So you think you know how good you are?
Posted by APM on 16th Dec 2010
On the 1st of December some twenty nine members attended this event, kindly hosted by Casidian, Newport and presented by Richard Anstey.
Richard was one of the authors of the APM competence framework and chaired the competence framework working group for APM. The meeting therefore had first hand information, about the framework, why it is structured as it is and how it is being used in practice.
We started with a very workable definition for a competence:
The ability to do stuff, with its direct linkage to levels of proficiency associated with a range of competencies A, B, C, D.
Richard went onto describe why a broad spread of competencies, linkages with project complexity and their collation under the Behavioural, contextual and technical banners were adopted.
After taking us through the logical progression of the development of individual competence profiles (balancing competence against proficiency) it was clear that roles and individual posts could be readily defined (in part) in terms of a role based competence requirement profile. The importance of using the same terminology, standards, and compatibility with APM body of knowledge definitions, showed how the framework could be of used by individuals and employers to match job as well as providing a basis for planning training and skill development. The value of the competence framework to practitioners, line managers, employers and training providers is clear.
Richard brought out the practical difficulties of the objective / subjective assessments when considering the 47 competencies, (a subject area that proved to be fertile ground for our Q / A session) along with the need for each of us to balance knowledge and qualifications with experience when making assessments. A guiding question was, have you done it in a complex project environment?
We heard about the practical application of the framework within the Ministry of Defence and the flexible application of the framework to suit that organisation. Other organisations at the event echoed the approach and agreed that the approach was able to fit with the way companies work and the culture they have.
Other questions and contributions from the meeting explored the benefit of using a mentor / mediator when assessing competence levels, the sometimes unhelpful linkage of competence and grade and how to deal with that issue, the anticipated need to review the framework in light of the BOK review and how specialist roles (e.g. risk managers) could fit with the broader programme and project management assessment available through the use of the framework.
In summing up Richard emphasised that the competence framework is not intended for a cover to cover assessment, but more as a tool to be used over time by individuals and organisations to develop PPM professionalism.
The Branch thanks Richard for a thought provoking evening.
To download Richard's presentation - please see below.