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Prepared by: Bruce Robertson


Core Competencies: Cement for your PMO s Foundation Presented by: Bruce Robertson Casey Worthington, PMP Agenda Introduction Definition of Core Competencies How ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Prepared by: Bruce Robertson

Core Competencies Cement for your PMOs
Presented by Bruce Robertson Casey Worthington,
  • Introduction
  • Definition of Core Competencies
  • How Core Competencies fit into the PMO
  • Why Core Competencies are useful to the PMO
  • How you can develop your own Core Competencies
  • Q A

Project Managers are like the CEOs of small
enterprises. They must possess skills in a broad
range of areas, from finance and marketing to
customer relations. This view stands in marked
contrast to the traditional perspective, where
project managers were seen to be mere
implementers of other peoples solutions. In the
traditional view, project managers were not
expected to have insights outside of their narrow
technical area. (Tom Block, The Project Office)
Topic Introduction
  • Unlike Project Management as such, the PMO
    conducts regular, recurring day to day
    operations, such as
  • hiring, organizing training, evaluating staff
    performance, etc.
  • Many of these ongoing activities require specific
    tools, such as
  • interview forms, department training strategies,
    individual training objectives and plans,
    performance appraisal forms, etc.

Topic Introduction
  • Core Competencies (CCs) are a listing and
    definition of all the skills needed to be a
    proficient Project Manager
  • These competencies / skills are personal, not
    corporate, but need to be aligned with corporate
  • These Competencies form a framework with which to
    generate a number of highly useful tools needed
    for ongoing PMO operations and give substance to
    the PMOs foundation
  • The tools themselves are the pillars which
    support the goal of any PMO consistently
    successful projects

As organizations become more sophisticated in
carrying out their projects, their need for
expert knowledge on the intricacies of project
management grows. The need for specialized
knowledge applies to a wide array of activities,
including scheduling, budgeting, writing
proposals, assessing vendors, selecting projects,
managing risk, identifying needs and
requirements, managing change requirements,
coping with project politics, and building
authority. If an organization has made a major
commitment to conducting its affairs by means of
projects, it will require constant access to
project management expertise. (Tom Block, The
Project Office)
Core Competencies Overview
  • Skills
  • A listing of the various skills required to be a
    PM organized into logical categories
  • A definition of each individual skill
  • Levels
  • A listing of skill levels
  • A definition of the levels for each skill

Identifying the PM skill set
Core Competencies Defined
  • CCs can be divided into Hard and Soft skills
  • Hard
  • Eg. Scope definition, Budgeting, Procurement,
    Change control, Close-out, Estimating, ...
  • Soft
  • Eg. Leadership, Team building, Facilitation,
    Eagerness to learn, Diplomacy, Stress

ABT Sample
Core Competencies Defined
  • Hard Skills Project Definition Planning
    Process Develops an estimating plan Revalidates
    scope definition Designs the solution Develops
    estimating assumptions Estimates Creates the
    preliminary plan Controlling Processes Designs
    the control process Defines the success
    criteria Sets levels of control
  • Soft Skills Visible Leadership Flexibility Sound
    Business Judgement Trustworthiness Exhibits
    Several Communication Styles Acts as a Coach and
    Mentor Active Listening Skills Setting and
    Managing Expectations Constructive Project
    Negotiations Issue and Conflict
    Resolution Organizational and Leadership Skills

Core Competencies Defined
  • Different industries have different needs and
    expectations for PMs
  • Individual companies structure their PM practice
  • PMs can exist at various levels
  • e.g. Program Manager, Sr. PM, PM, Jr. PM,
  • Listings of PM skills can be very high level, or
    extremely detailed

Skill Definition
Core Competencies Defined
  • Defining the terms is important because words can
    mean different things to different people
  • It is equally important to define the meaning of
    each skill, as it applies to the PMs within your
    organization and industry
  • E.g. Soft - Leadership (at which level?)
  • Personal leadership or Leading a team or
  • E.g. Hard - Quality (TQM, Six Sigma, Kaizen, )
  • How do you define and measure quality ?

Levels of Skill
Core Competencies Defined
  • Step 1- Define a measurement range (rating
  • e.g. Range of 1-4 (broad based)
  • e.g. Range of 1-10 (more granular)
  • e.g. Categorical beginner-intermediate-expert
  • Step 2- Define the skill levels within the range

Sample - Range
Core Competencies Defined
  • Skill Level 1
  • Understands the basic concept, no practical
  • Skill Level 2
  • Limited practical experience, requires coaching
  • Skill Level 3
  • Competent, performs this function as part of
    their regular routine
  • Skill Level 4
  • Highly proficient, able to handle complex
    situations, mentor to others

Sample - Categorical
Core Competencies Defined
  • Not applicable
  • Not satisfactory
  • Satisfactory
  • Very Satisfactory
  • Extremely satisfactory
  • Not applicable
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Expert

Framework / Matrix
Core Competencies Defined
  • PM Core Competencies as a Framework
  • A conceptual model underpinning various essential
    PMO tools, and
  • A conceptual model outlining the totality of
    skills necessary to be a fully competent Project
  • PM Core Competencies as a Matrix
  • High level format for easy viewing and reference

PM Core Competency Matrix
Organization and Management Skills
Customer Management Skills
Leadership Skills
PM Methodology Skills
Personal Skills
Project Planning
Performance Management
Team building
Stress Management
Problem Determination Analysis
Manage Meetings
Managing Expectations
Diplomacy and political acumen
Creative Thinking
Change Control
Coaching Mentoring
Persuasion Influence
Industry Specific Knowledge
Conflict Management
Estimating Budgeting
Time Management
Consulting Skills
Quality Management
Decision Making
Corporate Values
Resource Management
Eagerness to Learn
Project Control
Risk Management
Procurement Management
Close out
GE Sample Matrix
Core Competencies Defined
PM Core Competency Matrix
PM Methodology Skills
Personal Skills
Leadership Skills
Organization and Management Skills
Customer Management Skills
PM Methodology Skills
Core Competencies Defined
  • Project Planning
  • Scheduling
  • Change Control
  • Estimating Budgeting
  • Quality Management
  • Resource Management
  • Project Control
  • Risk Control
  • Procurement Management
  • Close out

Organization Management Skills
Core Competencies Defined
  • Performance Management
  • Manage Meetings
  • Coaching Mentoring
  • Time Management
  • Decision Making
  • Negotiation
  • Facilitation
  • Communication

Personal Skills
Core Competencies Defined
  • Stress Management
  • Problem Determination Analysis
  • Creative Thinking
  • Industry Specific Knowledge
  • Corporate Values
  • Eagerness to Learn

Customer Management Skills
Core Competencies Defined
  • Networking
  • Professionalism
  • Diplomacy and Political Acumen
  • Consulting Skills

Leadership Skills
Core Competencies Defined
  • Team Building
  • Managing Expectations
  • Persuasion Influence
  • Conflict Management
  • Initiative
  • Vision

Fitting CCs into the PMO
  • PMO Operations
  • Fire / Hire
  • Training
  • Performance Management
  • Quality
  • Project selection and placement
  • Market Rates
  • Career Paths
  • Integration w/HR
  • Recognition
  • Qualifications
  • (The Pillars)

Successful projects (Roof)
Core Competencies (Cement for your Foundation)
Executive Commitment (Foundation)
Fitting into the PMO
Successful Projects
Core Competencies May Not Apply
Executive Support
Why are Core Competencies useful to the PMO ?
Core Competency uses
Why are Core Competencies useful to the PMO ?
  • CCs are key inputs to other tools and processes
  • Integration with HR practices
  • Hiring Interview questions to screen new hires,
    resume screening
  • Firing Performance management
  • Job descriptions
  • Compensation
  • Career path development
  • Recognition
  • Better interface between compensation plans and
    Corporate objectives
  • Qualifications
  • Training strategy / plans

Core Competencies uses
Why are Core Competencies useful to the PMO ?
  • Corporate Inputs
  • Go to market strategy
  • Qualifications
  • Rates in the marketplace
  • Internal / external marketing
  • Quality - performance criteria / measurement
  • Project selection and placement
  • Project Management Offerings
  • Coaching and Mentoring / Professional Support
  • Competency Analysis
  • Project Manager training
  • PM Consulting
  • PMO development

How can Core Competencies benefit your
organization ?
Why are Core Competencies useful to the PMO ?
  • Core Competencies are an important foundation for
    a PMO.
  • A strong PMO can result in the following
  • Improved bottom line
  • Improved customer focus
  • Market recognition
  • Improved professionalism of Project Managers
  • Better utilization of scarce resources
  • Standard, reusable PM methodologies and tools

Developing Core Competencies in your organization
  • Should be treated as a regular project
  • Concept
  • Development
  • Execution
  • Close-Out

The Concept Phase
Developing CCs in your organization
  • Seek initial management approval
  • Approaches
  • Commission as an internal / external project
  • Volunteerism
  • Outsource
  • Develop a project charter
  • Obtain Budget
  • Recruit core project team

The Development Phase
Developing CCs in your organization
  • Research PM materials
  • PMI
  • Internet
  • Library
  • Align with Corporate / strategic direction
  • Create WBS and Schedule
  • Assign Roles and Responsibilities
  • Create Risk and Communication plans

The Execution Phase
Developing CCs in your organization
  • Develop skills list
  • Create definitions
  • Categorize
  • Hard vs. Soft
  • Methodology vs. Leadership
  • Create skill levels range system/matrix
  • Define each skill level

The Close Out Phase
Developing CCs in your organization
  • Formal project signoff
  • Ensure Competencies are used as a regular part of
    the PMO operation
  • Investigate alternative uses
  • Inputs to other processes

Questions ?
Presented on behalf of
By Bruce Robertson and Casey Worthington, PMP
  • Thank You !