In addition to this, the advanced first-hand experience in IT projects demonstrated by Cranfield faculty, their Research Centre for Project Management, their innovative approach to development and strong reputation.

Excellence in Programme Management is essential for achieving the objectives of the Atos Group – both in terms of financials as well as qualitative aspects. The PRM Master Class is THE program within the Atos Group to enable Program Managers in a consistent manner to deliver high quality results.”

Lars Meinel – Vice President - Global Head of Learning & Development