Learning for project management in a higher education curriculum

 

Abstract

Several higher education curricula view project management as one of the competences they need to incorporate, but literature does not provide a set of evidence-based competences for curriculum design. In this paper, a set of research-based competences is constructed for project management that could be incorporated into higher education curricula. Based on research performed in the past decade on important project management competences, a top ten of competences is constructed that accounts for more than 75% of the competences that recent research has shown to be important. Being rather abstract in description, the top ten is elaborated on in further detail, using standards and other research, in order to make them more useful for a curriculum designer. The detailing also provides useful hints for curriculum design. Future research should be done with regard to (industry-specific design for) project management courses and in assessing students.

Introduction

Several studies have provided a link between the competences of the project manager and realising project success (Müller & Turner, 2007; Alam, 2008; Crawford, 2004), which makes acquiring project management skills of key importance. There is a continuing debate going on about whether or not project management is a profession (Todhunter, 2009; Giammalvo, 2007). Regardless of this debate, higher education for several professions, such as Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Engineering, and Construction teach their students project management for various reasons (McDonald, 2001; Rennie, 2002; Nooriafsha, 2004; Reif, 2005; Divjak, 2008; Mengel, 2008; Lebcir, 2008; Stoyan, 2008; Van Rooij, 2009; Car, 2010; Fernandez, 2010). Crawford, Morris, Thomas, and Winter (2006) state: ‘Project management is offered as a significant component in a range of undergraduate and postgraduate academic qualifications, including construction, engineering and IT,’ which is in line with the desire to make the higher education studies more relevant to the reality of the workplace (Pant & Baroudi, 2008). Martin (2000) claims that project management is an important element of management as well as engineering education. But incorporating project management is not easy, as Ellis (2003) notes: ‘Project management is a challenging subject to deliver, not least because of the wide variety of skills and knowledge it embraces.’

Research has proved that the knowledge of project management alone is not enough for project management success (Crawford, 2004). Professional bodies of project management, such as Project Management Institute (PMI) and the International Project Management Association (IPMA), have provided bodies of knowledge for project management and certification systems for project managers. Morris, Crawford, Hodgson, Shepard, and Thomas (2006) concluded that there is no proof that certification leads to better project results and that more research is needed to determine what is required to learn project management. In a more recent study, Turner and Müller (2009) found that certification does have a positive effect on project success but only on highly complex projects, which are not the kinds of projects recently graduated students are likely to lead.

Several researchers have used project management bodies of knowledge, such as A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) (PMI, 2008) as a basis for project management in their curricula (Van Rooij, 2009; Car, 2010), although it is too extensive to be incorporated completely (Conrad & Howitt, 2006). Alam (2008) suggests that ‘experience cannot be taught’ and questions the bodies of knowledge as a serious provider of learning outcomes. Crawford, Morris, Thomas, and Winter (2006) add: ‘Project management practitioner development is…primarily focused on the (explicit) knowledge required, as generally defined in the profession's bodies of knowledge. The focus is on short-term vocational training and increasingly on demonstrated workplace experience rather than on education.’ Michel and Prévôt (2009) note that more emphasis should be placed on soft skills. For developers of curricula in higher education, no clear answer has been given to the following question: Which evidence-based competences should be incorporated in curricula in higher education that prepare students for project management?

In this paper, a broad interpretation of competence is used: it can be knowledge, skill and experience, personality trait, attitude or behavior, or a combination of those (Crawford, 2000). We construct a set of competences for learning project management, based on a systematic review of research in the last decade on project management competences. Important work on project management competences was done before 2000, but the definition of project success is gradually changing (Jugdev, 2005) and this has an impact on competences (Crawford, 2000).

Researched Competences

For this article, studies have been used, which have researched competences and presented a list of important competences for project management. Only studies that used a holistic view of project management and used a survey among professionals were incorporated. An important selection criterion was if the study allowed a differentiation in importance between the competences. After a thorough search of the literature, a total of nine different researchers are incorporated into the construct of competences needed to incorporate into a curriculum.

If a study offered more than one list prioritizing competences, the most discriminating list of the incorporated research was used (Golob, 2002; Bauer, 2005; Rodriguez, 2005; McHenry, 2008). Krahn (2005) used two different ways to gather a list of important competencies. Because the results of these two lists only agree on about half of the competences, both ways are incorporated. This makes a total of ten lists of important competences and Table 1 provides an overview.

Researcher List name Criterion
Krahn, 2005 Results of phase 1 Cited >60% as important competence
Krahn, 2005 Results of phase 3 Cited>10% as important competence
Arras People, 2010 Top competences Top half results (7% and more)
Crawford, 2005 Being perceived a top performer Odds >5%
Everts, 2008 Important competences Importance rating ≥ 4.2
Golob, 2002 Competences for hiring Score ≥ 4.0
Bauer, 2005 Aggregated scores Score ≥ 4.0
Rodriguez, 2005 Description of position Score ≥ 4.0
McHenry, 2008 Competences for hiring Score ≥ 4.0
Valencia, 2007 Summary Reported positive contributions

Table 1 – Incorporated research, specifications of the list used, and the cut-off criteria for incorporating competences in the construct.

It is important to note that most of these lists were constructed by using surveys in which respondents could ‘tick’ the competences of their choice. There is no such thing as a uniformed list of project competences. This explains why the researchers did not work from a unified list, but constructed their own. Considering the possibility of incorporating the competences into a curriculum, this could lead to confusion. In most lists, the term leadership is used, but one uses project leadership (Golob, 2002) and Bauer (2005) uses leading. Arras People (2010) and McHenry (2008) use communication skills, whereas Bauer (2005) uses communicating and Everts (2008) uses communication. It is highly likely that they refer to the same competence, so in constructing a list based on the reported important competences, these are combined, which results in the list shown in Appendix A, with a total of 79 competences reported important, with notes on the changed descriptions.

In the constructed list, only ‘leadership’ is named seven times and only five named three times or more: ‘leadership,’ ‘communication skills,’ ‘planning,’ ‘listening,’ and ‘technical skills (industry).’ Fifteen competences are named twice and 29 are named once, which makes a total of 49 different competences out of a total of 79 reported. If the combination of terms as state above was not used, the list would span 53 competence descriptions with only four named three times or more (communication skills would drop to two mentions). One would expect a more congruent picture, because all are deemed important.

Condensing

This research is aimed at ‘project management competences to incorporate into higher education curricula.’ For this purpose, 49 competences are too much, as Conrad and Howitt (2006) note: ‘there are only so many credit hours in a typical Bachelor's of Science curriculum.’ The top five account for a total of twenty occurrences, or 25%. Only using the top five as the competences would mean losing a vast majority of the research results. Incorporating twenty into a curriculum (all competences named more than once) would be a tall order as well.

In order to decrease the number of competences and at the same time increase the number of incorporated mentioned competences, two steps were taken. First, a few competences are (slightly) overlapping or use slightly different names for what could be considered the same (e.g., the competence ‘planning and organizing’ versus the two competences ‘planning’ and ‘organizing’ and ‘trustworthiness’ versus ‘integrity’). Overlapping competences were merged.

As stated before, in the majority of the research, respondents were not given more introduction than a list of competences to grade, thus allowing room for interpretation. So, second, a few of the remaining competences could be interpreted as the same (like ‘influencing’ being a ‘people skill’) and these were merged as well. This interpretation was based on the common literature and views on competences, such as people skills, risk management, and so forth.

Eliminating overlap and incorporating into broader competences were used to build a construct containing 22 competences, of which ten score four citations or more (see Appendix B for the condensed list and Appendix C for the moved/incorporated competences). The total dropped slightly to 75, because four competences were incorporated into an already mentioned competency.

The top ten of synthesized competences accounts for 52 of the originally 75 mentioned competences: a majority of more than two thirds (69%) of all researched competences. The original top ten scored 38%; to reach 69% in the original list, 25 competences would be needed. This implies that the synthesizing process generated not only a significantly shorter list of competences, but also a much better representation of all the reported competences.

The ten competences to incorporate into a higher education curriculum for learning project management are:

  1. Communication skills
  2. Leadership
  3. Planning
  4. People skills
  5. Risk management/conflict resolution/problem solving
  6. Negotiating
  7. Decision-making skills
  8. Team builder
  9. Technical skills (industry)
  10. Project management methods and tools

Of these top ten, five of them are noteworthy, because of learning ability or otherwise. First, although one can learn the principles of leadership and follow training courses on the specific aspects of leadership, this won't turn a person into a (natural or born) leader (Mintzberg, 2010). Experience and training can awaken dormant leadership at best. Parallel to that is the second noteworthy competence: team builder. One can learn everything about team building and experience working in different teams, but that does not guarantee that one will become a team builder. Third: In order to become competent in risk management/conflict resolution/problem solving, one needs considerable experience. Fourth: Decision-making skills (adaptive, decisive, balance priorities) require experience and are mostly personal (Kirton, 1976). The fifth and last competence, which is noteworthy are technical skills (industry). It is without doubt that the skills of the industry can be incorporated (and will be) incorporated into the curriculum, but this paper focuses on the specific project management competences.

One could note that this top ten is so abstract that it greatly coincides with, for example, social competences or research competences, as noted by the presentation of this top ten list at the Eapril Conference 2011 (www.eapril.org). However, the top ten does help when one wants to design a curriculum that (also) incorporates project management, but the skills in the list are of a very abstract nature; before incorporating them into a curriculum, they need to be detailed, bearing in mind the aforementioned notes on four of them.

Detailing

Appendix D lists the incorporated items of each competence in the top ten. Using standards such as PMI's PMBOK® Guide (PMI, 2008) and the IPMA Competence Baseline 3 (ICB3, IPMA, 2006) and research by Turner and Müller (2006, 2007, 2009), Fisher (2011), Guillame, Didier, and Mathieu (2011), Kirton (1976), and Besner and Hobbs (2008, 2008), the relative abstract competences are detailed below, except for the competence ‘technical skills (industry).’

Detailing 1: Communication skills

The Competence Development Framework of PMI mentions Communication as a competence (effective communication), but does not elaborate on it (PMI, 2007). The IPMA Competence Baseline Version 3 (ICB3) (IPMA, 2006) uses the following definition for communication (1.18): “Communication covers the effective exchange and understanding of information between parties. Effective communication is vital to the success of projects, programmes and portfolios; the right information has to be transmitted to relevant parties, accurately and consistently to meet their expectations. Communication should be useful, clear and timely.

Communication may take on many forms—oral, written, text or graphic, static or dynamic, formal or informal, volunteered or requested—and may use a variety of media such as paper or electronic means. Communication may take place in conversations, meetings, workshops and conferences, or by exchanging reports or meeting minutes.”

The ICB3 (IPMA, 2006) supplies a list of topics addressed:

Appropriate communication

Body language

Communication plan

Formal and informal communications

Listening

Meetings

Presentations

Security and confidentiality

Verbal communication

Written communication

The question arises about where to start and which competences should be addressed first in the rather big competence ‘Communication.’ It will be hard to find any book about project management that does not incorporate the making of a communication plan at the start of a project. But students without project experience will have no experience as to what should (really) be addressed in this communication plan. Written communication will be of significant importance: the project plan, problem, scope, and deliverables will all be written down. The written communication will be a product from or a basis for verbal communication in a meeting or bilateral setting (negotiating with the sponsor, presenting mid-term results, discussion with team members, etc.), in which listening will be important. In view of this, it is strange that ‘asking questions,’ ‘interviewing skills,’ and ‘business conversation’ are not mentioned because they are important to this process.

Proposed detailing of communication:

Business conversation (listening, questioning, presenting, arguing, reasoning)

Business writing (project plan, prospects, reporting, minutes of meeting)

Business meetings (preparing, chairing, attending, minutes, arguing, reasoning, conflicts)

Presenting (preparing, structure)

Communication and culture (among others: communication style, choosing appropriate ways to communicate, informal and formal communication)

Communication plan

Detailing 2: Leadership

Turner and Müller (2006, 2007, 2009) did extensive research on leadership competency profiles. They used the Dulewicz and Higgs competences and found that “Top performing projects scored significantly higher than low performing projects in all leadership competencies, except intuitiveness, which was insignificantly different.”

In their book (2006), they present all kinds of cross-sectional views on which competences are considered to be more or less relevant to different project categories, like engineering projects versus IT projects or organizational change projects. Of interest here are the categories ‘low complexity projects’ and ‘medium complexity projects’ (p. 66), because most graduates will not be leading projects with high complexity immediately after graduation.

Both types of projects require their own sets of leadership aspects (see Appendix E for an overview), with some of them overlapping. Some of the leadership aspects are to be incorporated in another top ten competence list. The ICB3 (IPMA, 2006) provides a slightly different list of topics within leadership than the results of Turner and Müller (see Appendix E).

Proposed detailing of leadership:

Critical thinking

Managing resources

Achieving

Influence

Conscientiousness

Leadership styles

Feedback

Motivation

Delegation

Detailing 3: Planning

The ICB3 doesn't have a specific competence that could be interpreted as ‘planning.’ The fourth edition of the PMBOK® Guide (PMI, 2008) elaborates on planning. The Process Group, Planning (Chapter 3.4) incorporates Scope, Time, Cost, Purchasing, Quality, Personnel, Communication, and Risk. The Planning Process Group is the integration of these activities in developing the project management plan.

Developing the project management plan as an output requires students to analyze the problem, the desired outcomes, and the possible route to the end of the project, including risks, resources, and so forth. This is an iterative process, which ‘ends’ with the project management plan. In most projects, this process will also be a recurring process, in which the whole of the project will be divided into separate stages with their own plan.

Most student projects, even when performed for the real world, will not incorporate real costs, purchasing or the deployment of personnel other than the student project group itself. There are other possibilities, such as those described by Erik Larson and John A. Drexler, Jr. (2010); in their article, they present a fundraising project in which cost, risk management, evaluating, and iteration of the plan are realistic and necessary activities.

The proposed detailing of planning is:
Develop, execute, and evaluate a project (management) plan in which as many of the activities of Scope, Time, Cost, Purchasing, Quality, Personnel, Communication, and Risk are realistic challenges.

Detailing 4: People skills

Eddie Fisher (2011) did research into which people skills are identified as being the important; he presents the following eight skills and associated behaviors: Managing emotions, Building trust, Effective communication, Motivating others, Influencing others, Cultural awareness, Leading others, and Team building.

Most of these skills are already incorporated into ‘communication skills’ and ‘leadership’ or will be incorporated into the competence ‘team building.’

The proposed detailing of people skills is:

Managing Emotions

Building Trust

Cultural Awareness

With the possible additions of influencing and motivating in case leadership is not incorporated in the curriculum.

Detailing 5: Risk management

In the introduction of risk and opportunity management, the ICB3 states (IPMA, 2006, 1.04): “Risk and opportunity management is an ongoing process taking place during all phases of the project life cycle, from initial idea to project close-out. At project close-out, the lessons learnt in risk and opportunity management throughout the project are an important contribution to the success of future projects.”

This underlines, to some extent, that risk management is something that is learned by experience. In order to know which problems are likely to arise in a project, textbook experience is not enough.

In problem resolution (ICB3, 1.08), the introduction states, “Most of the work in the project life-cycle deals with the definition of work tasks and problem resolution. Most of the problems that arise are likely to involve the time-frame, cost, risks or deliverables of the project or an interaction between all four factors,” underlying the need to solve problems and/or conflicts in the risk management process

In the PMBOK® Guide (PMI, 2009, 3.6.9), the risk management process is described as “the process of implementing risk response plans, tracking identified risks, monitoring residual risks and evaluating risk process effectiveness throughout the project.” Inputs for this process are: risk register, project management plan, work performance information, and performance reports. The outputs of this process are: risk register updates, organizational process assets updates, change requests, project management plan updates and project document updates. It is important to note that the PMBOK® Guide considers the planning process to incorporate the risk identification (see planning).

Learning (something about) risk management in practice requires a learning environment that creates opportunity to respond to risks, which underlines the proposal at the planning competences for richness of the learning environment.

Proposed detailing for risk management:

Demonstrated practical implementation of risk management, which requires knowledge of risk identifying methods and knowledge of risk management process (this is incorporated at the planning competence).

Detailing 6: Negotiating

The PMBOK® Guide gives the following definition for Negotiating (PMI, 2009, G8): “Negotiation is a strategy of conferring with parties of shared or opposed interests with a view to compromise or reach an agreement. Negotiation is an integral part of project management and done well, increases the probability of project success.”

The ICB3 (IPMA, 2006, 2.11) adds: ‘Project negotiations should be conducted with due regard to each party's interests and positions. A win-win situation is the desirable result, conducted in an open manner. However, it should be recognized that some negotiations are very political and/or commercial and that compromises often have to be reached, which may not leave all parties totally satisfied.’

As most project managers give a lack of management support as the main reason for project failure (among others: Arras People, 2010), one of the most prominent parties to negotiate with will be the management and/or sponsor of the project manager. This is one of the reasons that the determination of project goals and deliverables is incorporated into this competence. It is likely the first process in which students will need to be negotiating.

Proposed details of negotiating:

The application of (basic) negotiating techniques in (at least) resolving the differences between desired project goals and deliverables and realistic project goals and deliverables.

Detailing 7: Decision-making skills

The PMBOK® Guide (PMI, 2009, G6) comments on decision-making: “There are four basic decision styles normally used by project managers: command, consultation, consensus, and coin flip (random). There are four major factors that affect the decision style: time constraints, trust, quality, and acceptance. Project managers may make decisions individually, or they may involve the project team in the decision-making process.”

Valencia (2007) used the Kirton scale (1976) to find that ‘decision-making skill with moderate levels of an adaptive decision-making style’ has a positive effect on obtaining project success.

There are several articles that try to support the decision-making skill with tools (e.g., Guillaume, 2011). This suggests that most decisions could be improved with tooling, disfavoring the random option of the PMBOK® Guide as a realistic one and favoring the consultation and maybe the consensus.

For practicing decision-making skills, the learning environment should provide projects with ample room for decisions, which coincides with the conclusion for planning.

Proposed detailing of decision-making skills:

Basic application of decision-making skills

Detailing 8: Team builder

The ICB3 (IPMA, 2006, 1.07) concludes: ‘The project manager needs to continually develop the team and its members, from an initial phase of team building, to team working throughout the life of the project, to the conclusion of the project, when team members are released to return to their organizational units for re-assignment. During their time working on the project, the performance of team members should be regularly reviewed by the project manager in consultation with the line manager, and development, coaching and training needs assessed and appropriate action taken. Where the performance of a team member is below the required standard, remedial action may be necessary.’

The PMBOK® Guide (PMI, 2009, 9.3) adds ‘Teamwork is a critical factor for project success, and developing effective project teams is one of the primary responsibilities of the project manager…. Project managers should continually motivate their teams by providing challenges and opportunities, by providing timely feedback and support as needed, and by recognizing and rewarding good performance.’ The PMBOK® Guide suggests that there are five stages teams can go through: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. The norming stage is described as ‘…team members begin to work together and adjust work habits and behaviors that support the team. The team begins to trust each other.’

Proposed detailing of the team builder:

Managing team forming

Giving feedback to individual project members about performance (a detailing of feedback of leadership)

Leading team performance reviews

Ability to get a team to the norming stage

Detailing 9: Technical skills (industry)

This competence will not be detailed in this paper.

Detailing 10: Project management methods and tools

Both the PMBOK® Guide (PMI, 2009) and ICB3 (IPMA, 2006) note that the standards do not recommend or include a specific project method or tools. But surely—because it is a top ten competence—curricula should pay attention to project management methods and tools. The questions to be answered here are ‘which and how?’

Which methods and tools should be incorporated is highly dependent on the specific kind of industry the curriculum is targeting. In one industry, Scrum or agile will be prominent; in others, PRINCE2. In some industries, turnkey projects will be common, favoring planning and monitoring tools. Besner and Hobbs (2008, 2008) did useful research on this, which could help a curriculum designer in choosing the ‘right’ tools.

Tools and methods will change, and sometimes it will be hard to choose a particular method or a particular set of tools. But not choosing a method for the curriculum won't help students understand this dilemma. Choosing a method and prescribing it rigorously without addressing this dilemma could do harm as well. The author believes the best way to prepare students for this competence is to have them rigorously experience one or more methods and organize a discussion afterward with professionals in order to have them reflect about the method and its usefulness.

Proposed detailing of project management method and tools:

Skilled in project management tools that are common in the industry

Skilled in project management methods that are common in the industry

Able to choose, based on reason, between methods and tools common in the industry

To summarize, the results are presented in Table 2.

Competence Details of the competence
Communication Business conversation
Business writing
Business meetings
Presenting
Communication and culture
Communication plan
Leadership Critical thinking
Managing resources
Achieving
Influence
Conscientiousness
Leadership styles
Feedback
Motivation
Delegation
Planning Develop, execute and evaluate a project (management) plan in which as many of the activities Scope, Time, Cost, Purchasing, Quality, Personnel, Communication, and Risk are realistic challenges.
People skills Managing emotions
Building trust
Cultural awareness
Risk management Demonstrated practical implementation of risk management
Negotiating Application of (basic) negotiating techniques in (at least) resolving differences between desired project goals and deliverables and realistic project goals and deliverables.
Decision-making skills Basic application of decision-making skills
Team builder Managing team forming
Giving feedback to individual project members about performance (a detailing of feedback of leadership)
Leading team performance reviews
Ability to get a team to the norming stage
Technical skills (industry) <no detailing>
Project management methods and tools Skilled in project management tools that are common in the industry
Skilled in project management methods that are common in the industry
Able to choose, based on reason, between methods and tools common in the industry

Table 2 – Detailed competences for project management in a higher education curriculum.

Some of the competences require a specific learning environment in order to facilitate the learning of that specific competence (like negotiating and risk management). It is also evident that some of the competences can only be addressed in a project (like team building and negotiating) and others can be addressed more easily in other settings (like most details of communication). Whereas some of the competences could be measured by examination of knowledge, most of them need to be assessed as demonstrated competence. The ability to assess them will be an important aspect of the design of a curriculum. Whereas most competences seem to be industry independent (only the last two are discipline dependent), the relative importance between the competences and the desired level of competence in each one probably will be industry dependent.

A positive side effect of the detailing process is that a few competences outside of the original top ten are incorporated because of the detailing of leadership (see Appendix B), making the list of Table 2 account for more than three quarters of the original researched competences (57 of a total of 75). In designing a curriculum, it is advisable to keep an eye on the competences outside the top ten (Appendix B).

Conclusions and Further Research

In this paper, a set of evidence-based competences is constructed that should be addressed in curricula for higher education where project management is one of the competences. It meets the desired empirical research to provide future directions for educators in the discipline (Pant & Baroudi, 2008).

The competences are detailed in more specific sub-competences, making the ‘project management’ part of the abstract competence visible. The detailing gives important clues for the design of the learning environment and also shows that most competences cannot be examined by testing knowledge but should be assessed as demonstrated competence.

Interesting fields for future research are the design of industry-specific learning environments aimed at the constructed competences and the assessment of the competences. It can be argued that assessing competences of project managers is already available, but those assessments are aimed at project managers with experience and not at the student level.

Project management is a relatively young field of research. Changes of definitions and desired competences will occur, which could have an effect on the identified top competences. It is desirable that future research on competences be based on a general accepted list of competences.

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Appendix A: First Construct – Mentioned ‘Top’ Competences

I: Krahn, results of phase 1, cited >60% as important competence

II: Krahn, results of phase 3, cited>10% as important competence

III: Arras People, top half results (7% and more)

IV: Crawford, odds being cited a top performer > 5%

V: Everts, importance rating ≥ 4.2

VI: Golob, hiring score ≥ 4.0

VII: Bauer, aggregated score ≥ 4.0

VIII: Rodriguez, position description score ≥ 4.0

IX: McHenry, hiring score ≥ 4.0

X: Valencia, reported positive contributions to project success

Numbers denote the relative ranking in the research (1 being the highest scoring)

# Competence I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X
7 Leadership 1 1 31 9 2 22 6
4 Communication skills 2 33 14 2
3 Planning 5 11 4
3 Listening 8 5 4
3 Technical skills (industry) 9 6 4
2 People skills 2 3
2 Risk management 3 10
2 Verbal communication 4 2
2 Relevant prior experience 6 7
2 Expectation management 6 7
2 Organization 6 4
2 Knowledge and experience in specific project area 8 3
2 Proactive (initiative) 6 1
2 Decisive 2 3
2 Team builder 6 6
2 Trustworthiness 1 1
2 Determine project goals 3 3
2 Determine project deliverables 4 4
2 Communicate project status 8 5
2 Problem solving 3 4
1 Understand, balance priorities 9
1 Conflict resolution/management 10
1 Strong at building teams 4
1 Political savvy 10
1 Planning and organizing 1
1 Relationship management 4
1 Adaptability 5

_________________________

1 Project leadership

2 Leading

3 Communcation

4 Communicating

# Competence I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X
1 Project management methods and tools 7
1 Contract finalization procedures 1
1 Cost knowledge 2
1 Assess time management outcomes 5
1 Time knowledge 6
1 Integrity 5
1 Persistent (committed) 7
1 Knowledge of project management 8
1 Time control/planning 11
1 Impervious to stress 12
1 Information and communication 13
1 Communication style 4
1 Flexibility 8
1 Influencing 4
1 Negotiating 5
1 Scientific 6
1 Develop a schedule 2
1 Measure project performance 7
1 Basic computer skills 1
1 Administrative ability 1
1 Leadership emphasizing teamwork 2
1 Decision-making skills adaptive 3

Appendix B: Resulting Competences after Reshuffling

# rk Competence In detailing
8 2,9 Communication skills (project status, listening, verbal communication)
8 3,3 Leadership
6 5,7 Planning
5 4 People skills (a.o. relationship management, influencing)
5 5,4 Risk management/conflict resolution/problem solving
4 3 Negotiating (contract, goals, deliverables, etc.)
4 4,3 Decisive/adaptive decision-making/balance priorities
4 4,5 Team builder
4 5,5 Technical skills (industry)
4 6,5 Project management methods and tools
3 2,3 Trustworthiness/integrity leadership
3 3,3 Cost knowledge/administrative ability
3 3,7 Organization/organizing
3 7,7 Assess time management outcomes
2 3,5 Proactive (initiative)
2 6,5 Relevant prior experience
2 6,5 Adaptability/flexibility
1 1 Basic computer skills
1 6 Scientific leadership
1 7 Persistent (committed) leadership
1 10 Political savvy
1 12 Impervious to stress

Appendix C: Mapping of Changed/Dropped Competences

Competence Moved to (or otherwise as stated; inc = incorporated)
Problem solving risk management
Expectation management (inc) People skills
Conflict resolution/management (inc) Risk management
Listening (inc) communication
Verbal communication (inc) communication
Communicate project status (inc) communication
Determine project goals negotiating
Determine project deliverables negotiating
Understand, balance priorities decisive
Contract finalization procedures negotiating
Time knowledge (inc) assess time
Strong at building teams team builder
Relationship management People skills
Time control/planning split to assess time and planning
Information and communication Dropped and communication knowledge
Communication style Communication
Influencing People skills
Measure project performance copied to assess time, cost knowledge and risk management
Knowledge and experience in specific project area split to technical (industry) + Project management methods and tools
Planning and organizing split to planning and organizing
Integrity trustworthiness
Knowledge of project management project management methods and tools
Flexibility adaptability
Develop a schedule planning
Administrative ability Cost knowledge
Leadership emphasizing teamwork Split to leadership and team builder
Decision-making skills adaptive decisive

Appendix D: Detailing Competences

Incorporated items in the top ten competences

Competence Incorporated items
1. Communication skills Communication
Communication skills
Listening
Verbal communication
Communicate project status
Communication style
2. Leadership Leadership
Project leadership
Leadership (emphasizing teamwork)
3. Planning Planning
Develop a schedule
4. People skills People skills
Expectation management
Relationship management
Influencing
5. Risk management Risk management
Conflict resolution/management
Problem solving
Measure project performance
6. Negotiating Negotiating
Determine project goals
Determine project deliverables
Contract finalization procedures
7. Decision-making skills Decision-making skills
Understand, balance priorities
Decision-making skills, adaptive
8. Team builder Team builder
Strong at building teams
Leadership aimed at teamwork
9. Technical skills (industry) Technical skills (industry)
Knowledge and experience in specific project area
10. Project management methods and tools Project management methods and tools
Knowledge and experience in specific project area
Knowledge of project management

Appendix E: Leadership Aspects

Important leadership aspects according to Trurner & Müller (2006)

Low complexity projects Medium complexity projects Comments
1. Critical thinking 75 75 Incorporated
2. Vision and imagination
3. Strategic perspective 50
4. Engaging communication 75 In communication
5. Managing resources 75 50 Incorporated
6. Empowering 50
7. Developing
8. Achieving 50 50 Incorporated
9. Self-awareness 50
10. Emotional resilience
11. Motivation 50
12. Sensitivity 75
13. Influence 50 50 Incorporated, also in people skills
14. Intuitiveness
15. Conscientiousness 75 75 Incorporated, also in Integrity/trustworthiness

ICB3 topics:

Coaching
Delegation Incorporated
Feedback Incorporated
Leadership styles Incorporated
Motivation Incorporated
Natural authority
Power
Recognition
Tenacity
Vision

© 2012 Project Management Institute

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