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On-the-job Learning Isn't Enough. Knowledge, Training and Experience are all Needed
My dryer broke and I performed the repair myself. I’m no repair expert, so my efforts took far too long and included the purchase and installation of one unneeded part (causing my repair costs to grow). This, too, is the result when a project manager is not adequately skilled or experienced to run a project: schedules can lengthen and costs increase. Are you truly prepared to manage your projects effectively? You have a better chance of responding in the affirmative if you are following a plan for developing your own project management competency and expertise.
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A Method of Developing Your Project Management Skills
Project managers are expected to have satisfactory project results through the use of proper project management tools & techniques, knowing how to best approach the job, and exercising good judgment in evaluating and responding to project situations. So how do you become a project manager who can fulfill those lofty expectations? Think of your professional development in Scrum terms – at the conclusion of each iteration you have a shippable product: you, with a set of improved project management capabilities. Here’s the cycle:
- Create your personalized, annotated Project Management Competency Framework. Confirm that Project Management really is your chosen career: How do you feel about being a project manager? Look at your company's definition of project management and the corresponding responsibilities - does this align with what you want to be doing? Review a Project Management Competency Framework and update the list of areas where you have development needs.
- Plan your next iteration of professional development. Using your annotated PM Competency Framework that shows your prioritized areas for professional development, create a viable short term plan to build up your expertise.
- Execute the sprint. Periodically evaluate your progress in following your plan. As well, find ways to share your newfound skills with others. Adjust your plan if it is not working well for you.
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Identifying Knowledge and Competencies for Project Managers
Project managers will concern themselves with their resume (when seeking employment), a job description (when determining what their job entails), and project management standards (when seeking or renewing professional certification). One other item deserves a place on this list: a framework that lists areas of knowledge and expertise in project management. This framework can be used by individual project managers in creating their plan for professional development and by organizations in establishing a detailed specification of knowledge, skill and performance expectations.