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

Developing Project Management Competence

Recognizing and Developing Competence

Are people born competent? How do you know where you currently stand, and where should you apply the most effort? Going to yet another class and memorizing processes and formulae are woefully inadequate, not only for today's certifications, but for improved project manager effectiveness!

Performing PM Competence Assessment

Our (ProjectExperts) first PM Competence Assessment was in 1983, an opportunity resulting from a skills-needs assessment that we had performed. Our client was a major electric utility that built and operated a nuclear power plant. They asked if we did competence assessments because most of their engineers had been assessed in their roles, but their project managers had not.

We worked with this client to set up a PM Competence Assessment Center, and thus extended our services portfolio from training and skill needs assessment to PM competence assessment and development. Our processes ranged from informal self-assessments, to more rigorous assessment by managers, to formal assessments that we performed, or certified others to perform, requiring evidence of competency in results.

As a consequence, we also adjusted our project management curriculum to support attainment of needed levels of project management competence for a range of target roles in a PM Progression Ladder, as well as for key project stakeholders.

Establishing Competence Baselines

A key to PM competence assessment is to establish the right baseline against which to perform assessments. Our early 1980's baseline was the result of a PM processes analysis, our definitions of key project roles, and the level of competence needed for each role in each competence item.

In the 90's, we added competences that included interpersonal skills and a general management model to show additional disciplines you should master to achieve each needed PM competence.

Exploring Project Management Competence  Exploring Project Management Competence

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