This paper was first
presented at IPMA's
20th World Congress
in Shanghai, China, in
October 2006.
It has been adapted
for presentation on
this web site.
Published here August 2007

Abstract | Introduction | It's All About Competence | Who Needs PM Competence? 
Exploring Project Management Competence | Developing Project Management Competence 
Enter the PM CompModel | Evolution of asapm's Version of CompModel
Interventions: Training and Coaching | Conclusion

Evolution of asapm's Version of CompModel

CompModel Mapped to Competence Baseline

As asapm (American Society for the Advancement of Project Management) developed our Competence-based certification program (based on IPMA's Four-Level Certification, or 4-L-C program), we saw the benefits of using PM CompModel as the training and development pathfinder that allows project managers and stakeholders to improve project management competences, and for those who are so inclined, to prepare for competence-based certifications.

asapm had an advantage in selecting the right baseline against which to perform competence assessment. Clearly, a body of knowledge on its own falls short because we are dealing with more than Knowledge. IPMA had established the IPMA Competence Baseline (ICB), which National Member Associations localize as their own National Competence Baselines (NCB) as their individual basis for their own competence-based certification.[7]

Because it covers the key areas of PM competence, this ICB/NCB standard is ideal for competence development in addition to certification. It also provides the necessary foundation for stakeholder project management competence assessment and development. Others have begun with a body of knowledge taxonomy, and added the behavioral attributes and general management elements that are usually missing in most generic PM approaches.

The asapm version of the PM CompModel is available to members and colleagues on the asapm website.[8] It is aligned with IPMA's Competence Baseline (ICB), containing the elements, and a competence criterion for each. It identifies target competence ratings for each of the levels in IPMA's 4-L-C system. Thus you can use the CompModel either to establish a personal, team, workgroup or enterprise competence development plan, or to determine areas of focus as a pre-assessment to certification.

CompModel has target ratings for the roles in IPMA's 4-L-C program (Projects Director, Senior Project Manager, Project Manager and Project Practitioner). It also includes rating targets for other key stakeholders: Project Sponsor, Resource Manager, and Project Management Office Consultant. We include those roles because of the assertion above that you cannot assess and develop competence in a vacuum - you must consider all the roles in the project context, otherwise the results are meaningless.

We offer a custom PM CompModel version to vendors in our Competence Enabler program.[9] Competence Enablers are PM Vendors who know the difference between Knowledge and Competence, and help move from one to the other. Vendors can map their curriculum and coaching services to PM CompModel's criteria, so their clients can see which offerings fill their competence gaps.

New Directions: Added Adaptations

At the 20th IPMA World Congress, ProjectExperts provided PM CompModel to participants in our Young Crew workshop. We also made it available to other IPMA Member Affiliates. We have also adapted the PM CompModel to other organization's certification efforts. Our purpose has been to provide a mechanism for competence assessment and development planning, primarily for improved project success and secondarily for certification readiness evaluation.

Enter the PM CompModel  Enter the PM CompModel

7. asapm's NCB, or USA National Competency Base-line, is available from:
8. A free 2-user version of the asapm PM Competence Model (runs on MS Windows, and requires Microsoft Access, version 2000 or later) is available at: The version for IPMA's ICB3.0 is at
9. See asapm's Competence Enabler Program at the asapm website:
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