Certification programs are more about demonstrating your competency than about learning how to manage. Consider this: PMP and IPMA certification takes you through a process guide and a comprehensive examination that you can easily enough learn in a few weeks. I always recommend learning the bodies of knowledge, so long as you are fully aware of what you’re getting… But be aware of what you are actually getting. Here are a few things that your certification program is definitely not going to teach you.
I’m frequently asked what I think of certifications such as the Project Management Institute’s PMP, or its other programs. The PMI’s Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) represents a strong reference guide, and one that I turn to when appropriate as a process guide — but its very strength as a reference text also makes it a poor companion for someone looking for a comprehensive project management methodology. There’s a host of information you won’t get in school (not even from a top tier management school, let alone a certification program you can cram for in less than two weeks).
When it comes to leadership development, you can’t “train the leader.” Leadership requires too much contextual differentiation, innovation, and innate skill. These are qualities that can be developed, but not absorbed from a training session.
Launching a global project presents many problems that are completely foreign to most project leaders and managers. Last month I pointed out that we have to deal with a lot more than language barriers with global projects. For example, in some cultures, speaking openly is not to be expected, in any setting. For this second installment, I thought I’d share a few concrete ideas for tackling some of these issues, things that can make a real difference and that are easy to put into play. To keep on a theme, I’ll focus on strategies to tackle the common, core issue raised in last month’s article: communication and execution problems. One of the first things I generally want to take a close look at are the techniques and processes used to manage a project. Most of the time, they are not adequate for one reason: They weren’t designed to support a global, multi-cultural organization.
Launching a global project presents many problems that are completely foreign to most project leaders and managers. Understanding the cultural differences, communication differences, and interpersonal relations of a global team is only the beginning. Business environment, local regulatory and compliance issues, and international laws scratch a bit deeper, but managing a global project is more complicated than most project managers anticipate.
Having created a methodology that tightly integrates Scrum concepts, I tend to be a strong proponent of Scrum. But being a strong proponent doesn’t extend so far as to promote all the hype — I’m also a very strong believer in the value of formal education and the need for experience. After seeing the negative [...]
Organizations across the globe are trying to come to grips with a new corporate challenge; one created by millions of employees who make up the boomer generation, who are poised to leave the working world, for golf, sailing, gardening or playing with the grandkids. In some cases the departure of these senior employees will allow [...]
Finding great employees is really hard. I don’t mean it’s difficult — I mean it’s virtually impossible to succeed in hiring great employees all the time. It’s equally hard to keep them, as it turns out. As Don Rainey recently wrote: Good employees are really hard to find — A solid worker isn’t just difficult to find, [...]
Changing the way a business operates is a daunting task. It involves assessing and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the current organization, identifying solutions to the weaknesses without compromising the strengths and, ultimately, changing the way people work. Above all, people tend to be resistant to change — and this is the most common issue that arises when adopting a new methodology.
Training budgets are one of the first to go in a down economy. I first pointed this out in Finding Strategic Learning Funds, but there’s ample evidence to be gathered. When the money isn’t there, organizations start casting about for any program they deem expendable. But the unfortunate truth is that training is the best [...]