"the what for Architects?!", you might ask yourself? MXP stands for Microsoft eXcellence Program, and is a unique collaboration between my employer (Achmea) and Microsoft, with the aim to train people, who will operate as (technical) leaders within the Microsoft community within Achmea. The participants will be intensively be trained and coached (on the job) for two years, to increase their skill on several competences:
- organizational insights
- strategic insights
- execution effectiveness
- broad technological knowledge
- deep technological knowledge
The main approach this program uses, is "learning by doing": The people who participate in this program will take leading roles in strategic, important projects and are taken out of their comfort zone. They will be coached intensively by Achmea and Microsoft coaches (and mentors). In addition to the coaching, about 4 days per month on average will be spend on the MXP-training (this makes almost 50 a year!). which consists of (but is not limited to) MXP-days with the other participants (to share experiences, to have some intervision sessions and share knowledge), training on soft skills and training on hard skills.
It's not possible for anyone to join this program, as participants need to have already the drive, motivation, skills and talent on the above 7 capabilities to be able to join the program. To join this program, some Idols/Popstars-like event takes place (as Gerben van Loon expresses it): First of all, you need to be selected. Then, the people who are selected, are asked if they want to join the program. The people who want to, need to prepare a presentation on a recent project, which proves that they got enough skill and talent on the above capabilities. After this presention, the jury gets about half hour time to ask questions about this presentation. When every candidate has held their presentation, the jury decides who passed and gets into the program. It sounds like some graduation and I can tell you: it felt about the same. The only difference was that it was even harder!
Apparently, as the title of my post already gave away, I was found to be skillful and talented enough to get into this program! 2 Years of training/coaching by some great coaches, great fellow participants and a great opportunity to increase all of my skills! I already defined my goals for the next two years and can't wait to get started on it! My main technology focus will (of course) be SharePoint and Fast, whereas I will work hard to greatly improve my skills on communication, execution effectiveness and strategic insights.
At the moment, one rotation has already finished: (MXP for thought leaders). People like Alex Thissen (regional director and .Net MVP), Gerben van Loon and Phons Stokkermans finished this program. At the moment, three programs do run in parallel (which all have other focuses, of course.)
- MXP for Architects
- MXP for SharePoint (developers, more focus on technology)
- MXP for IT-Pro(more focus on technology)
More information? click here ;)