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Developing the Competent Project Manager: a Sunday workshop at the 2014 Gartner PPM Summit

by Donna Fitzgerald  |  May 28, 2014  |  Comments Off on Developing the Competent Project Manager: a Sunday workshop at the 2014 Gartner PPM Summit

A common issue for many project management offices (PMOs) is managing the current skill levels of their project and program managers. In general, PMOs consider a small number of their project and program managers as “superstars,” and a larger number of them as being barely able to get by. Knowledge-based certifications are effective as a way to establish a shared language about project and program management, but as a proxy for predicting performance they come up short.

On Sunday, at one of the kick-off sessions for our 2014 US PPM Summit (being held at National Harbor, MD) William Duncan and I will be doing a workshop on Performance based competencies for PPM.

If you are tempted to ask why you should care, my answer is because, performance based competencies, as opposed to behavioral based competencies help you get better project results, develop better project managers and most importantly it’s a fair and equitable approach.

If you aren’t familiar with the difference between a behavior-based competency and a performance-based competency; a behavior-based competency will say that an individual “works well with stakeholders” or “anticipates, identifies and diagnoses problems.” A performance-based competency will ask for evidence of effective performance. For example, let’s consider the competency, “ensure that stakeholder interests are identified and addressed.” This requires that both the project manager and the PMO or staff manager actually identify how the criterion was met (meetings, documents, phone calls and so on), why the method for meeting the criterion was chosen, and the efficacy of the final results (this is intended to avoid the phenomenon known as “going through the motions”).

In the workshop we’ll be exploring how you can easily use a performance competency approach with your own team, to improve performance based on the use of the open source standard prepared by the Global Alliance for Project Performance Standards (GAPPS). We’ll do an actual “mini” performance assessment and then strategize how you can, if you chose, use this to not only level your PMs in order to better match them to the complexity of the projects that need to be managed, but offer them a clear map of what areas they need to improve to be more successful

For those of you who won’t be able to join us for workshop please check out  For clients who might not be able to attend the workshop, please set up an inquiry.  We promise that this is an approach you do with your people and not to them (fully compliant with David Rock’s SCARF model) and it really does improve results.

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Donna Fitzgerald
Research Vice President
5 years at Gartner
31 years IT industry

Donna Fitzgerald focuses her research on strategies and approaches for using program and portfolio management as a way to create unique business value. Read Full Bio

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