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

Who Needs PM Competence?

Target Audiences: Individuals

Project management competence is not just for project managers. You must develop competence throughout the team. Every project stakeholder must be competent in his or her role. For example, a common project failure point is the gap in competence (and resulting performance shortfall) arising from a resource manager who fails to correctly recognize project prioritizes, and hence fails to assign the right team members with the right skills, the right amount of time.

Figure 1: The project management hierarchy
Figure 1: The project management hierarchy

But, you might ask: "Isn't that why we want to have competent Project Managers?" The problem is, even an incredibly competent project manager cannot compensate for the project stakeholders who cannot competently perform their roles - consequently requiring the risk response action of finding and correcting the weakest links.

Beyond Individuals: Teams, Organizations

Project management competence not only benefits individual stakeholders but has great potential to benefit whole project teams as well. For example, we use competence assessment as part of Project Kickoff in larger projects. What better way to identify the strengths and gaps of your extended team and what better timing for this action than at Project Startup?

At the departmental level, certain elements of project management competence are often the closely held secret of line managers who have upper-management aspirations. At the enterprise level, PM competence is already a strategic weapon and competitive advantage for many of today's most successful organizations.

Understanding the Importance of Competence

Clearly, PM competence does matter in all project-oriented enterprises. And this helps explain why most professional PM societies have either adopted a competence-based certification approach, or are now rushing to do so.

This "Fast Train" to PM competence-based certification raises the question of how you traceably assess and develop competence. Another question: How do you determine current competence requirements for the PM roles played, and identify gaps and strengths, as well as establishing a development plan against valid competence criteria? But perhaps we are getting ahead of ourselves. Before we discuss how individuals and organizations develop project management competence, let us look at the journey you must travel to achieve any type of competence.

It's All About Competence  It's All About Competence

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