As Ronald Cagle observes:
"Once you enter the success continuum, you will want to continue on and on, broader and broader, and higher and higher ...
No, this is not a test. It is simply an assessment of the book as it applies to you and an assessment of you as you apply to the continuum of project learning."
- When you started this book, where did you find yourself?
- Were you at the beginning?
- Were you somewhere in the middle?
- Did you assess your capabilities along the way so you could have a baseline for improvement?
- Did that tell you anything about yourself?
- Where are you now?
- Will you continue to assess yourself throughout your career [as you continue to progress]?
The hope is that the answer to the last question is affirmative and that you will use the book accordingly. If so, Ronald recommends that you:
- "Get the best education and the highest you can get by choosing the best curriculum and the best college available to you
- Get the most training you can get by choosing the appropriate seminars and workshops that will provide you with the most information
- Get the best experience in the proper order that will allow you to grow to greater and greater heights in your project management performance
- Join a professional organization that will provide you with opportunities to network and look for job opportunities as well as extending your training
- Get a certification and certificates to enhance your background
- Keep a positive mental attitude in your education, training, and performance at every level
- Constantly strive to perform the best you possibly can for the sake of the project, your company, and yourself and work every job every day of your professional career as if your reputation depends on it - because it most certainly does!"
The book does attempt to provide specific information as well as other sources in support of these recommendations. However, it is in fact very difficult to make the necessary judgment calls as to which education, curriculum, college, seminars, workshops and professional organization to choose. Standards and content vary widely and may or may not be appropriate to your situation. It is particularly difficult when you don't have much background and experience to start with. Therefore, we would recommend starting with item 4 (join an organization) so that you can "network" and get the views of those who have already traveled the route. After all, if you don't like the organization or the people in it you can always leave and join another!
As a final note of interest, Ronald says that it is important to make time to read to keep abreast. In fact he has two stacks of books, those he calls the "Takers" that are convenient in size for taking and reading on trips. The others are "Leavers", those that get left behind. The implication is that the latter may not get read at all. Since Ronald's book is just about 200 pages with a footprint of 6" x 9", that's probably a very good hint for prospective authors who want to make sure that their books are actually read!
R. Max Wideman
15. Ibid, p189
16. Ibid, p190