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How far does your company support project managers? Are you able to handle the challenges of your future projects? Do you have the same skills as your colleagues, especially those who are younger?
My experience is that many companies don’t invest in their project managers, or at least not in the right areas. There are many certification courses available. Here are some recommendations for reputable suppliers.
These courses are strong in project management technical aspects. They are not as good in other areas of project management competence, such as what IPMA calls “behavioral elements” or “contextual competencies”.
Bridge the Project Management Competency Gap
Written by Rich Maltzman, winner of the Cleland Project Management Literature Award, and Loredana Abramo his colleague, Bridging The Project Management Competency Gap focuses on creating a learning environment that is continuous and sustainable in your business.
Although the book doesn’t give you a list of competencies that your team needs, it does provide a roadmap to help you do so. The book then guides you through the steps to get it done.
It is a practical guide that addresses your problems in five easy steps.
This learning program will help you define what you want to accomplish.
Asses your project managers’ gaps
Identify strategic ways to address the needs of your project management group
Choose the best options for implementation
You can monitor your progress and track your competency improvements to ensure that you are always moving beyond your current competence levels.
This book is about getting stuff done. While you can read it to learn more about how you can develop your team’s skills, it is really designed to guide you as you do the work.
The authors are experts in the subject, but the book draws from research they did in this area.
To inform their writing, they surveyed more than 250 project management practitioners and experts. I think it shows in the variety of examples they include.
Why it is important to address Competency Gaps
This book contains many headline figures that show why it’s worthwhile to address your competency gap and do something about it.
The PMI pulse of Profession report (March 2015), which concluded that organizations that excel at knowledge transfer are 32% more successful in meeting project schedules, compared to those that don’t have effective knowledge transfers, is quoted by the authors.
Knowing that businesses are constantly changing, it is important to ensure that your team has the skills they need to deliver the projects that you want them to work on in the next year and five years.
Do You Really Need This Book?
Okay, you understand why PM competency is important and how you can support your teams. Do you really need a book to show you how to conduct a gap analysis, and then to implement solutions?
You might be able to do it yourself if you have the energy and time.
You might be wrong if you think that developing project managers is just about classroom training and lunch-and-learn sessions.
Personally, I find that my life is too short to create an effective program from scratch. As many project managers with leadership roles, I also have other responsibilities. I prefer to have everything on one plate and then work through the plan.
The authors do not offer easy answers. There is no single, universally applicable implementation plan. There are many ideas, case studies, and proposals. However, it is not suggested that the authors can do everything for you.
Only you can understand your team and the culture of your office. You will be the best person to analyze the data.