Dateline: July, 1967: “Are You Experienced?”
It was a Jimi Hendrix song of the late 60’s. We’re not quite sure what he was talking about then, but today,we are positive the question is essential for Project Managers and stakeholders.
Today’s most-successful enterprises have a competitive advantage: They assess the competence and improve the performance of their Project Managers. Unfortunately, there are far too many that invest most of their training funds in “test prep” programs that have no impact on project success or Project Manager Skill, Competence and Performance.
The result: “Project Managers” who may have never managed a project to successful closure. They may not even be able to tell you how they could do so. What you really need is Project Managers who are not only experienced, they can cite their successes, and explain why they are successful.
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So, what is your alternative? There are several advanced certification programs that move beyond simple testing of knowledge acquired, to asses whether your practitioners actually demonstrate Competence. But the rigor required for these certifications may scare off the casual, less-committed neophyte.
Although the advanced certification programs are popular in Europe and other nations outside the USA, only the smartest US Enterprises are even aware of them. Few can boast that they have Project Managers who are competent enough to certify at these advanced levels. We are speaking of those who “Demonstrate the Competence Difference.”
For the rest, there has been no obvious path to the development of skills, attitudes, competences and performance needed, not only to pass advanced Project Manager Certifications, but to excel in projects. Until Now.
CompModel: A Competence Power Tool
CompModel is our tool and process that we have used since 1983 to asidentify a range of key project and program Roles, then assess the Competences needed to perform those roles effectively. Enterprises and effective learning providers use the results together with Instructional Design to target organizational learning requirements, and then deliver the right learning or coaching experience for each audience.
We’ve used the PM CompModel processes to develop a job-design-based Project Management curriculum that delivers laser-focused topics specific to audience needs, rather than subjecting everyone to the same 4 or 5 day Project Management learning experience.
What Is Competence?
Webster defines Competence (or competency) as properly qualified, capable, or adequate for the stipulated purpose. Our definition of Competence also includes behavioral aspects, with consistently-demonstrated and appropriately used attitude, skills and knowledge.
We add to Webster’s contributions. You may be familiar with the ASK Learning Model, which evaluates learning based on its impact on Attitudes, Skills and Knowledge. We have added a level at the top: Competence; thus C + A + S + K. Our CASK model helps you assess the Project Manager Competences, attitudes, skills and knowledge needed for each project role, to strengthen your weakest links. So, you can evaluate the Competence of all stakeholders who affect your project success.
Who Needs PM Competence?
It is not just Project Managers who must demonstrate PM Competence. If your projects are to succeed, each stakeholder must demonstrate Competence in the actions required by his or her role. You must evaluate each of the Project Roles, or their equivalents (see graphic).
Then, follow the steps in CompModel to plan Interventions, to train, coach or otherwise fill your organization’s greatest PM Competence gaps. Or to put it another way, you use CompModel to find and resolve your projects’ Weakest Links!
Moving Beyond Training
One does not achieve competence just by training, although that can be a great first step. It is clear, through our experience, that the right Learning in the right topics builds a far more effective foundation for Skill-development, Behavioral Attributes and Attitudes adoption, and Performance Competence achievement. Thus we have integrated our tools and processes to develop a job-design-based Modular Project Management curriculum that delivers the right topics that the right audiences need to meet the criteria of each competence-based certification program.
How We’ve Used PM CompModel
- Set up Assessment Centers, staffed with professional assessors, to assess Project Manager and Key Stakeholder Competence.
- Assessed Project Management Office staff to determine their strengths, and identify weaknesses to concentrate upon.
- Set up Project Management Offices to assess their organization, and coach project practitioners in their gaps.
- Early in high-risk projects, we assess the entire team, as part of the plan to reduce project risks.
- Identified the best use of training funds to fill an organization’s greatest PM Competence gaps.
How You Can Use PM CompModel
- Assess your Competences as Project Manager (or other key stakeholder roles), to build a professional Competence Development Plan.
- Assess yourself to prepare to apply for IPMA-USA’s advanced PM certifications, or find your gaps to improve upon.
- Assess your current project team, to find “your weakest link”, then coach to improve it.
- Assess your Project Management Office, to assure best use of their greatest strengths.
- Assess your entire Enterprise, as a way to fill your gaps and improve organization project management maturity.
CompModel Video, SlideShow
To learn more about CompModel, see our 17 minute video; it explains more about the approach, steps for use, sample actions, and differences between the available version. Or, for more information on using CompModel, see this (Adobe Acrobat) pdf slideshow (7mb). The slideshow is also available from a link in the PM CompModel application.