. 2
( 7)



Considering the Project
Management Organizations
In Chapter 2, the principal organizations were introduced. There we
found that the organizations are essentially geographically oriented.
Now, in order to accommodate where you are in your career, we need
to enter another variable. That variable is the basis for certi¬cation. You
will see that there are two bases for certi¬cation. You can use these
variables in selecting the ˜˜right™™ organization for you both geographi-
cally and from the basis of certi¬cation.

The Current State of the Art
While the art of project management is still emerging, it is reasonably
stable in its core content”that is, the content concerning what to do
once a project is initiated.
There are two trains of thought as to what a project manager is or
should be. To see these two ideas, we™ll look at the certi¬cation pro-
cesses. The certi¬cation processes fall into two groups: ˜˜Knowledge-
Based™™ and ˜˜Competency-Based.™™ The PMI is the primary user of the
˜˜Knowledge-Based™™ approach; AIPM, APM, asapm, and IPMA use the
˜˜Competency-Based™™ approach. The PMI certi¬es at two levels; the
others certify at three to ¬ve levels.
In terms of size, however, the PMI is head and shoulders above all
the rest. The PMI touts over 100,000 members worldwide; the IPMA
has 30,000 members; the APM has 13,000 members; and the AIPM has
about 3,700 members. The asapm is just emerging, and no membership
¬gures are yet available.

Where Is Project Management Going from Here?
As technology has opened new vistas we couldn™t even dream of even
ten years ago, I believe that project management is going broader and

Considering the Project Management Organizations

higher and more virtual. This means that project management and its
standards and organizations are still evolving.
By broader, I mean more encompassing. For instance, if you com-
pare the PMBOK to the APMBOK to the P2M to PRINCE2 to the ICB,
you will ¬nd signi¬cant differences. The fundamental differences in the
certi¬cation process is that the PMI is knowledge-based and the others
are competency-based. It appears that each organization has generated
its certi¬cations based on its own ideas of what project management is
or should be and what market they want to serve. In order to grow, it
also appears to me that any organization would want to be as broad
and all-encompassing as it can be. That™s why I think it™s going to be
By higher, I mean more international. Right now, the most serious
competitors for international ˜˜conquest™™ are the PMI and the IPMA.
Each organization serves many, many countries, and in many cases
there are overlaps. That means that if you live in Austria, Finland,
France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, or dozens of other countries,
you actually can select the organization you belong to.
The PMI is a centralized organization with radials extending to the
various countries. The elements in the various countries are simply
components of the PMI. The IPMA, on the other hand, is a confedera-
tion of organizations that subscribe to its standards. It is decentralized.
Will the two merge? I doubt it. The concepts of each are quite different,
and it would take a lot of doing to get them together. However, both
PMI and IPMA have submitted their bodies of knowledge and their
certi¬cation processes to higher (that is, international) organizations
such as ISO. Clearly, both organizations want to be thought of as
By more virtual, I mean that many more projects will take advan-
tage of the ˜˜virtual™™ phenomenon and move in that direction. The
World Wide Web as a communication and data vehicle opened the
¬‚oodgates. Every day more and more projects and programs are being
conducted remotely than ever before. We refer to this phenomenon as
˜˜Virtual Projects.™™1 Typically, a virtual project has team members in
various, different locations. Sometimes they are in different locations
on campus, and sometimes in different states or countries. The combi-
nations are limitless. Conducting a virtual project is similar to conduct-
ing a traditional project, but it requires extensive communication and
control that traditional projects do not. The gains in productivity and
decreased cost are achieved at the risk of monumental failure unless the


project manager keeps the virtual project on the straight and narrow.
Nevertheless, virtual projects are the wave of the future. Virtual proj-
ects will be discussed in more depth in Chapter 9.
There are some potentially exciting changes in the hopper right
now. As of this writing, the ideas are just beginning to gel, but soon
they will be developed and could change the mainstream ideas of the
project management bodies of knowledge and the project management
processes. These ideas are loosely grouped into the general category of
˜˜Knowledge Management™™ (KM). The idea is that KM is dynamic and
vertically integrated, while the standard bodies of knowledge and prac-
tices are static and horizontally integrated. The bodies of knowledge
(BOKs) determine or follow the ¬‚ow of work, while KM follows knowl-
edge generated in the process.
And now my personal opinion: I would like to see a melding of the
breadth of the NCSPM with the ˜˜hard-core-what-to-do™™ approach of
the PMBOK into an all-encompassing standard that includes the enter-
prise with the project and elevates them both to serve international
needs. The IPMA approach of having a core set of areas and then allow-
ing ˜˜electives™™ to be taught to compensate for differences in culture,
approach, and so on, is a brilliant idea. Perhaps the asapm working
with the IPMA can become the catalyst for this action. Add to this the
concept of virtual projects and make allowances for KM, and there is
no end where the knowledge base of project management can go.

Selecting the ˜˜Right™™ Organization for You
This issue begs two questions: Where are you in your career? and
Where, geographically, do you or will you practice?
Where are you in your career? If you are just beginning your project
management career, and by that I mean in school or in the ¬rst three
years of practice, then the ˜˜right™™ answer is the PMI. The PMI PMBOK
establishes the knowledge base for practically all the other organiza-
tions. The exception is the APM. Even at that, the PMI PMBOK is still
just as useful in these organizations because the BOK is essentially
universal. After the ¬rst three years, you may want to consider adding
one of the other organizations based on where you practice. Why do I
say ˜˜after three years?™™ Because the certi¬cation processes of the other
organizations require and test experience in project management. Even
though the PMI requires experience, their certi¬cation process does not
test it. Whether you are early or later in your career, the American

Considering the Project Management Organizations

Management Association (AMA) is always a good bet to provide con-
tinuing educational books, courses, and seminars in project manage-
ment and general management as well.
Where, geographically, do you practice? The answer to this ques-
tion may have an impact on which organization you choose. For in-
stance, if you practice in Australia, you will likely want to belong to the
Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM). If you practice in
Great Britain, you will likely want to belong to the Association of Proj-
ect Management (APM). If you practice in Japan, you will likely want
to belong to the (JPMF). All these organizations are geographically ori-
ented. Next comes a compound situation. Once you have become es-
tablished in your career, if you practice in the United States, you will
likely want to belong to the Association for the Advancement of Project
Management (asapm). If you practice internationally, you will likely
want to belong to the International Project Management Association
(IPMA) through a local chapter.
If you belong to one of the geographically oriented organizations,
should you cancel your membership in the PMI or AMA? My answer is
an emphatic: No! Both these organizations have offerings that are of
great value to you no matter where you practice. The same statement
holds true no matter where you are in your career.
Now, let™s look at the language of project management.

1. Virtual in this document refers to the programmatic virtual”that is, parts of
the project are remotely located. These elements of the project organiza-
tion are usually connected electronically (through the World Wide Web
and other communication links). This is distinct from a technical virtual
project, where the object of a game is simulated and represented virtually.
A military training scenario, where soldiers shoot at video screens with
laser gun attachments, is an example of a technical virtual project.


Speaking the Language
If one thing is certain in project management right now, it is that the
terminology varies from organization to organization and from com-
pany to company. So that we have a common vocabulary, I will explain
the terms I use. Some of these terms are the same ones used by various
organizations and some are different. Today, it can be dif¬cult to ˜˜talk
the talk™™ without a common vocabulary.
Based on my experience and research in project and program man-
agement, I have found that the ¬eld of projects and programs can be
divided into seven categories:

• Small Project
• Intermediate Project
• Large Project
• Program
• Virtual Project or Program
• International Project or Program
• Large-Scale Project or Program

In order to manage these seven categories of projects or programs, I
have found ¬ve levels of skill sets are required. The ¬ve skill sets are:

• Basic
• Advanced
• Expert
• Specialist
• Principal

Speaking the Language

It may be possible to de¬ne seven skill sets to match the seven catego-
ries, except that the discriminators between the intermediate and large
projects are principally those of size and therefore simply require more
of the same. The discriminators between specialty projects or pro-
grams, however, is a totally different matter. The specialty category is
a summary of every unique category of project or program that can or
does exist. The Specialist Skill Set is the corresponding skill set re-
quired to lead each of the unique categories. In other words, the
breadth and depth of the specialty category and Specialist Skill Set are
indeterminable but internally related.
The international type is really a specialty. However, it is so unique
in its requirements that I have chosen to call it a separate group.
The span of control that a leader is allowed is equally broad. I ¬nd
that there are ¬ve leadership roles in the ¬eld of project and program
management. These roles are:

• Coordinator
• Supervisor
• Manager
• Director
• Vice President

Interestingly, it is not the responsibility that differentiates the roles.
Rather, it is the authority of each role that makes the difference.
In Chapter 4, we will examine the characteristics of the categories,
the skill sets, and the roles. I will cross-reference all of them using
tables and explanations.
I explained some of the differences in the terminology used for
phases, processes, and stages in Part I. Now, I will explain projects
and programs, skills and leadership roles, and compare the program
categories to the other factors.

Project and Program Types
As I said at the outset, project management terminology varies from
organization to organization and from company to company. There is
some standardization, but there is a lot of variability as well. If you
were to invite all of those who have contributed to the current lexicon
into one room and go through the terms that have already been de¬ned,
I™m sure you would get good arguments as to why each term is de¬ned


the way it is. I™m sure each has good reasons for being different. I am
of the opinion that these terms do not need mathematical precision so
long as you and I understand what we are talking about when we are
Earlier, I introduced seven types of projects and programs. These
types are distinguished by size, organization, complexity, and risk level.
Many project management organizations use different terminology.
By their terminology, essentially everything is a project. A program, by
their de¬nition, is a group of projects. I disagree with this de¬nition
because a giant leap must be made in the skill set requirements be-
tween leading a project and leading a program. A project, by my de¬ni-
tion, is accomplished for a customer inside an organization and a
program is accomplished for a customer outside the company under a

A Small Project
A small project is led by a project coordinator. It usually involves less
than six people, who are of the same or closely related disciplines. A
small project is a simple task of low complexity and low risk.

An Intermediate Project
An intermediate project is led by a project coordinator or a project su-
pervisor. It generally involves six or more people, and the individuals
are usually of different disciplines. An intermediate project is a task of
moderate complexity and low to moderate risk.

A Large Project
A large project is led by a project manager. It generally consists of more
than ten people, and the individuals are of different disciplines. A large
project is a task of moderate to high complexity and moderate to high

A Program
A program is led by a program manager. It is distinguished from a proj-
ect by the existence of a legal contract between the company and the
customer. A program generally consists of more than ten people, who
are of different disciplines. A program is a task of moderate to high
complexity and moderate to high risk.

Speaking the Language

A Virtual Project or Program
A virtual project or program is led by a project manager or a program
manager. It is distinguished from other projects by the fact that two
or more of the principal contributors (i.e., not vendors) are located in
different geographical areas and interface only by means other than
face-to-face (i.e., electronically). A virtual project or program generally
consists of more than ten people who are of different disciplines. A
virtual project or program is a task of moderate to high complexity and
moderate to high risk.

An International Program
An international program is led by a program manager. It is distin-
guished from other programs by the fact that the customer is in a coun-
try other than the one managing the program.
There are some variations on this theme however, brought about
by how multinational companies do business. Although you would ex-
pect an international program to be a program, it may be a project in a
multinational company. In this instance, the product is manufactured
in the home country and delivered to a branch of¬ce (sometimes regis-
tered as a different company) in the foreign country. The product is
then handed over from the branch of¬ce to the customer.
Why this strange twist? This is because only the branch of¬ce, not
the home of¬ce, is chartered to do business in that country. It is
brought about by the customer™s need to have a local entity to hold
legally responsible.
An international program generally consists of more than ten peo-
ple of different disciplines. An international program is a task of moder-
ate to high complexity and moderate to high risk. Complexity and risk
usually refer more to programmatic issues than to technical issues.

A Large-Scale Program
A large-scale program is led by a program manager, a program director,
or a program vice president. It is distinguished from other programs by
the size and organization of the program”that is, a large-scale program
is divided into smaller projects. A large-scale program generally con-
sists of more than ¬fty people of different disciplines. It involves a task
of moderate to high complexity and moderate to high risk. Complexity
and risk apply to programmatic issues and technical issues.


Characterizing a project or program lays the groundwork for de¬n-
ing the skills necessary for a project manager to lead it.

Project and Program Skill Sets
I see the need for ¬ve skill sets to accomplish the project leadership
tasks of today™s projects. While I agree with Jim Lewis1 in thinking that
a single person is not a project and that project managers should not
have technical tasks to accomplish in addition to their project tasks, I
would be amiss if I did not recognize that this is the way a lot of so-
called projects are assigned and conducted in industry today. Even
though I don™t agree with this approach, it is a fact of life, and I have
included it in the skill sets I have de¬ned.
The skill sets are:

• Basic Skill Set
• Advanced Skill Set
• Expert Skill Set
• Specialty Skill Set
• Principal Skill Set

Basic Skill Set
The Basic Skill Set requires an understanding of the technical task to
be performed and the purpose and content of the project. In fact, all
skill sets require this understanding. The Basic Skill Set includes the
most basic skills required to conduct a project. These skills are an ap-
preciation of what projects are all about and an understanding and abil-
ity to manage the content of a project, to create and maintain a schedule
for the project, and to create and account for a budget for the project.

Advanced Skill Set
The Advanced Skill Set includes all the subjects of the Basic Skill Set at
an advanced level. Additionally, many other subjects are added to create
an understanding of an organization and the skills necessary for people
to operate in an organization. The Advanced Skill Set requires an ap-
preciation for risk and complexity. Other skills, such as con¬guration
control and change management, now enter the picture, as does the
ability to divide the task into workable units and to establish and track
values for those units.

Speaking the Language

Expert Skill Set
The Expert Skill Set includes all the subjects of the previous skill sets
and adds sales, teaming and partnering, proposals, negotiating, busi-
ness considerations, legal considerations, sophisticated estimating, and
more complex metrics for tracking program status. The expert level is
more sensitive to management™s need for pro¬t and to customer needs
in general.

Specialty Skill Set
The Specialty Skill Set contains all the previous skill sets and adds
unique and special knowledge for specialized situations. These pro-
grams include international programs where specialized knowledge of
the customer™s habits, laws, and customs are a necessity. The Specialty
Skill Set is distinguished by its uniqueness, no matter what it is. Special
knowledge is also needed to conduct a virtual program. These are pro-
grams where major contributors are located at places that can only be
reached electronically, places where there can be no face-to-face contact
with the participants.

Principal Skill Set
The Principal Skill Set contains the subjects of all the previous skill sets
at a superior level. The manager competent in the Principal Skill Set is
expected to know all the ˜˜Firm™™ and ˜˜Soft™™ subjects that apply to proj-
ect and program management and will specialize in general manage-
ment. This manager will delegate much of the ˜˜Firm™™ day-to-day
activity, such as accounting and scheduling, and spend his or her time
in solving problems, expanding the position of the company (selling),
and understanding the wants as well as the speci¬c needs of the cus-
Figure 4-1 help you visualize how skill sets apply to project and
program categories.

Leadership Roles
Here, I am de¬ning ¬ve leadership roles for project and program man-
agement. These roles are:

• Project Coordinator
• Project Supervisor


Figure 4-1. Skill sets as they apply to project and program
Skill Set Project/Program Category

Basic Small Project

Intermediate Project
Advanced Large Project

Expert Program

Virtual Project or Program
Specialty International Program

Principal Large-Scale Program

• Project or Program Manager
• Program or Programs Director
• Program or Programs Vice President

One can argue that two other roles exist, these being project engineer
and project lead. However, I consider these as primarily technical roles,
and despite their leadership responsibility, not really part of project
management. I will stick to my ¬ve roles.
Today, industry has begun calling every project leader a project
manager when, as you will see, several of these leaders are not manag-
ers at all. Nevertheless, management has delegated to them the respon-
sibility of leading a project even without much authority.

A project coordinator is responsible for ensuring that all the established
contributing elements supporting a task are available at the right time
and in the right order to accomplish the task.

A project supervisor is responsible for the conduct and completion of
the project under his or her supervision. A project supervisor has the
ability and authority to move resources within the project to ensure

Speaking the Language

that the project meets its task, schedule, quality, and budget require-

A project manager is responsible for achieving project objectives, cus-
tomer satisfaction, and project completion. A program manager is re-
sponsible for achieving a program™s pro¬t objectives and customer
satisfaction, and may be responsible for growth of the value of the pro-
gram. Project and program managers have the ability and authority to
move resources into, within, and out of a project or program to ensure
that it meets its task, schedule, quality, and budget requirements. A
program manager has pro¬t and loss responsibility.

A program director is responsible for achieving pro¬t objectives, cus-
tomer satisfaction, and growth of the value of the sum of the programs
under his or her jurisdiction. A program director has the ability and
authority to change program resources and to direct program managers
to make changes necessary to achieve overall program needs. Two titles
frequently exist within this category: program director and programs
director. A program director directs a large or very large program; a
programs director directs a group of related programs.

Vice President
A program vice president is responsible for achieving the pro¬t objec-
tives, customer satisfaction, and growth of the value of the sum of the
programs under his or her jurisdiction. A program vice president has
the ability and authority to determine which program and projects will
be pursued and bid, and the ability and authority to establish priorities
for the utilization of resources within programs. Again, two titles may
exist within this category: program vice president and programs vice
president. A program vice president directs a huge program; a programs
vice president directs a group of programs.
Figure 4-2 will help you to visualize how roles apply to project and
program categories.
Now, let™s go on to Part II, where the skill sets will be expanded to
show the subject areas contained and how they are applied to projects
and programs of varying sizes and types.


Figure 4-2. Leadership roles as they apply to project and
program categories.
Role Project/Program Category

Coordinator Small Project
Intermediate Project

Supervisor Intermediate Project

Manager Large Project

Director Program

Vice President Large-Scale

1. James Lewis, Fundamentals of Project Management (New York: AMACOM
Books, 2001).




This part of the book is dedicated to presenting the primary project
management skill sets you need in order to lead the several levels of
projects that exist. It is assumed you already have the technical skills
to either perform the technical task or appreciate and understand all
the disciplines necessary to accomplish the technical task.
As stated in the preface, the ¬rst element of the success formula is
knowledge. Knowledge is achieved in a three-step process: awareness,
training, and education. Awareness is: What you need to do. Training
is: How to do it. Education is: Why you need to do it.
This part of the book will create the awareness of the subject areas
you need in order to perform at the various levels of project and pro-
gram management. Once awareness is achieved, I direct you to the
training that will support the early levels of the skill set needs. Chapter
7 in Part III will introduce expanded training and education in all these
Part II is presented in two chapters. Chapter 5 addresses acquiring
preparatory skills”that is, those skills every project manager needs at
every level of performance. Preparatory skills are divided into two
groups: Personal Skills and Company/Customer/Industry Skills. Chap-


ter 6 addresses the subject area needs of the ¬ve skill groups that com-
prise the project and program management ¬elds. Reading through this
part of the book, you may ask: Who has time to read all these books or
to attend all these seminars? My answer is that you need to make time.
On long coast-to-coast ¬‚ights or while waiting for your plane to load
are good opportunities for reading. A boring evening in the hotel room
is another good opportunity. Reading at lunch has a double return”
you can gain some knowledge and lose some weight at the same time.
Personally, I have two stacks of books that I call the ˜˜Takers™™ and the
˜˜Leavers.™™ Size dictates which pile a book ends up in. The ˜˜Takers™™ I
take on trips. Reading time is pretty much up to you, so you need to
work it into your schedule. Seminars are pretty much up to the com-
pany. You need to take the seminars offered as standard fare by the
company and then expand your horizons by requesting to attend the
applicable ones recommended by this book or others you come across
in your own research.


Acquiring Preparatory Skills
Before we jump into the speci¬c subjects necessary to prepare you for
each type of project or program, we need to discuss some preparatory
skills you must have. These skills fall into two groups: the Personal
Skill Set and the Company/Industry Skill Set.

Personal Skill Set
The Personal Skill Set are those skills every project and program man-
ager needs in order to lead their tasks and teams effectively. These in-
clude problem solving, leadership, ethics, and presentation skills. Each
of these skills has an in¬nite number of competence levels that can be
achieved. To one degree or another, you already possess some of these
skills, and you will continue to re¬ne them throughout your career.

Problem Solving
Problem solving is fundamental to project management. It is the most
important of the personal skills. The mechanics of problem solving are
essentially the same, no matter what. They involve de¬ning the prob-
lem, searching for alternative solutions, evaluating them, selecting the
best alternative solution, and then applying it. There are some sophisti-
cated software applications that present these mechanics, but they all
use about the same process.
Applying the achieved solutions will contribute to your knowledge
base. Should you confront the same kinds of issues over time, you will
gain a knowledge base of solutions applicable to these issues. At that
point, of course, you will only need to apply the solution rather than
start from the beginning every time. Most importantly, though, you
will be able to anticipate these problems and build solutions into the
project plan before the problem actually exhibits itself. Nevertheless,


other problems will crop up, and you will need to apply the process
again and again.

In my opinion, John Maxwell de¬ned leadership precisely when he
wrote: ˜˜Leadership is in¬‚uence, nothing more, nothing less.™™1 When
prosecuting a project, you will ¬nd the need for leadership everywhere,
every day. But leadership is not something you can pour out of a bottle,
nor is it a mathematical formula. It is an elusive trait that some people
are born with, some people develop, some people don™t have, and some
never will. Whatever it is, Ken Blanchard is right: A ˜˜pill™™ just won™t
work.2 Remember the ˜˜persona™™ factor I talked about earlier? Your
abilities as a leader will be greatly in¬‚uenced by your persona.
You can get a leg up on the development of your leadership skills
and style through courses (seminars), such as Preparing for Leadership:
What It Takes to Take the Lead offered by the American Management
Association (AMA). They say, ˜˜This course is uniquely designed to
help leaders-to-be get ready for their new challenges and responsibili-

Webster de¬nes ethics as: ˜˜The principles of conduct governing an in-
dividual or group.™™ As a project manager, your ethics will be tested
with every decision you make, so it is important to have an understand-
ing not only of ethics in a general sense but of the ethics that are the
governing principles for your industry, your company, and your disci-
pline. These can sometimes clash, and that is where your individual
ethics are tested. How you pass this test is a re¬‚ection of your integrity.
Samuel Southard™s Ethics for Executives offers the traditional view of
business ethics, while John Maxwell™s There™s No Such Thing As ˜˜Busi-
ness™™ Ethics: There™s Only One Rule for Making Decisions offers a different
and interesting view. Many times ethics will be severely tested when
dealing with international programs. Here is where culture plays an
important role.
Most universities have an ethics department that handles ethical
issues for the business-associated curricula as well as for the entire
college or university. These of¬ces are good sources for information on
ethics. If you happen to be involved with government contracts in the
defense sector, the Defense Industry Initiative (DII)4 is a good source
for information.

Acquiring Preparatory Skills

Most of the principal organizations have an ethics requirement;
meaning you must accept their ethics standards (frequently called a
Code of Conduct), in order to be certi¬ed by them. You can ¬nd the
standards in Figure 5-1.

Meeting and Presentation Skill Set
Re¬ned meeting and presentation skills are essential for all project
managers. For discussion purposes I consider public speaking and vi-
sual aids as inherent parts of presentation skills.
Your meeting skills will be tested every time you call a meeting,
formal or informal. All meetings need to be called for a purpose and
managed to that purpose. The purpose of the meeting should be stated
on the agenda if it is a formal meeting.
A trick that has always worked for me is to open the meeting with
a salutation (good morning) and then say: ˜˜The purpose of this meet-
ing, is . . .™™ and then, of course, state the purpose of the meeting. This
lets the attendees know there is a purpose and a structure to the meet-
ing, and it™s not just to get together for coffee and donuts. Nor is it for
airing all the grievances in the world.
Your presentation skills will be tested every time you stand up for
a meeting, for a monthly review or a customer review, or at any other
time you are the center of attention”and as a project manager, you will
almost always be the center of attention. Although there are a lot of
books that address the subject of public speaking and presentations,
most are mechanical in their presentation. However, I have found a

Figure 5-1. Organizational ethics references.
Organization Reference(s)

APM (Code of Association for Project Management, By-Laws,
Conduct) association for Project Management,
Buckinghamshire, UK, 2002.

asapm http://www.asapm.org/a_ethics.asp

PMI (Code of Code of conduct: http://www.pmi.org/prod/groups/
Professional public/documents/info/
Conduct) PDC_PMPCodeOfConductFil e.asp
Part of: Project Management Institute, Project
Management Professional Certi¬cation Handbook
(Newton Square, PA: Project Management Institute,
2000): 22. [PMP Handbook]


little book by Steve Mandel titled Effective Presentation Skills that is good
for individual study. This book has a lot of checklists and self-assess-
ments to help you with the basic skills. This is most certainly a skill,
though, that can only be mastered with practice. Practice worked for
Demosthenes, and it will work for you. Once again, your persona will
have a great deal to do with how you project your speaking abilities.
If your company doesn™t offer a course in public speaking or presen-
tation skills, you can check with your local community college or simply
join Toastmasters International.5 I ¬rmly believe that presentation
skills must be re¬ned and reinforced in a group environment.
In the workaday world, presentation skills are closely allied to the
visual aids you will use in your presentations. The visual aids can vary
from handouts to ¬‚ip charts to overhead viewgraphs to 35-millimeter
slides to television presentations. The tools can vary from a typewriter
to a computer using the ubiquitous Microsoft Power Point to sophisti-
cated video software. The key to presentation skills lies in maintaining
an audience™s interest and conveying the necessary information to
them. Make certain your media supports and enhances your presenta-
tion data and is not just a crutch for a bad presentation, as in the car-
toon where the salesman stands up and says: ˜˜I don™t have anything to
say but I do have some neat slides.™™
It is possible that your company prefers to use one particular pre-
sentation technique. Needless to say, that™s the technique you should
concentrate on. The training department should select the presentation
skills seminar for your company; this way, the consistency of presenta-
tions will be ensured throughout the company. If you don™t have a
training department and there are no standards in your company, my
opinion is that Microsoft Power Point is the most universal tool you
can use to create your presentation media. The resulting presentation
can be printed for handouts, converted into overhead slides (view
graphs) or 35-millimeter slides, be presented as direct video, or used
to drive video projection equipment. The Help menu that is a part of
the application will even establish formats for you.
If you are a veteran project manager, the above paragraphs will
likely be the things you do as a matter of course. But, if you™re just
starting out, I suggest you pay close attention to those paragraphs. De-
velop these skills before you need them. It™s a demeaning experience to
stand in front of an audience and get chewed out for presenting a
˜˜bunch of unintelligible gobbledygook,™™ or to be taken to task by your
boss for having poor decision-making skills, or to be chastised by your

Acquiring Preparatory Skills

team members for not providing adequate leadership, but to me, the
worst thing of all is to be accused of not having ethics! These skills are
fundamental to your growth and position as a project manager. Learn
them and use them well.

Company/Customer/Industry Skill Set
The Company/Customer/Industry Skill Set consists of three groups of
documentation. The ¬rst group is that used by your company to convey
the policies, plans, processes, and procedures established by manage-
ment to control the business of the company. The second group is the
documentation used by the customers with whom the company does
business. This documentation sets standards and requirements for
both the customer and the customer™s suppliers. Federal Acquisition
Regulations (FARs) and NASA Procurement Regulations (NASA PRs)
are typical of documentation in this group. The third group is the docu-
mentation of organizations created to establish standards, processes,
and procedures for speci¬c equipment or industries. The Software En-
gineering Institute (SEI), the Underwriter™s Laboratory (UL), and the
International Standards Organization (ISO) are typical of organizations
in this group.

Enterprise Policies, Plans, and Procedures
This is the simplest of all the skills. All you need to do is to read,
understand, and remember the policies, plans, processes, and proce-
dures established by your company. If you are working for a company,
you must understand how that company does business. Now that may
seem like an obvious recommendation, but it is amazing the number of
people, especially those who ˜˜know it all,™™ who don™t take the time to
read the policy manuals of their company. This can really get you into
trouble, especially when you are composing your project plan. Usually,
company policies are referred to as the ˜˜Red Book,™™ or the ˜˜Blue
Book,™™ or the ˜˜Granite Book™™ or some similar term to bring attention
to the importance of the book. Whatever its name, it usually has a
venerated place in the minds of management and should be treated
The best way to start this process is to list all the documents and
then ¬nd them. Usually, these documents are divided into sections for
Administration, Human Resources, Engineering, Program Manage-
ment, and so on. Make a list of the documents that are applicable to
you and to projects and get on with reading them.


Figure 5-2 shows the typical categories of documentation you will
¬nd in company policies, plans, processes, and procedures.
Company policies, plans, and procedures can usually be grouped
into two classes: too few or too many. The numbers of policies in a
company are usually directly proportional to the number of employees
in a company. Small companies have few policies; very large companies
have many, many policies. This is understandable, but unfortunately,
there is a ˜˜critical mass™™ of categories of policies and procedures that
every company should have, and the small companies usually do not
cover all these categories. It is important to understand this principle if
you are a part of a small company. The lack of policies and procedures
can allow for a lot of latitude, but this can also get you into trouble. If

Figure 5-2. Typical company documentation categories.
Number Category

1000 Customer

2000 Administration

3000 Finance

4000 Legal & Contracts

5000 Personnel/Human Resources

6000 Materiel

7000 Planning

8000 Research & Development

9000 Quality

10000 Business Development

11000 Programs

12000 Engineering

13000 Manufacturing & Production

14000 Field Operations

15000 Operations & Maintenance

Modern-Management 1999.

Acquiring Preparatory Skills

you are part of a small company with very few policies and procedures,
cultivate an understanding with management about their expectations.
Your job is to ¬gure out what policies your company has, where they
are, and which apply to you and to which projects. Read these policies
(when available) and understand them. Why? Because this step is fun-
damental to the creation of a project plan within the context of how
your company operates.

Customer Standards
If you are leading a project that performs tasks within your own organi-
zation, it is likely that group will use the same policies and procedures
as your group does. If you are leading a project that performs tasks
within your own corporation or consortium but with another company,
it is likely that company will have policies and procedures different
from your own. If you are leading a program that performs a task under
contract, customer standards are the documents of the customers that
apply to you as a contractor or vendor. These standards and regulations
may have to do with procurement or with task performance. Required
customer standards should be listed in the statement of work, but may
not be. Take some time to review prior statements of work and talk
with the customer to ferret out any customer standards that may be
required but were not listed. Why? Because when handover time
comes, the customer may say: ˜˜We expected you to know these stan-
dards were required. That™s partly why we hired you.™™ There™s little you
can say to win this argument.

Industry Standards and Regulations
Standards and regulations refer to the documents that govern the prod-
ucts and processes your project will create. Bodies such as the Ameri-
can Society for Quality Control (ASQC), the International Standards
Organization (ISO), the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
(IEEE), and so on have been created speci¬cally for the purpose of es-
tablishing and maintaining speci¬c standards and regulations.
How does this affect you? If your product is software, it™s a pretty
sure bet you will use the standards of the Software Engineering Insti-
tute (SEI). If your project is involved with electrical products, most
certainly the standards and requirements of the Underwriter™s Labora-
tory (UL) will be involved. If your project is involved with mechanical
products, the requirements of the American National Standards Insti-


tute (ANSI) will be involved, and so on. The required standards and
regulations should be included in your statement of work or your speci-
¬cation but may be glossed over there. If you are new to the product,
take some time to review past speci¬cations and talk with the technical
people who have been involved with these products in the past. It will
be worth your time.
There are over 150 bodies setting standards for everything from
airports to pharmaceuticals to toilets. As project manager, you may or
may not need to know each of these standards and regulations by chap-
ter and verse, but you must know which are required and how to ensure
that copies are available to the technical people on the project. Failure
to adhere to these standards and regulations can cause the product to
be unresponsive and can cause the project to fail.
Because each company and each project is different, knowledge of
the foregoing skills will be an individualized affair. Nevertheless, at
least now you have an idea of what they are and where to look for them.
Suggested Reading (Books)
Blanchard, Ken. The Leadership Pill. New York: Free Press, 2003.
Mandel, Steve. Effective Presentation Skills. Menlo Park, Calif.: Crisp
Pubs, 1993.
Maxwell, John C. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Nashville,
Tenn.: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1998.
Maxwell, John. There™s No Such Thing as ˜˜Business™™ Ethics: There™s Only
One Rule for Making Decisions. New York: Warner Books, 2003.
Southard, Samuel. Ethics for Executives. Nashville, Tenn.: T. Nelson,
Seminar Contacts
Preparing for Leadership: What It Takes to Take the Lead
See: http://www.amanet.org/seminars/cmd2/2536.htm

1. John C. Maxwell, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, (Nashville, Tenn.:
Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1998).
2. Ken Blanchard, The Leadership Pill (New York: Free Press, 2003).
3. Preparing for Leadership: What It Takes to Take the Lead (New York: AMA),
see: http://www.amanet.org/seminars/cmd2/2536.htm.
4. For further information about the Defense Industry Initiative, contact:
Richard J. Bednar, Senior Counsel, Crowell & Moring LLP, 1001 Pennsyl-
vania Avenue, N.W., Suite 1000, Washington, D.C. 20004-2595, Tele-
phone: 202-624-2619; e-mail: rbednar@crowell.com.
5. http://www.toastmasters.org/.


Acquiring Project and
Program Skills
Based on my experience and research in the ¬eld of project and program
management, I have found there are at least forty-seven subject areas
required to address the needs of projects and programs. I group these
forty-seven subject areas into ¬ve skill sets. Why ¬ve skill sets? Because
they coincide with what I know to be the general requirements for the
various levels of projects and programs that one is likely to encounter.
I have chosen the terms: Basic, Advanced, Expert, Specialty, and Princi-
pal to classify the levels.
As you read through the skill sets, you will see that the ¬rst line of
each group de¬nes what separates that level from the previous one.
The skill sets coincide, to a degree, with those of the major organiza-
tions. But each organization has categorized these skills into different
levels or groups for its own reasons. None is wrong. It™s just that each
has a different reason for creating different skill sets. The point of it all,
though, is that it takes essentially the same skills to conduct a project
or program no matter how you group the skills.
The skill sets presented here are not for the purpose of preparing
you for some certi¬cation test in one of the organizations. For that, you
need to follow the guidelines of the organization, precisely. My purpose
is to establish the skill sets to be consistent with the requirements of
the types of projects and programs you are likely to encounter in the
real world.
As you read through the following skill sets you will ¬nd an intro-
duction and a description together with a level of experience and the
pro¬ciency required for each level. The introduction presents the dis-
criminators that separate the current level from the previous level. The


description provides the scope of activity involved with a position. The
experience stipulates the experience necessary at the prior level to
achieve entry to the current level. Pro¬ciency shows the subjects that
must be mastered, and at what level, in order to be pro¬cient at the
level under discussion.
The project- and program-level requirements are cumulative. Be-
fore attaining the Expert Level, a manager must have completed all the
requirements for the Basic Level and the Advanced Level.
In each of the following skill set descriptions you will see a table
labeled Basic Skill Set, Advanced Skill Set, and so on. The columns in
these tables have the following meanings:
The far left column contains a number. That number is simply a
reference number for the subject. Next is the subject title. Following
that is a column containing a single letter: F, S, or C. These letters
stand for ¬rm, soft, or combination, and refer to the skill type of the
subject. A ¬rm task is one that is objective by nature and remains con-
stant; it is not subject to interpretation. Some refer to the ¬rm task as
a ˜˜hard™™ task. I have chosen to call it ¬rm to differentiate it from a
˜˜dif¬cult™™ task. A soft task is one that uses some interpretation in its
application. The ˜˜Skill Type™™ column is followed by the abbreviated
de¬nition of the subject. The de¬nition is followed by three columns
labeled: PMI, APM, and ICB, respectively. These columns show a refer-
ence to a PMI PMBOK paragraph that further de¬nes the subject or the
APM BOK that further de¬nes the subject or the ICB element that fur-
ther de¬nes the subject.
Following each skill set table is a second table that relates each
subject in that skill set to the pro¬ciency level necessary for that sub-
ject. The top number refers to the reference number, and the bottom
number refers to the pro¬ciency required, using the following tax-

1. The individual must be able to apply the Basic Skill Set and have
a pro¬ciency of the remaining subjects as indicated.
2. The individual must have a thorough understanding of the sub-
jects indicated and be able to apply advanced knowledge, backed
by appropriate experience, to the projects he or she is leading.
3. The individual must have an understanding of the subject area
indicated and be able to apply expert knowledge, backed by ap-
propriate experience, to the projects he or she is leading.

Acquiring Project and Program Skills

4. The individual must have an understanding of the subject area
indicated and be able to apply advanced or expert knowledge,
backed by appropriate experience, to the projects he or she is
5. The individual at this level must be expert in all subjects. Many
of the details of the subjects will be delegated to subordinates
but this individual must approve the subject delegation and the
resulting product.

Some subjects will mature or ˜˜top out™™ at some level and show
that level for all the subject areas in all the skill sets. An example of
this phenomenon is ˜˜Project Management Context.™™ It simply involves
reading and applying knowledge of the subject. That™s all that™s neces-
sary. The subject tops out at level 2.
To summarize the interaction of the two tables, let™s take one sub-
ject through from beginning to end.
Subject number ˜˜1™™ is the reference number. The subject is ˜˜Proj-
ect Management Context.™™ The subject is a Firm ˜˜F™™ skill type. The
subject is de¬ned as ˜˜The context within which a project is conceived,
issued, conducted, and accepted.™™ The de¬nition of the subject can be
enhanced or ampli¬ed by reading paragraph ˜˜2.0™™ of the PMI PMBOK,
Topic ˜˜12™™ of the APM BOK, or Element ˜˜5™™ of the IPMA Competence
Baseline. By adding the second table, we ¬nd that the basic level must
have a thorough understanding of the subjects indicated and be able to
apply an advanced level of knowledge, backed by appropriate experi-
ence, to the projects he or she is leading.
Now, let™s look at the actual skill sets.

Basic Skill Set
Preparation for the Basic Skill Set involves a change of thinking from
follower to leader and a knowledge of what projects are all about. Sim-
ply reading and understanding the literature I mention in the para-
graphs that follow will provide the information needed for the Basic
Skill Set. However, I recommend you also read the document shown
under ˜˜Suggested Reading™™ for even more information.

The basic-level manager will coordinate or supervise a single-disci-
plined task of low risk. The basic-level manager is responsible for
applying the project management process (see Chapter 1) to ensure


that the technical task is accomplished within the cost and schedule
parameters established for the project.

One month to six months.

Subject Requirements
Figure 6-1 contains the primary subjects that constitute the Basic Skill
Set. Each subject is followed by an abbreviated de¬nition. You can ex-
pand these abbreviated de¬nitions and that fundamental knowledge by
reading James Lewis™s Fundamentals of Project Management. This book
will give you insight to all the subjects you need to know to conduct
a small project. You can also review the documents referenced in the
appropriate paragraphs of the Project Management Institute™s Project
Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) under the column labeled PMI.
Should you desire further ampli¬cation of the subjects, refer to the two
far-right columns. The column labeled APM will refer you to the topics
of the APM Project Management Body of Knowledge (APM BOK) and the
column labeled ICB will refer you to the elements of the IPMA Compe-
tence Baseline (ICB). You can ¬nd these documents referenced at ˜˜Sug-
gested Reading™™ under the Advanced Skill Set.

Pro¬ciency Requirements
Figure 6-2 contains the subjects, ordered by reference number (top
row), and the pro¬ciency requirements (bottom row) that the basic-
level manager must achieve in order to operate ef¬ciently at this level.
Basic-level subjects are shown in bold.

Pro¬ciency Enhancements
The world of project management is wide open to you at this point so
you can leverage the basic-level subjects with any of the subjects in any
of the levels that follow.
You can expand these abbreviated de¬nitions and that fundamental
knowledge by reading the Fundamentals of Project Management.

Without a doubt, the PMI™s PMBOK provides all the subjects required
for this level as well as the next. Read and understand the PMBOK

Figure 6-1. Basic-Level Skill Set.
Skill Abbreviated
No. Subject Type De¬nition PMI APM ICB

1 Project Management F The context within which a project is conceived, 2.0 12 5
Context issued, conducted, and accepted.

2 Project/Program F Management of the scope, cost, schedule, and 3.0 10 & 11 1
Management Process quality of a speci¬c task.

3 Work Content and F Management of project content (deliverables). 5.0 30 13
Scope Management

4 Time Scheduling/ F Developing and applying the time necessary for 6.0 31 14
Phasing accomplishment of individual activities and linking
those activities to portray a project.

5 Budgeting & Cost F De¬ning project element ˜˜should cost™™ and 7.0 33 16
Management managing activities to ensure those costs are

6 Project F Application of the project plan to the task at hand. 2.1.2 63 2

7 Project Close Out F The process of concluding a project, delivering the 12.6 65 11
product to the customer and returning the resources
to the enterprise. Also called ˜˜Hand-Over.™™

Skill Type. Where: F Firm; S Soft; C Combination of F and S.

Figure 6-2. Basic-Level pro¬ciency requirements.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ” ” ” ”

Bold numbers indicate Subject Areas and pro¬ciency requirements speci¬c to this level.
Pro¬ciency requirements. Where: 1 Understands; 2 Applies Basic knowledge; 3 Applies Advanced
knowledge; 4 Applies Expert knowledge; 5 Delegates and controls.

Acquiring Project and Program Skills

(Project Management Institute, 2000) knowledge areas and meet the
limited experience requirements to get ready for the basic level.
In Fundamentals of Project Management, James Lewis applies the
knowledge areas of the PMBOK to real-world exercises. For example,
his Chapter 6, ˜˜Scheduling Project Work,™™ applies to PMBOK knowl-
edge area 6, ˜˜Time Management.™™ His Chapter 4, ˜˜Using the Work
Breakdown Structure to Plan a Project,™™ is a combination of parts of
PMBOK knowledge area 4, ˜˜Project Integration Management,™™ and
PMBOK knowledge area 5, ˜˜Scope Management.™™ These two books
should be read together. Any seminar listed in any of the skill sets will
be great but none is necessary for this level.
Suggested Reading
Dixon, Miles, ed. APM Project Management Body of Knowledge. Peter-
borough, U.K.: The Association for Project Management, 2000.
International Project Management Association. IPMA Competence
Baseline. Monmouth, U.K.: International Project Management Asso-
ciation, 1999.
Lewis, James. Fundamentals of Project Management. New York: AMA-
COM Books, 2001.
Project Management Institute. PMI PMBOK. Newtown Square,
Penn.: Project Management Institute, 2000.

Advanced Skill Set
In Figure 4-1, we saw that an advanced-level project manager must be
able to lead both intermediate projects and large projects. These project
types differ from the small project in the numbers of people involved,
the complexity of the project, and the potential risk of the project.
Therefore, the skill set of the advanced-level project manager must be
expanded to include the skills necessary to accomplish these expanded
Projects with more team members will require more people-related
subjects such as personnel management, organization (regarding the
team organization), team building, and training. The larger and more
complex projects need more attention to their composition and are sub-
ject to more changes than simpler projects. Therefore subjects such as
project life cycle, organization (relating to product organization), con-
¬guration management, and change control must be added to the skills
inventory. The control of risk is augmented by the subjects just men-
tioned as well as the use of a more rigorous control system such as
earned value management.
The advanced level is the point at which the individual manager™s
persona begins to emerge. The AIPM, APM, asapm, and the IPMA in-


clude this fact in their certi¬cation process. They call it ˜˜attitude.™™ But,
because the current street jargon de¬nes ˜˜attitude™™ as a negative attri-
bute, I have chosen to use Jung™s term ˜˜persona.™™ Persona comes from
the Greek actor™s vocabulary and means how one is perceived. Believe
me, how you are perceived is 90 percent of life, maybe even more. It™s
not just an act, though, it has a purpose, such as being able to smile
when you really want to tear out someone™s windpipe. This action
would not solve the problem, would be detrimental to the performance
of the project, and certainly would not do his windpipe any good. How
you handle this kind of situation constitutes your persona and how you
are perceived. The two ends of the persona spectrum can be referred to
as the ˜˜Raging Bull™™ and ˜˜Cool Hand Luke.™™

The advanced-level project manager will lead a multidisciplined team
to achieve a task of moderate risk and moderate complexity. In addition
to cost, schedule, and scope management, the advanced project man-
ager now has the responsibility for selecting team members and ensur-
ing that they understand the project and its objectives. The advanced-
level project manager will interpret the task requirements, and create,
implement, and manage a complex project plan that ensures that all
requirements are met and all deliverables accrue to the customer at the
proper times with appropriate quality.

One to three years, depending on the complexity of the project.

Subject Requirements
Figure 6-3 contains the subjects that constitute the advanced-level skill
set. Each subject is followed by an abbreviated de¬nition. The abbrevi-
ated de¬nitions can be expanded by reviewing the documents refer-
enced in the columns headed PMI, APM, and ICB. PMI refers to the
Project Management Institute™s Project Management Body of Knowledge
(PMBOK). APM refers to the topics of the APM Project Management Body
of Knowledge (APM BOK). ICB refers to the elements of the IPMA Compe-
tence Baseline (ICB).

Pro¬ciency Requirements
Figure 6-4 contains the subjects, ordered by reference number (top
row), and the pro¬ciency requirements (bottom row) that the advanced-
(text continues on page 56)

Figure 6-3. Advanced-Level Skill Set.
No. Subject Skill Abbreviated De¬nition PMI APM ICB
C The objective factors that de¬ne project success. ” 20 9
8 Project Success
C The process of developing a project plan that is 4.0 21 4&8
9 Strategy/Project
consistent with enterprise and customer
Management Planning
10 Communication C Two-way oral, written, or graphic interchange of 10.0 70 25
data between people and/or machines.
F De¬nition and control of the facilities, ¬nances, 7.1 32 15
11 Resource
Management equipment, and real estate in support of a project.
12 Change Control F Management of changes to project content. 4.3 34 & 41 17
13 Information F Management of the ¬‚ow of information into, within, 10.0 36 21 & 29
Management and out of the project.
14 Structures F Organization of project activities to show 2.3, 30 & 66 12
relationships between the elements of the activities, 5.3 &
such as a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). 9.1.3
F Management of changes to the product baseline. 46 17 & 37
15 Con¬guration

Figure 6-3. (Continued).
No. Subject Skill Abbreviated De¬nition PMI APM ICB
16 Project Life Cycle F Determination of the lifecycle a project is to have 2.1 40, 60 & 6 & 10
Design & Management and then developing a plan to ensure 61
17 Procurements & F The processes of buying products and services 12.0 53 27
Subcontracts from other entities.
18 Earned Value F A process that assigns value to events. The 4.1.4 35 19
Management predetermined value is then awarded to the
performer whenever the event is completed.
19 Organization C A structured relationship between the people of the 23.3 66 & 67 22 & 33
project at a particular moment in time.
20 Risk Management C Identi¬cation and control of risks that could affect 11.0 23 18
the project.
21 Quality Management C Management of the quality processes of a project. 8.0 24 28
22 Personnel C Evaluating personnel needs, the recruiting and 9.0 75 35
Management assignment of personnel, and the evaluation of the
performance of those personnel.
23 Team Building/ C Processes by which people work together for the 9.3 71 23
Teamwork common good of the project rather than individual
24 Training C Exposing individuals to selected, project-related 9.3.5 75 35 & 36
Skill Type. Where: F Firm; S Soft; C Combination of F and S.
Figure 6-4. Advanced-Level pro¬ciency requirements.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

3 2 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 5

25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47

2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 ” ” ” ”

Bold numbers indicate Subject Areas and pro¬ciency requirements speci¬c to this level.
Pro¬ciency requirements. Where: 1 Understands; 2 Applies Basic knowledge; 3 Applies Advanced
knowledge; 4 Applies Expert knowledge; 5 Delegates and controls.


level manager must achieve in order to operate ef¬ciently at this level.
Advanced-level subjects are shown in bold.

Pro¬ciency Enhancement Resources


. 2
( 7)