Setting up shop in NZ pulls in the big clients for ESI

ESI International's global experience is now being brought to New Zealand

A shortage of qualified project managers and business analysts in New Zealand organisations led global project management training-provider ESI International to set up an office in Wellington last year.

It has been highly successful, says business development manager Tanya Belfield.

“Previously, ESI serviced New Zealand out of Australia. Now, we have large local clients, such as Air New Zealand, Vodafone, Westpac and the New Zealand Defence Force.”

Established 25 years ago, ESI is the largest and oldest project management training provider in the world. Its courses provide a development path and all are certified by George Washington University in the US. All the courses are mapped back to the Project Management Institute, which operates internationally, so participants who may have completed only part of a course in, say, New Zealand, can complete it in another country.

“The skills are internationally recognised,” says Belfield. “The courses are based on international best practice.”

She says demand in New Zealand is coming from organisations that recognise their business success depends on successfully completed projects.

“For example, we do a lot of work for the New Zealand Defence Force, where people get re-posted every two years. Most of their desk jobs involve projects of some sort.”

ESI has trained more than 100 people for the Defence Force.

Belfield says two sectors that are heavily focused on project management are banking and finance, and telecommunications. The company has contracts with Westpac and Vodafone.

“The courses are tailored to the business. Most are of three to four days duration, and completion of three courses achieves an associate certificate. There are inhouse exams to sit.”

ESI contracts its trainers as required. They must have 15 to 20 years experience in project management and be current in the market.

Globally, the company has contracts with many Fortune 500 companies, including Bank of America, National Australia Group, Siemens, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Toyota and Shell.

ESI recently surveyed hundreds of projects and found that the top two reasons projects failed were incomplete requirements and lack of client involvement.

The business analyst curriculum was introduced more recently and key focuses include how to contain scope, how to save time and how to save money.

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