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Case Study

The Department of National Defence Adopts New Training to Propel Project Management Success


The Department of National Defence

The Department of National Defence (DND) is the Canadian government department responsible for defending Canada's interests and values at home and abroad. DND and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are, although two separate organisations, known collectively as the Defence Team.  Both institutions work closely together in defending Canada. This requires significant ongoing investment in capital funding to maintain the combat capability of the armed forces and its supporting infrastructure.


Identified Requirement for Foundational Training in Project Management

The Department of National Defence (DND) has long recognized that effective project management is a key enabler for the efficient development and delivery of combat capability for the CAF. To this end, the DND Project Management Competency Development (PMCD) programme requires that project managers be qualified for the projects that they manage. Thus, PMCD identifies a path for learning, experience and professional development that is aligned to the level of risk and complexity of a given project.

Within DND, it is policy that project management practitioners consider the norms, methods, processes and practices advocated by PMI® in their PMBOK® Guide. Accordingly, one component of PMCD identifies a requirement for foundational training in project management to be aligned to the PMBOK, and this training is mandatory for anyone who aspires to manage a project within DND.  


Custom Project Management Foundational Training Developed and Delivered

Global Knowledge competed and won a contract to develop and to deliver custom project management foundational training, in support of PMCD. 

“Throughout the development process Global Knowledge was attentive and worked closely with DND while building the course,” said Mark Walker, with the Directorate Material Policy and Procedures 3 for the Department for National Defence in Canada. 

Unquestionably, this was a complex endeavour. The contract required that Global Knowledge’s instructional designers select appropriate content from their repository of courses, and then integrate that courseware with unique DND context which included a military case study. The supporting course exercises developed by Global Knowledge were designed to reinforce the concepts and practices of the PMI Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) as applied in the unique DND environment.   

“In a collaborative environment, the Global Knowledge team did a magnificent job in integrating our requirements to build the required training solution.  The Global Knowledge training will provide a solid foundation for our project management practitioners throughout their careers,” Walker added.

Global Knowledge has received multiple awards from PMI for PMP Blended Learning Certification Programs in the past 10 years. For this situation, it was appropriate for Global Knowledge to use its strengths in this area to create the solution required by DND. The result was an eight-day instructor-led classroom course entitled “Best Practices in Project Management.” In addition to unique DND context, this course concentrates on six of the PMBOK Knowledge Areas:

  • Project Integration Management
  • Project Scope Management
  • Project Time Management
  • Project Cost Management
  • Project Risk Management
  • Project Stakeholder Management

This custom course was built around core Global Knowledge models and content, using our off-the-shelf, commercially available content that is based on PMI’s PMBOK guide as a baseline and integrating DND concepts and processes within.  


Employees Provided with Foundational Ready-to-Apply Knowledge and Skills

Over the term of this multi-year contract, Global Knowledge is delivering the eight-day custom Best Practices in Project Management course to both DND civil servants and to CAF military members.  There is capacity within the contract to train up to 1,440 members of the Defence Team, in either French or English. Class size has been capped at 20 people per course to optimize participative learning and group exercises, as is consistent with best practices. Although the new training only commenced on February 1, 2016, early indications are that the course has been well received by participants. One end-of-course critique remarked “Presentation of both PMI and DND approaches, terminology, concepts – making the course extremely useful/relevant – well done!”

“Global Knowledge’s unique training solution will provide our people with foundational ready-to-apply knowledge and skills for use in their projects and throughout their careers. Nice work Global Knowledge!" concluded Walker.