Planning and Reporting: Preparatory Mentoring Phase

Module 3 begins with a one-to-one Preparatory Mentoring Phase, conducted online.

What happens in this phase?

We find where your real departure point lies, through personalised, private, one-to-one coaching and mentoring.

You and your Mentor will communicate regularly in private via your own personal online discussion space. Here you will be asked questions and given individualised assignments. These assignments may include reading and research, as well as online profiling tests.

During this phase, you will often be responding using free text. This is an agile environment—your responses and assignments have direct bearing on what you post yourself.

For example:

  • If you want to work as a project manager, and your writing style is not of a standard demanded by formal report-writing, we will guide you towards improvement.
  • If your responses to questions indicate that you don’t have the critical thinking needed for complex problem-solving or problem-dissolving, we will provide assignments to challenge you.

It’s about becoming real—the Preparatory Mentoring Phase strips away the artificiality of aspirational training and gets down to the realities of integrated integrity.

The process also helps you to establish habits, the most important of these being the habits that characterise a lifelong student.

Inter alia, this will require you to hone your skill of searching the Internet for information that is actually relevant. You will be expected to develop your ability to adapt and adopt such information for your own situation and environment.

How long does this phase take?

2-3 months.

What is the goal of this phase?

To get you ready to proceed to the next phase, according to your specific personal goals, with a good probability of completing the programme.

What are the objectives of this phase?

The objectives of this phase are to:

  • assess your current level of competence in respect of knowledge, skills and abilities, based on what you’d like to achieve;
  • identify your step-up requirements;
  • determine what specific things you’d need to do in order to succeed;
  • establish a habit of problem-centred enquiry; and
  • develop your critical thinking, in preparation for the next phase.

Why is this necessary?

Most longer certificate programmes have a high drop-out rate. Participants don’t all start from the same point, and don’t all move towards the same destination at the same speed. Background knowledge, personalities, personal goals, learning styles and skills differ. It takes time to get ready and fit to undertake a journey such as the one you will be undertaking in the months to follow.

How much does this phase cost?

The fee for this phase is included in your Module 3 fee. Payments are made monthly. If you discontinue the programme between milestone payments, you won’t be liable for the next payment.

Why can’t I pay for the whole thing up front?

We need to manage risk.

Within the first month, it will become evident to you and your mentor whether you have a passion for learning. (We work best with inspired learners, rather than motivated students who are looking for certification at all costs.)

We also need to manage the risk of having to deal with students whose motivation stems from trying to protect an investment made upfront. Temporary motivational factors such as these seldom suffice to sustain a real desire to learn, and they translate into mediocre contributions to group work.

Will I need to buy Microsoft Project software when I start?

No, you will only be using Microsoft Project in the next phase.

What textbooks must I buy?

No textbooks are used during this stage of your learning, but there will be plenty of online reading based on your goals and assessed learning needs.

However, your Mentor may also recommend one or two books which will become part of your personal library. The recommendations differ from person to person, but often include one or more of the following:

  • Stephen Covey: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Max De Pree: Leadership is an Art
  • Richard Rumelt: Good Strategy, Bad Strategy
  • Peter Senge: The Fifth Discipline
  • Jim Collins: Good to Great
  • Paul Roberts: Guide to Project Management
  • Richard Newton: The Project Management Book

The learning materials for the next phase of the programme are covered by your later instalments.

How does the next phase work?

During the Preparatory Mentoring Phase (2–3 months), we respond to your pull—in other words, we move in response to your rhythm and pace. By the time that you begin the Execution Phase, you will have established a habit. (This phase takes approx. 9 months). Now we set the pace. During this phase, you’ll be working in a group context, and doing real project work. You’ll have daily activities and weekly milestone assessments. If you don’t pass the milestone, you go back and repeat the week’s activities, until you’re fit to move on.

How does it all end?

Besides taking an exam, you will produce a portfolio of evidence of the real-world application of what you’ve learned.

When can I start?

If you’ve completed the first two modules, you can begin right away. Send us a message, and we’ll get you started in your private Mentoring Space.


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