Project Manager Development

We view project manager development from two perspectives:

  1. Organizational view
  2. Personal view

(1) Organizational View

In project-oriented organizations we need to further develop project managers mainly for two reasons:

  • We hire talents, but in most cases their skill sets do not yet fully match the needs of the organization.
  • We want to retain talented project managers. Therefore, the organization offers project managers sustainable career development.
How should we structure the project manager development?

We assume that we have a well defined project prioritization in place.

Project Prioritization Model

This project prioritization model corresponds to a project management career model, the first key element of the development of project managers. The career model contains job descriptions and a system of different salaries, benefits and incentives. It supports learning by doing with a certain tolerance for mistakes.

Project Management Career Model

Since natural learning by doing is not yet enough the career model, in turn, corresponds to a project management curriculum, as second key element of the development of project managers.

Project Management Curriculum

Ideally, a project management curriculum reflects the basics of learning in organizations:Guided by the different levels of learning, it contains a "healthy mixture" of stand-alone seminars and training programs with a classical teaching approach and others which offer interval training.

Ultimate criterion of training effectiveness is successful learning transfer in terms of sustainable behavioral change. Therefore, we need to complete the curriculum by mentoring and coaching.

(2) Personal View

As an individual, I want to work in an environment where I find enough room to

  • Unfold my talents,
  • Further develop my skill sets and enhance my employability,
  • And, where I receive fair appraisal and appropriate recognition of my work.

If I pursue the career path of a project manager I prefer to work for an organization that supports my own development as project manager, i.e. where

  • I can manage increasingly challenging projects,
  • I get support for my own learning by doing, get access to an attractive project management curriculum, mentoring by experienced colleagues, or independent coaching,
  • I find an open project management career model including a fair salary, benefits and incentive system.

Such an organization would pretty much look like the one we portrayed by the three graphics above. I would certainly seek employment in a company offering project manager development that provides a structured project management curriculum which fits to the project management career model and that fits in turn to the project prioritization model.

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