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SPOCE (KZ) MD Paul Bradley introduces Kazakhstan to his old friend PRINCE2®

SPOCE MD Paul Bradley loves the highly acclaimed PRINCE2® method so much that he’s really willing to go the distance when spreading the word about this highly proven and acclaimed project management approach, as far afield as Kazakhstan, in fact.

Kazakhstan borders Russia and Asia and is the largest landlocked country in the world.  Its interest in the world of project management training and accreditation has been growing in recent years and government sector organisations such as the ‘Department of Economics’ are keen to embed a culture of P3M, PRINCE2® in particular, as a management method. Paul has been working closely with the ‘Academy of Public Administration Under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan’ to kick start a training scheme that he is confident will be adopted nationally. 

Welcome to SPOCE KZ

Paul has personally been working hard to get Russian speaking trainers in Kazakhstan certified, so that they can begin their own PRINCE2® journey using Kazakhstan nationals who speak the language - but, just as importantly, speak the globally recognised language of PRINCE2®. To ensure that the right amount of focus and support is given to this project, SPOCE KZ was formed. SPOCE KZ is a sister company of SPOCE Project Management, set up in readiness to embed P3M into Kazakhstan. Its aim is to provide aspiring project management trainers and delegates with the tools and resources necessary for adopting and embedding project management into (to start) public sector organisations.

So, how is Paul doing this and what are his thoughts on the future of P3M in Kazakhstan and similar countries? We take a pit stop tour of Pauls time there, also asking him a few questions about what the next steps are…

SPOCE MD, Paul Bradley’s month in Kazakhstan…

22 July 2017: Paul sets off for Kazakhstan laden down with Russian PRINCE2® manuals and gets our first group of SPOCE KZ public sector workers PRINCE2® certified.  At 1KG each, much of the weight allowance is used.  Time to reduce the clothes and shoes allocation!  The weekend kicks off with several meetings with SPOCE KZ business partners.

24 July 2017: Monday sees the start of the PRINCE2 Foundation training with 16 people registered for the examination, and a further 6 observing and refreshing their knowledge from a trainer perspective.

27 July 2017: Paul presents a PRINCE2 executive briefing to representatives from 15 government agencies.  The presentation is received well and there is an exciting atmosphere in the room as attendees discuss the project board responsibilities.

27 July 2017: Paul appears on the Kazakhstan Business channel to shed some light on P3M and gives his own take on how ‘Decision Support Information’ can make or break the world of business management. We’ve broken down his interview into bite-sized chunks for you to navigate…

  1. What is Decision Support Information? 
  2. What does managing by project mean?
  3. What about managing by programme and portfolio?
  4. What is the difference between programme and project?
  5. Is there a need for Project Management in all business?
  6. What happens if there is no Project Management function?
  7. What are the drawbacks of a project management approach?
  8. How do you see the future of project management?
  9. How does PRINCE2® fit in with the rest of PMI?
  10. What is the key difference between PRINCE2 and PMI APM and other bodies of knowledge?
  11. What should come first? Processes or competency?
  12. What advice would you give for an organisation wanting to develop a ‘manage by project’ culture?
  13. Who is PRINCE2® suitable for?
  14. What is the forecast for Decision Support Information?


28 July: The PRINCE2 course finishes with the successful completion of the Foundation examination.  Paul then heads back to catch up with SPOCE UK, and prepare for the next part of the PRINCE2 Kazakhstan project.

1 September 2017: After taking a short break, Paul leaves once again for Astana, again laden with Russian PRINCE2 manuals for Practitioner and Train-the-Trainer workshops.

2 September 2017: Flying overnight and landing at 6am, Paul wastes no time in starting the workshops on Saturday morning.  The workshops finish and it’s straight on to the Global Young Crew Workshops that mark the beginning of the IPMA 30th World Congress.

Paul presented ‘Achieving Life and Business Dreams with Project Management’ where he explained how all the various methods of P3M fit together and how project management can be applied to every area of our lives, not just in business. Paul gives us a tour of where project management has taken him, and SPOCE, in the world and shares his thoughts on what is next for the world of project management.

Click here to see Paul’s presentation

3 September 2017: Practitioner workshops continue with each part of the PRINCE2® method being scrutinized in detail.  Many discussions are had to identify how PRINCE2® is used in different scenarios.

4 September 2017: More Practitioner workshops, trainer presentations and interviews, and meeting with government officials sees a busy and productive day.  The evening gives time for SPOCE KZ discussions, with confirmation from the legal teams that the new company will be established during September 2017.

5 September 2017: Paul presents at the IPMA 30th World Congress in Astana. At the core of his presentation entitled ‘Breakthrough Competencies in the Development of Pubic Administration’ is Better Business Cases. Here he gives an overview of the current developments at the UK Infrastructure and Project Authority, giving  some insight into the frameworks that form the core of this activity such as the 5-case model and the project initiation route-map.

To see Paul’s presentation click here

6 September 2017: The Practitioner workshops finish with a successful Practitioner examination, and trainers are put through a rigorous presentation and interview process.

About IPMA World Congress

IPMA is the leading world conference on project, programme and portfolio management. This year, it was held in Astana, Kazakhstan from the 5-7 September. It is 3 days of insightful talks, workshops, book launches and networking opportunities with P3M experts and thought leaders from across the globe. It culminates with the renowned IPMA awards gala.  Attending this event are business professionals, industry experts, academics and students and essentially anyone wanting to know more about project, programme and portfolio best practice.

What is IPMA Young Crew?

IPMA Young Crew is the youth element of IPMA and is targeted towards young professionals and students up to the age of 35. The aim of the event is to enable those that are fresh to the world of project management to connect with world class trainers and experts.

A quick Q&A with Paul Bradley

Q: Why Kazakhstan Paul and how did this initiative start out?

Paul: This initiative began back in May 2015 when I was accepted to present a 1-hour session on PRINCE2® and best practice project management.This 1-hour quickly extended into a 1-day, which ended up being a 3-day presentation. This wasn’t me over-running – it was requested over time as we got closer to the event!  There were approximately 25 people who attended this event, and after a successful three days, we planned some formal training for their project management lecturers. In  July 2015, those eight trainers came to take their Foundation exams. We spent a week preparing for the exams, and also preparing them for trainer approval.  Since then, I spent considerable time working with AXELOS to translate the PRINCE2® manual and Practitioner exam into Russian.  I believe the opportunities this presents are vast. Throughout this time I have had great relationships with the Kazakh trainers, and we have a great respect for each other.

Q: What do you think are the next steps?

Paul: The next steps are fairly simple from an accreditation provider viewpoint.  The Academy of Public Administration will be accredited as an official centre for PRINCE2® training in September, and SPOCE KZ will be established to support all business sectors in the region.  Having established local trainer and consulting resources, the appetite for PRINCE2® can be satisfied at regional pricing.

Q: What is the potential for the P3M market in Kazakhstan?

Paul: There are more than 500 million Russian speaking people, and a market of around 500,000 who are involved in business and project management.  Project management is well established in this region with IPMA and PMI already active in Kazakhstan and the neighbouring countries.  With the expansion of infrastructure projects, the use of PRINCE2® and the associated methods will provide a robust structure to support these initiatives.

Q: And what’s next for SPOCE KZ?

Paul: SPOCE KZ will support all industry sectors in the region for project management.  SPOCE ran the world’s first ever PRINCE2® course in 1997, and this experience and expertise will ensure that all clients receive the best training and consultancy available.  We will work closely with our partners in the Academy of Public Administration to help establish a government standard, and will support local business in working within these frameworks.  This joined up working will bring benefits to our clients, the region and the country.

Why Paul Bradley?

Paul Bradley is a leading authority on the PRINCE2® project management methodology. With over 20 years in the industry, Paul's knowledge and experience is respected by clients, accreditation bodies and training organisations globally. Paul has been the Director of Training with SPOCE since 2000, and has been an accredited PRINCE2® trainer throughout this time.

Paul is a regular presenter at seminars, providing information on project management implementation, drawn from his experience in helping organisation to make use of well proven structures based on three levels of project complexity.

Paul has had two books published to enhance the training and use of PRINCE2®. These two publications are ‘The PRINCE2® Examinations Assistant’ which is aimed at students preparing for their exams, and ‘PRINCE2® – The Project Manager’s Guide’, which was published by Project Manager Today and is designed to give project managers a practical guide for using PRINCE2®.


SPOCE Project Management is a global leader in delivering best practice training for project programme and risk management. We offer a wide range of courses which can be tailored to suit any form of training need. For example, public courses e-Learning, blended learning and client workshops.  SPOCE is the flagship training provider for PRINCE2® and MSP® and were APMGs first ever training provider. We delivered the world’s first PRINCE2 Agile® classroom and e-learning courses and more recently, the first ever PRINCE2® 2017 classroom course.

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