Few are untouched by the efficiency drives and budget cuts sweeping across the public and private sector. It is a constant presence whenever I talk to project management communities all over the country.
When I address these communities of existing or prospective corporate members, one of the most frequently asked questions is “what do I get for my membership”?
Questioners typically expect me to deliver a list of tangible membership benefits that can be measured in terms of value for money. Of course there are many benefits of being a member over a non-member, but this doesn’t reveal the complete story?
There is often a discernable silence from the audience when I tell them they should not participate with the professional body if they were to join solely for the tangible benefits.
Why, then, should they join?
The answer lies in the intangibles of professionalism by way of alignment to a recognised standard of knowledge and skills required to be a project professional.
Professionalism as a concept can be a little ambiguous. When ‘being a professional’ is put into the context of recognition, status and remuneration, it becomes very relevant to individuals. It is also relevant when put to major public and private sector employers in terms of their need for improved project delivery and efficiency.
I also tell my audiences that participation with the APM is not only about what they get from APM membership personally, but also about their responsibility to put something back into this increasingly important profession.
Being a not for profit charity, the volunteers who run the APM branches, Specific Interest Groups, participate on our advisory groups and represent the profession as APM Trustees are vital to the on-going public benefit requirements of the profession and the APM.
So when considering the benefits of project management it is always important to look at the likely return your investment in a membership subscription, but it is equally important to look a little deeper.