2016-09-30 Survey regarding PM competencies relation to PM methodologies

Project Manager competencies and their relation to traditional and agile project management methodologies.

Survey.FlickrAs part of the Purdue University Master’s Degree Program, a research survey is being conducted to determine if relationships exist between project manager competencies and project management methodologies. If a relationship exists, better training and support can be provided for project managers who are utilizing a specific methodology to increase their effectiveness.

A follow-up article with the survey results will be posted after the survey has concluded. The survey closes September 30, 2016.

(link to survey removed)

The author, in researching the topic of project manager competencies and project management methodologies, found that although there is much research on both topics, there was no found research on how the two topics correlate to each other. If there are project manager competencies found that vary based on what project management methodologies are in use by the PM or the organization, then that information can be used to better target training opportunities. The information could also be used by organizations to better select potential new hires depending on what methodologies the organizations are utilizing.

The aim of the research being conducted is to determine if there are differences in project manager competencies based on the primary project management methodology used. The survey itself should take no longer that 15 minutes to complete and can be accessed on line from the link below. All individual answers will remain confidential and only summaries of combined survey results will be published.

At the end of the survey, you will be given the opportunity to opt-in to a limited number of one-on-one phone interviews to gain further insight into your responses. This section, like the survey itself, is completely voluntary and is not required to complete the survey. If selected, the phone interview is anticipated to take no longer than 20 minutes.

About the Author:

KeithMcDermottMy name is Keith McDermott and I am a Messaging Systems Administrator with Purdue University in Indiana. I am also working towards my master’s degree in Computer and Information Technology, with a focus on IT Project Management, from Purdue University.

While my career goals have shifted since I began my degree, I can see how the skills I have already learned have made me into a better and stronger project team member. I have learned a great deal about the project management profession and have a strong respect for those who help guide projects of all sizes to a successful completion.

As a Systems Administrator, I enjoy the ability to focus on the bigger picture of how my systems and services fit into the overall IT goals of the University. In working with project managers in my area, I enjoy their guidance and leadership and work with them to ensure the best possible outcome for our common goals.

The Results Are In! - The Impact of Two Way Risk Communications on Project Success

The Impact of Two Way Risk Communications on Project Success

In spring of 2015, members of PMI Honolulu Hawaii participated in a research study exploring the relationship between the use of two way risk communications and project success rates, which was inspired by successes seen in the aviation industry. After collecting feedback from PMI members across the globe the research has now been concluded, and there are a number of things to learn!

In 2014 the global aviation accident rate was the lowest in the industry’s history, thanks in part to the implementation of active risk management systems known as Safety Management Systems (SMS). Such systems are structured using two way communication methods such as safety and risk awareness, training, and reporting that is incorporated throughout the organization and in all operational areas. The aim of the conducted research was to investigate the relationship between communication methods in project risk management and rates of project success in order to identify whether two-way communication methods for risk management have the potential to improve the rate of project failure.

Using a survey strategy to collect primary data, 304 members from 59 PMI Chapters completed a questionnaire detailing the rate of use for specific two way communication methods (structured risk identification; mandatory reporting; voluntary reporting; awareness training; duty specific training) and achievement of project budget, schedule and requirement success. Subsequent quantitative and qualitative analyses revealed the following highlights:

  • Despite a high rate of project manager certification, 37% of project managers use no formal project risk management methods;
  • Of those projects that used formal project risk management, nearly a third did not use structured risk identification activities;
  • A correlation was identified between the use of structured risk identification methods and achieving requirement success;
  • A correlation was identified between the inclusion of Project Owner/Sponsors in risk identification activities and the achievement of requirement success.

For PMI professionals, these results reveal some interesting food for thought as well as practical recommendations for implementation. Firstly, there is the indication that a large number of certified project managers do not follow the published methodologies for which they have been certified. These are concerning statistics, ones which should drive further research into how the guidance can evolve to better serve practitioners. Secondly, the study indicates that there are some positive correlations between two way risk communications and the use of specific methods and personnel, which lead to the presentation of the following recommendations:

  1. That project management practitioners ensure risk identification activities are employed on all projects. To ensure consistency in implementation, it is recommended that specific procedures for risk identification are developed, either organisation wide or individually by each practitioner as appropriate, that define:
    • When risk identification activities are conducted during each phase of the project;
    • Required personnel involvement;
    • The format of risk identification activities, giving consideration to the use of methods appropriate to each project phase (i.e. brainstorming during project initiation, status reports during project implementation etc.);
    • Specific action items for addressing the identified risks.
  2. That project management practitioners review the participation of Project Owner/Sponsors in project risk management processes. Such a review should:
    • Assess the current level of Project Owner/Sponsor involvement in risk identification activities;
    • Identify potential additional opportunities for participation;
    • Evaluate the feasibility of extending participation of Project Owner/Sponsor; and
    • Where appropriate, include Project Owner/Sponsor(s) as required personnel in project risk identification procedures.

While these detailed recommendations are intended to provide benefit in any project management setting, it is important to remember that as risks evolve and the capabilities of project management practitioners develop to navigate ever changing risk landscapes, valuable solutions don’t always come from expected sources. The SMS model is only one such example, which ultimately may or may not prove to be the right fit for implementation in project management. The project management industry is encouraged to keep an open mind and continuously look beyond its borders as it strives for improvement: digging up success stories of other industries and finding new viewpoints, ideas and methodologies to explore.

Author's Biography 

Amy PannettMy name is Amy Pannett, and I am the Director Standards and Quality Systems for GHS Aviation Auditing LLC, as well as a management student with the University of Wales through Resource Development International (RDI).

When I started my working career backstage at a theatre company, I hadn’t yet realized that it was the problem solving under pressure that attracted me to the job. When I figured out that I could do the same thing on a bigger scale and get paid more to do it, there was no holding me back!

As the Director Standards and Quality Systems I have dedicated many hours working with a diverse team of folks to achieve significant quality performance improvements for GHS Aviation Auditing LLC. Thanks to us, GHS is now ranked as the number one performing organization in its field. In return for these results GHS has been a supportive advocate of my goal to earn an MBA.

And what do you call completing an MBA while still playing the roles of director, wife and mother? Just another problem to be solved! I have enjoyed my time studying with University of Wales, and am looking forward to continuing my problem solving journey with a well-stocked tool kit under my arm.