In an environment of intense competition and increasing change, employers, customers and partners have increasingly significant expectations of their consultants and Professional Services (PS) teams.
Consultants and other PS professionals have long relied on technical skills in order to address requirements of clients and typically have a number of both vendor (CCIE, Microsoft Professional) and/or non-vendor (ITIL®, PRINCE2®) certifications.
However it takes more than technical skills to stand out in today’s increasingly complex professional services world and there has been little in the way of a clear development path for developing crucial non-technical, personal and commercial skills and competencies.
The more rounded professional needs to be commercially savvy and possess a customer-centric focus to thrive and progress in modern business and deliver optimal results for both clients and employers. Results of a 2015 survey by The Institute of Engineering and Technology identify the key skills gaps facing organizations:
“Employers say the main skills gaps across all candidates are business acumen, practical experience and leadership and management skills – and, more generally, the ‘soft’ and ‘work ready’ skills”.
PS Professional is the world’s only non-vendor certification program that develops commercial and personal strengths to complement existing technical expertise.
Whilst recognizing existing technical certifications, PS Professional aims to shape the consultant of tomorrow, expanding upon their technical expertise to offer greater commercial insight and personal effectiveness through a practical and respected training and certification programme.
The certification scheme is based upon the five core characteristics that make up a Professional Services Professional:
- RAINMAKER (be more commercially savvy and sales oriented)
- ATHLETE (improve personal effectiveness)
- EXECUTIVE (understand business & industry)
- CATALYST (manage & exceed customer expectations)
- AUTHORITY (master professional documentation & proposals)
Training and certification offers the opportunity to gain immediately useable skills and competences to help you become a more rounded professional, allowing you to improve results and client satisfaction.
There will be three levels of certification – Foundation, Practitioner and Professional, and the Foundation level is available now. Details of the higher levels will be announced in due course. For further details on each module, please see below.
Each module’s syllabus and supporting training courses are based on a range of popular publications, well established in the business world for the valuable knowledge, tools, processes, practices and insight they offer.
The PS Professional Turbo: find out which modules are for you
The PS Professional Turbo gives you an impartial assessment of your skills, one that you can use to plan your professional development. Mastery of any skill is an ongoing process, but understanding where best to focus your efforts is essential for consistent improvement.
Start your journey to becoming a consultant of tomorrow with a free assessment Click here: The Professional Services Professional’s free assessment.
- Gain and develop immediately useable skills and competences
- Complement existing technical skills with broader personal and commercial
- Demonstrate progression and career development
- Contribute beyond technical circle of influence
- Improve productivity and personal effectiveness
- Become more customer-focused and build stronger relationships
- Be more commercially-savvy for more effective and profitable outcomes
- Gain a broader understanding of the business environment
- Demonstrate your ‘all-round’ professional capability
- Independent recognition of your personal and commercial skills
- Deliver more value for both clients and employers
- Become a more rounded professional and stand out from the crowd
- Become a consultant of tomorrow!
A Rainmaker ‘creates rain’ i.e. they bring in the sales. So to be a good Rainmaker, you need to be good in front of the customer and accurately translate what it is that they want, and not what you have to offer them.
This module covers three key areas:
- Mastering scope & bid management
- Client meeting effectiveness
- Client needs identification.
The foundations of being an Athlete are about being professional in how you come across and in everything you do. Key to achieving this is your ability to plan and prepare, your time management and the way you build relationships which will affect your ability to influence people.
The module covers three key areas:
- Effective Time Management
- Interpersonal and Influencing Skills
- Planning, Preparation & Prioritisation.
The foundations of an Executive are understanding the business landscape and the financials. To be business-issues focussed, you need to understand the industry and the associated macro-economics for that sector. It is impossible to be credible and understand what issues are driving the thinking in that industry unless you are immersed in the detail.
The module covers three key areas:
- Industry sector skills
- Finance, financials & macro-economics
- Marketing fundamentals.
The biggest complaint people have is not getting regular feedback when something has gone wrong. Therefore the foundation of being a Catalyst is to develop skills around interacting with transparency when communicating with customers, possessing solid project methods for both project management and implementation, and the ability to act on escalations and issues.
The course covers 3 key areas:
- Customer service excellence
- Project & implementation fundamentals
- Dealing with urgency and escalations.
The foundation of being an Authority is having technical knowledge in a chosen field, which can usually be demonstrated through certifications like ITIL, Cisco, PMI etc. However, what often lets these subject matter experts down is their ability to translate their knowledge on to paper in a clear and concise way.
Individuals looking to attend this course exam should ideally already hold a foundation level of accreditation in a chosen field. The course will then focus on the skills needed to impart their knowledge to customers.
The course covers 2 key areas:
- Technology roadmap awareness & opinion
- Design documentation skills.