What is a PMO? A Project Management Office, or Program Management Office, is a formal or informal group that accepts responsibility for one or more Program/Project governance, support and/or mentoring functions, with the explicit purpose (in the best cases) of improving PM Performance.
What brings this topic to our blog at this time is IPMA-USA’s sponsorship and support for the PMO Symposium 2009, held November 8-10 in Atlanta, GA. Presented by the PMI® PMO SIG (Program Management Office Specific Interest Group), this event was one of your best opportunities this year to tap into the burgeoning world of effective PMOs. See: PMO Symposium site.Continue reading →
IPMA-USA’s Competence Enabler program has been a key part of our society since our founding. We originally called it the Most Valued Provider program, and then Donna Fitzgerald, as part of her term as Education Director, coined the more-likeable Competence Enabler name.
Its purpose is several-fold:
Develop a PM Vendor group that understands how to Demonstrate the Competence Difference, and in turn, helps match participants with PM practitioners who wish to explore and develop that difference.
Identify those rare PM Vendors that have the competence, capacity and desire to actually improve PM Performance, not only in basic knowledge acquisition, but in competence and performance development.
Establish a support system for PM Vendors that assess and help improve individual and organizational PM Competence Development, based on IPMA-USA’s and IPMA’s competence standards.
If we are to be successful as Change Agents, we need to understand Change. That understanding ranges from the dynamics of Change, to the disciplines involved, even to the terminology around Change. This posting deals with some of the terminology around Program or Project Change.
For example, many years ago, when I wrote my first IT PM methodology, I called the processes around requesting, evaluating, approving and implementing needed project changes Change Management. In that era (pre-1985), it was more popular to call those actions Change Control.
My rationale was that we cannot control Change; in fact, we are foolish to attempt to do so. But we could manage the process, and manage the impact of the change on the product. Thus, Change Management. There was one obvious concern: If PM was the discipline of Managing Change (as I espoused from the early 80s), then Change Management in Managing Change was a bit too recursive.Continue reading →
IPMA-USA and IPMA were well-represented at the 3rd Annual University of Texas at Dallas PM Symposium August 13-14. With the theme Managing in a Changing World, and sponsored by the UT Dallas, the Dallas Chapter of PMI®, and by PM World Journal, this was the most interesting US conference we have participated in this year. We presented twice, and IPMA Secretary General Veikko Välilä also presented twice. One of our presentations was in a PM Career Management track, and the other was with Veikko in a Panel discussion about The Future of PM.
In the PM Career Management track, our paper, Essential Insights in Meeting the Rising Demand for PM Performance, was embraced by the audience. They resonated with the theme of moving beyond PM knowledge, to actions needed to increase skills, improve behavioral attributes, increase PM competence and ultimately, PM Performance. A now-familiar theme to most of our IPMA-USA members and friends, this was new perspective for some in this audience, and as a credit to their experience, they were excited by the prospects. Continue reading →
Some people don’t know what we mean when we say at IPMA-USA, “Discover the Competence Difference.” And yet, would you want incompetent performance (or more politely, “not yet competent) in your organization, your government, or even in your yard service (for those who can still afford it)?
So while most people clearly understand incompetence, too many still fail to understand the competence difference when it comes to Project Management. From one of our presentations, and repeated in a June article, Closing the Gap, the Competence Difference is clear from the following scenarios:
Would you fly as a passenger in a plane piloted by two “Air Academy” graduates who passed their final exam, but have never taken off or landed a plane (not even in a simulator)?
Would you consider “going under the knife” for brain surgery by a Surgeon who has attended all the classes, read all the books, passed the exams, but has never wielded a scalpel?
Would you allow a Lawyer to represent you in a criminal case, who, while having passed the bar exam, has never practiced before a jury?
In the World of Project Management, any discussion about PM Societies must consider what we call The Other Organization (the elephant in the room). Many IPMA-USA members are also members of the other organzation. In fact, a handful of our members can take credit for helping make it the success it is today.
If it is a great, successful organization, why does the USA need IPMA-USA? We are often asked that when we staff booths at major Conferences. There are several answers. First, any discipline that is dominated by just one strong provider is a discipline that is in decline. Part of the reason we started IPMA-USA was to increase the rate of advancements in Program and Project Management that slowed during the 1990’s.
Second, we saw the need for Advanced PM certifications, that actually assess and certify Project and Program Performance. This initiative has taken our volunteers three years to deliver. The good news, by the end of 2009, the entire suite of Advanced, Performance-Competence-based certifications of Project Manager, Senior Project Manager and Program Manager will be available. There are more reasons why the USA needed IPMA-USA. But they will be the subject for some later posting.Continue reading →