. 4
( 7)


It is interesting to note that some colleges and universities recog-
nize the PMP from the PMI. In the cases I have investigated, the PMP
has a value of nine graduate-level hours counting toward a graduate
degree. A graduate degree in project management usually consists of
thirty-two hours of work.
To say it once again, the ¬eld of project management is changing
rapidly. So is the support offered by colleges and universities. The best
way I know of to ¬nd a consolidated listing of universities that provide
support to these programs is to go to the PMI Web site at http://www
.pmi.org/. Then, go to the ˜˜Professional Development and Careers™™
menu. Select ˜˜Academic Degree Accreditation.™™ You can access the in-
formation there and then go to the Web site of the college or university
of interest. You can search each school individually and determine
which categories each offers. Then you can select the school that is
most appropriate for your needs.
As an alternative, you can do an Internet search on colleges and
universities, but you™ll have to wade through a lot of inappropriate col-
leges. Also, you can do a search on ˜˜master of project management™™ or
˜˜master of science in project management.™™
At this point, you may be asking yourself: What role does a gradu-
ate degree in project management play in all this? This question is a
little bit dif¬cult to answer. Generally speaking, the project manage-
ment curriculum covers the project management subject areas equiva-
lent to those required for an expert project. In addition, there will be
other courses required. Colleges and universities have little consistency
of curricula other than for the core courses.
There are some other nuances that should be discussed at this point
though. The ¬rst question back to you is: What do you intend to do
with your career? The answer to that question is the real reason I di-
vided the colleges and universities into the ¬ve categories.
If you want to go into project management as a long-term goal, you

Expanding Your Knowledge

should select a program and university that results in a graduate degree
in project management. The master of project management usually ¬lls
this ideal. Let™s call this Category A.
If you want to add project management to your repertoire, but ulti-
mately want to become a general manager or CEO or the like, you
should choose an MBA program with a specialty in project manage-
ment. Call this Category B.
If you are a technical person and want to have the ability to lead
projects and be a functional manager also, you should select a program
that adds project management to your technical core. Usually the mas-
ter of science in project management will ¬ll this requirement. We™ll
call this Category C.
As you can see, each of these areas follows a little different line of
education. While the core courses are similar, the supporting courses
and electives are quite different. Ergo, you should be careful to select
the degree type that will give you the greatest return.
Let™s refer to the ¬ve groups I talked about earlier and match them
with the categories we just discussed.

1. Colleges and universities that offer traditional, on-campus,
graduate degree programs in project management. These are
Category A programs.
2. Colleges and universities that offer traditional, on-campus,
graduate degree programs in business administration with a
specialization in project management. These are Category B pro-
3. Colleges and universities that offer traditional, on-campus,
graduate degree programs in technical disciplines with options
in project management. These are Category C programs.
4. Colleges and universities that offer one or more of the above
graduate degree programs through the Internet. These can be
Category A, B, or C programs.
5. Colleges and universities that offer certi¬cate programs in proj-
ect management, either on-campus or through the Internet. As
I said before, certi¬cates are not degrees, and the programs that
culminate in certi¬cates are training programs, not educational
programs. We™ll go into these programs in just a moment.

What if you already have a graduate degree in another ¬eld, or don™t
want to go back and get another graduate degree or a doctorate at this


time? The answer here could lie in getting a diploma, a certi¬cate, or a
certi¬cation in project management and add that to your credentials.
These credentials actually fall into the category of training, which fol-

Expanding Your Training
You can expand your training with books and with seminars provided
by private companies and colleges and universities. This is the time
when you need to look back on the self-assessment tables earlier in this
chapter. Where are your shortcomings? What areas do you need or
want to improve? The answers to these questions will be different for
each individual. At this point, I suggest you look back at the subject
areas you need to improve and then look at the seminar and book list-
ings provided by the AMA and the PMI for those areas. You can ¬nd
these as follows:

AMA Books: http://www.amacombooks.org
AMA Seminars: http://www.amanet.org/seminars/index.htm
PMI Books: http://www.pmibookstore.org/
Search by keyword.

PMI Seminars:
Traditional: http://www.pmi.org/info/PDC_SW_Home.asp?nav
E-Seminars: http://www.pmi.org/info/PDC_eSeminarsWorld.asp?
nav 0404

Training, as we say in the workaday world, falls into two categories:
in-house and out-of-house. In-house training is further categorized as
internal training and referred training.
Internal training covers those training courses provided by your
company training department as standard fare throughout the year.
Courses that fall into this category are such things as: Introduction to
Whatever, Ethics at Our Company, What Is Expected of You, Waste,
Fraud, and Abuse, Sexual Harassment, and Socially and Politically Cor-
rect courses. Don™t laugh. In a big company, you need to know what
the expectations are, even if you don™t agree with them. This is the way
the company does business, and this is the baseline you are expected
to follow. Also in this category are special training courses offered by
outside vendors or consultants brought into the company. Usually
these courses are quite speci¬c and are generally pointed at speci¬c

Expanding Your Knowledge

disciplines. Many times, outside consultants will be invited to present
technical or ˜˜human™™ courses that are of great value to managers. Ex-
amples of these kinds of courses are self-assessment courses for per-
sonality type, thinking type, management type, leadership type, and so
on. These types of courses are extremely useful to you as a project
manager, and my suggestion is to avail yourself of every one of these
courses you can get. I know, when you are down in the trenches throw-
ing back grenades and the personnel rep comes along and says your
boss wants you to attend a course in social correctness next week, what
your ¬rst response is likely to be. Let™s say you™re a little less than
overjoyed. Don™t reject it out of hand though. Hold your commitment
or rejection until you™ve had an opportunity to assess this opportunity
in the context of your overall strategy. Consider that this may be an
opportunity to turn the reins of the project over to the person you have
been mentoring to take your place. You have been mentoring someone
to take your place, haven™t you?
Out-of-house courses are courses offered by vendors, consultants,
and companies that conduct their courses at locations other than on
your campus. Most big seminars are offered this way because it is the
most ef¬cient way to conduct this kind of course. These courses run
the gamut. Insofar as the company is concerned, these courses fall into
one of two classes: known and unknown. The known courses are those
that the company has sent people to before. The company knows the
value of these courses and usually has no compunction about sending
its employees to them. The unknown courses are those that have not
yet been evaluated by the company (probably the training department),
and the company may be reluctant to send you to one of these courses
without more consideration. Outside courses and seminars cost be-
tween $500 and $2,000 per day per person, exclusive of travel, subsis-
tence, and salary. With these kinds of numbers you can understand
why the company wants to know why it™s making this investment. If
you ¬nd a course in this category that you feel is absolutely essential to
your career, collect all the data you can and turn it over to your boss.
Have your boss assess the value and take the ¬ndings to the training
department. It will take a little longer but could be a real opportunity.
Don™t be too surprised if you get the answer that the training depart-
ment has already evaluated the course because training departments
usually have their ˜˜feelers™™ out for all kinds of related courses. As soon
as the training companies ¬nd out your training department has a bud-
get, they will be lined up at the door offering their wares. There are


tons of training courses available. First, check with your training de-
partment to see the ones they have in inventory. You may be able to
select some good ones from that list. Second, talk to your friends at
other companies or look at the training course offerings recommended
by the various project management organizations, particularly the one
you are directly interested in. Finally, do a search on the Internet by
˜˜Project Management Training Courses™™ or by the speci¬c area or
course that you want. Also, look for project management training com-
panies and see what they have to offer. These companies can provide
whatever you want and a lot of things you never thought of.
Informal training is usually on-the-job training and is too diverse
for discussion here.

The best place to look for certi¬cation is with the organization that is
prevalent in your area or whose certi¬cation will be most bene¬cial to
you. Who will this be? Will it be PMI? Will it be APM? Will it be
some other organization? To get started in ¬nding an organization for
certi¬cation, ¬rst, select the organization that will best represent your
interests from Figure 2-2. Remember too that a certi¬cate may be the
avenue you want to pursue. In this case check with your training de-
partment or do a search on the Internet. The numbers of certi¬cate
courses is immense.
Certi¬cates and certi¬cations have both intrinsic and extrinsic
value. They have intrinsic value if they are satisfying to you. For in-
stance, if you feel you must be certi¬ed as a project manager to satisfy
your own needs and you accomplish that certi¬cation, then that satis-
¬es an intrinsic need. They have extrinsic value, on the other hand, if
they are satisfying to someone else. Let™s say that certi¬cation is re-
quired by your job and you achieve that certi¬cation that satis¬es an
extrinsic need. Stated most succinctly, satisfaction of an intrinsic need
gives you a good feeling, while satisfaction of an extrinsic need gives
you money and position.
Each organization has speci¬c areas that it insists on testing, and
you must avail yourself of those areas. PMI is most rigorous in its treat-
ment of knowledge areas. You must read their books and repeat their
language and their terminology back to them. The other organizations
are a bit more ¬‚exible in the terminology but are much broader in their
performance and ˜˜attitude™™ testing and interviews. Refer to Chapter

Expanding Your Knowledge

2 to each of the certifying organizations for details regarding speci¬c
certi¬cations. Refer to Chapter 6 for seminars that can offer certi¬cates
for attendance.
A certi¬cate or certi¬cation indicates you have achieved a certain
proscribed course of requirements. Most certainly that has meaning to
some but the real question is: ˜˜Does it have meaning to your employer
or potential employer in your speci¬c business area?™™
From a pragmatic point of view, make certain a certi¬cate or certi-
¬cation has extrinsic and speci¬c value before spending a lot of time
and money on it. Certi¬cation is involved and expensive. As you saw
above, in some cases it is valuable, and in other cases it is not so valu-
Even though project management certi¬cation has been around for
over twenty years, it is relatively new to industry. The primary reason,
in my opinion, is that the purveyors of certi¬cation have been concen-
trating on the ˜˜supply side™™ of the curve and not the ˜˜demand side.™™
Simply, this means they have concentrated on convincing individuals
they needed certi¬cation but have not convinced industry to demand it.
The secondary reason is that there is really no absolute standard. The
PMI has tried diligently to establish a standard but has limited its certi-
¬cation process to knowledge. The other organizations use knowledge
but rely heavily on practical experience, performance, attitude (per-
sona), and interviews. Which is correct? It™s a classic ˜˜Gown versus
Town™™ (academic versus experience) argument. From my discussions
with hiring authorities in industry, and from my own experience, I can
say that performance is the most important factor in hiring and promot-
ing project and program managers. Assuming that industry does accept
certi¬cation as a requirement, which will it choose? Will it choose the
knowledge-based PMP or the competency-based certi¬cations like the
aCPM3 or the IPMA Level B? So far, industry (I include the government
in this discussion) has taken the traditional (and easy) way out and
relied on performance. If, in the future, industry stipulates certi¬cation
requirements, they will likely ˜˜escape between the horns of the di-
lemma™™ by only saying certi¬cation, rather than stipulating Certi¬ca-
tion A or Certi¬cation B. Just as soon as a company speci¬es one
certi¬cation over another, it is putting itself in the position of value
judge. Is a PMP more valuable than an aCPM1 or 2 (or vice versa)? If
I were an of¬cer in one organization and the certi¬cation of another
organization was speci¬ed as a position requirement, I think I would


want to know why. All I can say is, don™t get caught up in the Gown
versus Town argument just for the sake of argument.
I have been harping on performance as the prime criterion for hir-
ing and promotion, and I won™t budge from that position. But, what if
you are a hiring manager and two candidates present with exactly the
same performance quali¬cations, and one has a certi¬cation and the
other does not? Which one will you choose? In that case, I believe the
choice is obvious. You need to make the decision as to what the certi¬-
cation means to you and to your employer or potential employer.
Figure 7-6 shows that each organization has a different way of clas-
sifying their certi¬cations: Level 1, Level C, Basic, and so on. Figure 7-6
presents the various levels and groups so they are more relatable. Use
caution though because they are not absolute. In fact, in no way am I
suggesting that if you know a particular skill set, you will be quali¬ed
to sit for the related certi¬cation. The purpose is to give you a general
idea of how they relate to each other but not to provide an absolute
comparison. If you need to understand exactly what is required for each
certi¬cation, go to each organization of interest and read the detailed
descriptions of their certi¬cation requirements.

Expanding Your Knowledge

Figure 7-6. Comparison of certi¬cations and skill sets.
Organization Certi¬cation Skill Sets
AIPM Project Director/Program Manager (Level 6) Expert
Project Manager (Level 5) Advanced
Project Team Member/Project Specialist
(Level 4) Basic

AMA Project Management Certi¬cate Advanced

APM Certi¬cated International Project Manager
(CIPM) Specialist
Senior Project Manager (Level 3) Expert
Certi¬ed Project Manager (Level 2) Advanced
Associate Project Management Professional
(Level 1) Basic

asapm Senior management or project sponsor (SP) Principal
Resource Managers (RM) Principal
Project Of¬ce Manager (PO) Expert
Project Directors or Program Managers (P3) Expert
Project Managers (P2) Advanced
Project Specialists (P1) Basic
Project Team Members (TM) Basic

IPMA Certi¬cated Projects Director (Level A) Principal
Certi¬cated Projects Manager (Level B) Expert
Certi¬cated Project Management Professional
(Level C) Advanced
Certi¬cated Project Management Practitioner
(Level D) Basic

JPMF Project Management Architect (PMA) Principal
Project Manager Registered (PMR) Advanced
Project Management Specialist (PMS) Basic

PMI Project Management Professional (PMP) Advanced
Certi¬ed Associate in Project Management
(CAPM) Basic


Improving Your Abilities
Perhaps you™ve read the recommended books and even attended the
recommended seminars. This does not mean you are ready to lead a
project or that your company will select you to lead any project other
than projects requiring basic knowledge. You need experience.

Gaining Experience
If you were a high-wire walker in a circus, you would probably think it
a good idea to gain your initial experience with a safety net you can fall
into. Because of the importance of a project to a company, it is an
equally good idea to have a ˜˜safety net.™™ I recommend that you gain
your initial project management experience under the tutelage of an
experienced project manager, so that if you stumble, the impact to the
project and to you will be minimized. As time goes on, however, you
will gain more experience by taking on more responsibility and per-
forming at a higher level.

Initial Experience
Initial experience will be gained by you as an associate or assistant
project manager. It should be gained in some position that has a ˜˜safety
net™™ to fall back on when you are confronted with a dif¬cult situation.
Only after you have gained initial experience, under supervised condi-
tions, should you lead a project on your own.
You will gain experience from each and every assignment. But it is
your task to ensure that the experience is positive and worthwhile. I
remember that an associate once tried to justify the higher salary of a
communications technician by saying: ˜˜He has twenty years™ experi-
ence as a comm tech.™™ My position was that he really has four years™
experience, ¬ve times over. One can learn all he needs to know about

Improving Your Abilities

this particular position in four years. After four years, he is welcome to
stay in the same position if he wants to, but I™m not paying for it! What
should that little quip mean to you? It should mean to keep your career
onward and upward. Experience is a great thing, but it must be progres-
sive experience.

Continuing Experience
Gain your experience at each level under the recommended conditions.
For instance, the early levels recommend that you be an assistant or
associate or at least under the tutelage of a senior project manager.
Doing so is to your advantage. You get to pile up experience at a level
but with a ˜˜backup™™ to go to if things start to sour. Even if everything is
running smoothly, you get the opportunity to observe another project
manager in action. Believe me, that™s worth a lot.
As you read through the ¬ve levels you found that a period of expe-
rience was recommended for each level. These periods have been deter-
mined by research and personal experience. They assume you have
achieved the knowledge requirements early in the period and that the
experience was applying this knowledge. This requirement may or may
not be what your employer or potential employer requires. Of course,
the employer™s requirement must take precedence. The idea presented
in the experience requirements is to understand and apply your knowl-
edge base at each level and ensure good (better yet, outstanding) per-
formance. Then, don™t dwell at that level. Move on to the next level.
You really want to look upon the experience recommendations as
an advantage to you, not a disadvantage. Everyone gets excited and
ready to jump on the next project, but from your standpoint as well as
from the position of the company, you need to ensure that you are
ready. You want your next position to be a challenge, not a struggle.

Developing Your Persona
˜˜Mirror, mirror on the wall. . . .™™1 Don™t we all wish we had such in-
sight? Unfortunately, we will need to review our persona more tradi-
tionally. Your persona is the sum of all the things that go into your
makeup”it™s who you are. It™s your personality, your attitude, your
method of doing things, and how others perceive you.
Again, there are intrinsic factors and extrinsic factors. In this case,
the intrinsic factors include your natural inclinations and attitude. Are
you a ˜˜things™™ person or a ˜˜people™™ person? Are you the ˜˜steely-eyed


captain of the ship™™ or the ˜˜happy-go-lucky co-pilot™™ who takes it as it
comes? You can change your natural inclinations and attitude, but not
Now, the extrinsic factors. These include your education, your
training, and your experiences. Additionally, the impact your peers
have on your thinking is tremendous. Extrinsic factors can be changed
a lot. Every time you take a course or a seminar, you view things a little
differently as a result of what you learned. But here too is where they
come together. For instance, the experiences you bring into a seminar
modulate what you take away from the seminar and what you will bring
with you to the next seminar. Will the project manager sitting next to
you take away exactly the same understanding? I don™t think so. It is
the sum of these intrinsic and extrinsic factors that makes you unique.
Whenever I think of persona, I think of a little story one of my
graduate advisers used to tell. He said that every day at ¬ve o™clock the
subways were ¬lled with people heading to night classes to get their
MBAs or some other degree. They were convinced that those degrees
would make all the difference and that they would then be on their way
to success. His position was that it may make a difference in some
cases, but the problems the majority of them had were personality
problems. That™s what was holding them back. His position certainly
backs up the old saw that says: ˜˜The very strengths that got you here
are the same ones that are keeping you from going any further.™™

Assessing Your Persona
Take a look at your persona, both the intrinsic factors and the extrinsic
factors, and ¬nd out what you think of yourself and what others think
of you as well. If you don™t care, now is a good time to stop reading!
There are a number of ways to determine your personal and leadership
characteristics. One of the best I know is: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
(MBTI), an idea that was developed by Peter B. Myers and Katherine
Briggs and made into a seminar. Instructors certi¬ed by Consulting
Psychologists teach the seminar and evaluate the summary results.
The idea behind this course is that people have a primary style of
operating that is expressed in four-letter factors that are parts of four
pairs of factors. The factors are: Extroverted (E) versus introverted (I);
sensing (S) versus intuition (N); thinking (T) versus feeling (F); and
judging (J) versus perceiving (P). There are sixteen combinations, each
re¬‚ecting a different personality type. The MBTI tends to re¬‚ect your

Improving Your Abilities

intrinsic factors. As I said before, you can change these factors but not
much. Over time, I have watched my MBTI go from I-N-T-J (INTJ) to
E-S/N-T-J to E/I-S/N-T-J back to basically I-N-T-J. The shared charac-
ters (that is, E/I) are the result of scores being exactly the same in the
two factors. My changes were due, in large part, to the positions I held
at a particular moment in time. It seems to be sort of an application of
Situational Leadership (SL)”you do what you have to do when you have
to do it!
MBTI has been around a long time and has become the de facto
personality test in industry. I believe in it so strongly that I had my son
take the test, at my own expense, while he was still a freshman in
college. I use MBTI, presented and evaluated by certi¬ed instructors, in
all my team seminars.

Improving Your Abilities
As I said at the outset, leadership is the most important attribute of a
project manager. There are dozens of leadership courses available as
seminars and training courses and dozens of books on the subject as
well. One of the best initial evaluation courses I have come across is
Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI). LPI is a test instrument designed to
show your leadership practices. The LPI was created by James Kouzes
and Barry Posner. It is a self- or local assessment tool that is clever in
its construction. A self-assessment questionnaire is ¬lled in by the
leader (you). It is further ¬lled in by up to ten peers, supervisors, and
subordinates. Include as many different categories as possible. When
the results are returned, they are transferred to a matrix sheet and eval-
uated. The matrix sheet decodes the questions, resulting in scores that
evaluate your Challenging, Inspiring, Enabling, Modeling, and Encour-
aging leadership practices. It™s a bit more involved than this but you get
the idea.
I recommend that LPI be followed up by Situational Leadership (SL).
SL is a seminar created by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard. It is taught
by certi¬ed university associate instructors. The basis of the course is
that different situations call for different leadership styles. They call the
styles they teach: Delegating, Participating, Selling, and Telling. Which
style you use depends how the task is delivered and the relationship
between the leader and the followers. One style just won™t work for all
situations. This course has been around for a long time, and it is one of
the best leadership courses I have seen.


I think you will ¬nd the relationship between the leadership styles
of Situational Leadership (delegating, participating, and so on) similar to
the people-to-people styles of I™M OK, You™re OK (parent-to-child, adult-
to-adult, and so on).
The group courses are best set up by the training department of
your company, so that the ˜˜language™™ that is a part of each of these
courses is common to all project managers and to other leaders in your
company. This way, when someone says: ˜˜Oh, I know him, he™s an
INTJ,™™ everyone will know what the speaker is talking about.
Suggested Seminars
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc.
3803 E. Bayshore Road
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Phone: 800 624-1765
Web site: www.mbti.com
Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI)
Instruction package available to training departments.
Pfeiffer & Company
8517 Production Avenue
San Diego, CA 92121
Phone: 619 578-5900
Fax: 619 578-2042
Web site: http://www.pfeiffer.com/
E-mail: customercare@Pfeiffer.com
Situational Leadership
The Center for Leadership Studies
230 West Third Avenue
Escondido, CA 92025-4180
Phone: 800 330-2840 or 760 741-6595
Fax : 760 747-9384
Web site: http://www.situational.com/
Suggested Reading
Harris, Thomas. I™m OK, You™re OK. New York: Avon, 1976.

Improving Your Performance
Performance is the quality level at which your experience is exhibited.
It is reasonable to say that experience is time-related and performance
is quality-related. For your own personal bene¬t, it is best if your per-
formance is acknowledged by some of¬cial act by your supervisor or
the enterprise or corporation. Recognition such as a ˜˜Letter of Com-

Improving Your Abilities

mendation,™™ ˜˜Team Leader of the Month,™™ or ˜˜Project Manager of the
Year™™ are the types I am talking about. Something concrete, objective,
and portable! Without making a pest of yourself, try to get every major
accomplishment recognized. Keep copies of each and every one of these
awards and certi¬cates.

Review Your Performance
The absolute worst reviewer of your performance is you! You will either
be overly critical or will rationalize your performance. This is just
human nature. (Perhaps I should have had this section titled ˜˜Have
Your Performance Reviewed™™ rather than ˜˜Review Your Perfor-
mance.™™) Nevertheless, you need to constantly keep a ¬nger on your
own pulse. It is essential that you understand how you are perceived
by your peers, by your team members, by your management, and by
your customers. At every occurrence, ask yourself: ˜˜Is this pulse read-
ing I am taking now a constant or just a single reading™™? You will not
be perceived by everyone in the same way all the time. What you are
striving for is a ˜˜best ¬t,™™ a Root Mean Square (RMS) of all the evalua-
tions of all the people in all the positions on all the projects you have
interfaced with.

Enhance Your Performance
Once again, review the equation for project management success:

Knowledge Experience Persona Performance Success

This means that you use all the knowledge you can gain as leverage,
apply that knowledge to gain experience, and through your persona,
show performance. This is the only path to project management suc-
Back in Chapter 7, you went through an exercise of checking off
and evaluating your abilities as they were required for each skill set.
We are at a point now where you need to do the same thing for your
performance. Unfortunately, I can™t give you a checklist this time. What
I suggest you do is list each project or program you have led. Inside
that listing, like an outline, list the objectives that you had for each
project. Then grade your performance against each goal. It™s a good idea
to have some of your associates work with you in remembering what
the goals and objectives were. If you have not yet led a project, do the


same thing for projects you have participated in. At this point, the ob-
jective is to establish a methodology rather than worrying about spe-
From now on, make your list at the beginning of each project you
participate in or lead. Evaluate your performance, and ask your peers
to help you both with making the list and with the evaluation. Now
you have a technique that™s worthwhile. It™s something to which you
can point with pride.
What we have done is to establish a set of objectives that you grade
at the completion of each as they occur. After just a short while, this
technique will make you goal-oriented. You will know your precise per-
formance from day to day. A trick I have found to be helpful is to have
these goals and performance evaluations in a visible place. You may
want to put them on a white board or on the ¬‚yleaf of your notebook.
You may want to list the goal for today or for this week on the white-
board and keep the others in another place. Frequently, an interesting
thing happens. People notice the technique and commend you for it.
Some of them start using the same technique. Your boss notices the
goals you have posted in a visible place and sees your progress. This is
a pretty good idea, isn™t it?

1. The evil queen questions her magic mirror in the Grimm brothers™ fairy
tale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.




In Chapter 1 we talked about how the project management process can
be used. We said that the process can be used by individuals in the
performance of their individual tasks as well as by project leaders to
lead the performance of the tasks of others.
In Chapter 4, we established the project and program types. We
saw that there are seven types of projects and programs. Each project
or program has its own characteristics, and as we progressed through
the types, we saw that they tended to get larger and larger and more
and more complex. We went from a small project consisting of perhaps
a half-dozen people performing a relatively simple task to a large scale
program consisting of hundreds of people and performing a complex
set of tasks.
Clearly, one type of project manager with one set of learned tools
cannot lead tasks of such breadth and diversity. This was resolved by
introducing ¬ve project and program skill sets in Chapter 4.
Now is the time to put it all together. To apply the project skill
levels to the project and program types. It™s time to put the round peg


into the round hole and the square peg into the square hole”so to
In this chapter I hope to show how all that training you got in
Chapter 4 is now applicable to the project and program tasks you are
to lead.


Matching the Skill Sets to
Projects and Programs
Have you wondered what it™s like to lead a project or program? It can be
fun; it can be exciting; it can be educational. Or, it can be challenging; it
can be dif¬cult; it can be nerve-wracking. Chances are, it will be some
combination of all these things. How the project runs and ends will, in
large part, depend on you and how well you used the ˜˜knowledge lever-
age™™ you gained as a result of Part II.
Throughout Part II, we talked about the different levels of pro¬-
ciency necessary to lead different project and program levels. Now we
can talk about the projects and programs where you will apply that
knowledge. For starters, Figure 9-1 is a cross-reference between Proj-

Figure 9-1. Skill sets as they apply to project and program
Project/Program Category Skill Set

Small Project Basic

Intermediate Project
Large Project

Program Expert

Virtual Project or Program
International Program

Large-Scale (Grand) Program Principal



ect/Program Category and Skill Set. The reason there are seven catego-
ries and only ¬ve skill sets is that the difference between intermediate
projects and large projects is principally size and can be overcome by
experience. The difference between virtual programs and international
programs is that they are both specialties, not unlike pharmaceuticals
being a specialty and aerospace being a specialty. However, once you
step over the specialty line the options are enormous. It is not possible
or even advisable to list all the specialty skills necessary to serve all the
programs, so I have simply combined them into a ˜˜Specialty™™ category
skill set.
Many of the characteristics of the project and program types are
similar, but there are some characteristics that distinguish one from
the other. I have enumerated nineteen factors that characterize the dif-
ferent project and program types. Figure 9-2 lists the factors in the left
column and de¬nes them for use by all levels in the right column. Note
that the required skill set is the last row in the table.
From here on, we will be generalizing about project types rather
than referring to speci¬c projects. What we want to do is to separate
the project types using some discriminators so you will have an idea of
what different project levels are all about.
To avoid redundancy, I will present only the characteristics that
distinguish one stage from another. Additional information will be pro-
vided as necessary.

A Small Project
A small project is the most basic of projects and is the workhorse of the
project management system. There are numerically more small projects
than all the other project types put together. For all practical purposes,
a small project is an order rather than a project”that is, a task order
assigned to a project ˜˜manager™™ to get the work done. The project man-
ager does not ˜˜own™™ the people on the project, but rather they belong
to the functional managers and are simply ˜˜loaned™™ to the project as
necessary. Neither does the project manager have the authority to move
resources to accomplish the task. Many times, the people working on
the small project will change from day to day. This is the epitome of
the matrix system and gives the company tremendous latitude in han-
dling its people but can be a real headache for the project manager.
A small project requires the project manager (coordinator) be
knowledgeable of and able to apply at least the Basic Skill Set
(text continues on page 116)

Matching the Skill Sets to Projects and Programs

Figure 9-2. Characteristics of projects and programs.
Tasks: Enumerates the kinds of tasks you might
expect to ¬nd in a particular level. There
is considerable overlap and sometimes
the only difference that separates one
project type for another is value or

Customer: De¬nes the customer type you would
expect to ¬nd in each category. Every
project or program is performed for a
customer. The customer may be in the
same operating unit as you, in the same
division, in the same company, in a
different company, or in a different
organization. Who the customer is will
have a huge bearing on how the project
or program is conducted and ˜˜sold off.™™

Value: Dollars are used as the common
denominator for consistency. In reality,
the smaller projects are not evaluated or
conducted on dollar value. Instead, they
are controlled by schedule and labor
hours used to complete the project.

Duration: Time is used as the common
denominator for consistency. Greater
technical or programmatic complexity
will result in longer project duration.

Risk Level: Every project has risk. Risk is one of the
major factors for categorizing projects
into different levels. Generally, the
greater the project risk, the higher the
level of classi¬cation of the project.

Complexity*: Projects contain technical complexity
and programmatic complexity. Technical
complexity can result from pushing the
state of the art, and so on.


Figure 9-2. (Continued).
Programmatic complexity can result
from the need to make alliances, or the
location of contributors, and so on.

Contract Type(s): Contracts have base types and fee
(pro¬t) provisions used in combination.
The most rigid is Firm Fixed Price (FFP)
and is generally used on programs that
can be well de¬ned. The most forgiving
is Cost Plus Fixed Fee (CPFF) and is
generally used on programs that cannot
be well de¬ned. Other combinations
involve applying award fee (AF)
provisions and incentive fee (IF)
provisions to the base contract types
such as Fixed Price (FP) and Cost Plus
(CP), and so on. You can look upon the
award and incentive factors as bonuses.

No. of People**: The number of people assigned to a
project, on average. Some persons will
be assigned to the project for the full
duration and others for shorter periods.

Disciplines†: The crafts or specialties required to
perform the task.

Schedule Tools: Schedule tools are those tools used to
present and maintain the timeline for the
project. Schedule tools vary from
handwritten, indentured lists to highly
sophisticated software applications that
interface with all the operating functions
of the project, including the accounting
system. Schedule tools should be
selected to provide the level of support
needed for the project. Not too
sophisticated and not too simple.

Matching the Skill Sets to Projects and Programs

Accounting Base: The base used to collect and account for
costs. The simplest is time cards or time
sheets for labor and invoices for
materials. The most sophisticated is
methods that input directly to the
accounting system with little or no
human intervention.

Accounting Tools: The tools used to account for budget
and expenditures. Accounting tools vary
from pencil and paper to sophisticated
software applications. It is common for
companies to have their own accounting
tools based on the way they do

Organization Type: The two basic types of organizations
that support projects are matrix and
projectized. In the matrix method people
are assigned to a functional organization
and allocated to a project for some
period of time or to accomplish some
task. In the projectized method, the
people are assigned full-time to the

PM Reports to: The person to whom the project
manager reports for a particular type or
level of project. Usually the PM reports
to a line manager or director or to a PMO
manager or director. In some cases, the
PM reports administratively to a line
manager and technically to a PMO.

Materials and Subcontracts: The of¬ce responsible for identifying,
procuring, accounting for, and verifying
applicability and existence of materials
and subcontracts for this speci¬c project
level or type.



Figure 9-2. (Continued).
Quality: The source of the quality function for this
speci¬c project level or type.

Effectiveness: The category of effectiveness usually
includes combinations of Reliability,
Availability, Maintainability (RAM),
Human Engineering (Ergonomics),
Con¬guration Management, and Safety

Facilities and Equipment‡: The responsibility for de¬ning and
providing facilities and equipment for
this speci¬c project level or type.

Team Training: The level of team training required for
this speci¬c project level or type.

Applicable Skill Set: The skill set (see Chapter 5) a project
manager needs to prosecute this type or
level of project.
*Complexity drives cost/price/value, project duration, and usually risk. Additionally,
on a program, complexity may drive contract type. Gathering the de¬nitions of Risk
Level and Complexity together results in understanding that these factors have a
great bearing on the level of a project.
**The number of people assigned to a project or program generally indicates its
complexity. The complexity can be technical or programmatic or both. A small
number of people generally indicates a low complexity; a great number of people
generally indicates high complexity. There are exceptions. Usually, the greater the
number of people, the higher the cost.
†A small number of disciplines generally indicates low project programmatic
complexity; a great number of disciplines generally indicates a high project
complexity, either programmatic or technical or both. A greater number of disciplines
generally indicates a higher cost.
‡Facilities and equipment are capital items and are usually paid for and accounted
for by the company. In some cases equipment may be provided by the customer as
Customer Furnished Equipment (CFE) or Government Furnished Equipment (GFE),
and facilities may be provided by the customer outright or leased for a speci¬c

(Chapter 4), meaning subject areas 1 through 7, in detail and the re-
maining subject areas at a lesser level.
Figure 9-3 shows the characteristics of a small project. You can
compare this table to the tables presented for the other project and
program types and see where the differences lie at a glance.

Matching the Skill Sets to Projects and Programs

Figure 9-3. Small project characteristics.
Tasks: Installation, small software projects,
small R&D projects, administrative

Customer: The customer is inside the company,
and may be in the same or a different
operating unit.

Value: Usually less than $500,000 total.

Duration: Usually 1 month to 6 months.

Risk Level: Low.

Complexity: Low.

Contract Type(s): No contract.

Number of People: Usually 5 or fewer.

Disciplines: Same or closely related.

Schedule Tools: Simple”Indentured list or bar chart.

Accounting Base: Labor hours.

Accounting Tools: Time cards/sheets.

Organization Type: Matrix.

PM Reports to: Line manager.

Materials and Subcontracts: Identi¬ed by a management team,
procured and accounted for by Materiel
Department, veri¬ed by project.

Quality: Ad hoc.

Effectiveness: Ad hoc.

Facilities and Equipment: Identi¬ed by management team,
provided by the company.

Team Training: Minimal.

Applicable Skill Set: Basic


Now that we have seen the overall characteristics of the small proj-
ect, we can parse the project into the stages described in Chapter 1.

Initiate Stage
The management staff of your group usually initiates a small project.
Once the project has been de¬ned in terms of its requirements, it will
be assigned to you for implementation. In this case, the management
staff is the customer.

Planning Stage
The Planning Stage is only a few days at most. Your input requirements
consist of some written requirements and likely some verbal direction.
You will generate an abbreviated Project Plan. The schedule will
have a start date and a completion date and show intermediate events
as line items. The budget will be in labor hours per reporting period
and be a sum of the period hours of the individual periods. The budget
also contains the labor hours of others to be used in the task. These
hours are stipulated in the budget as speci¬c, additional hours and in
the schedule as subtasks with start and complete dates or performance
periods. After you have completed the Project Plan, you should have
the person issuing the task approve it.
At this point, you need to assemble your team to establish that each
person knows what his or her role in the overall task is. Simply discuss-
ing the role each person plays usually suf¬ces for team training for a
project at this level, but may disclose some interesting disconnects.
Therefore, you need to have this meeting.
Kickoff is a technicality but nevertheless a real point in the project.
Your Kickoff occurs when the Project Plan is approved.

Execution Stage
The content of the Execution Stage is determined by the needs of the
project as expressed in the task statement and documented in the Proj-
ect Plan. For a small project, it is likely that you will lead the technical
team as well as be the project manager.
The design phase of small projects is usually abbreviated and con-
sists of product details, performance, and ¬nal test. Usually for this size
project, the design phase consists not of equipment design, but of sim-
ple tasks such as listing pin outs and load lists for installation tasks.

Matching the Skill Sets to Projects and Programs

For small R&D tasks, the origin of the need and all prior work is re-
viewed and the protocol of the period is determined.
The materiel department normally purchases the items required
and then provides these items to the project. The departments may or
may not assign a speci¬c person to the task depending on the size and
importance of the task.
The Execution Stage is where the entire physical task is accom-
plished. As stated in the table, installation tasks, small software proj-
ects, small R&D tasks, and administrative tasks as well as numerous
other similar tasks are performed as small projects. The Execution
Stage ends with the Test Period.
The purpose of the Test Period is to con¬rm that the product meets
the requirements. This may mean a physical test in the case of a hard-
ware or software project, but for small R&D projects or an administra-
tive project it may mean an inventory of the results.

Closure Stage
The Closure Stage for a small project is simple but still needs to be
done. Ensure your customer is satis¬ed with the completed task. Satis-
faction must relate to the scope agreed upon.
Perform whatever handover process is necessary such as signing
release papers. Write a simple ˜˜Lessons Learned™™ paper even if this
project was the same as others.
The people were not directly assigned to your project, so you don™t
need to be concerned about ¬nding jobs for them. However, it is a good
idea to visit the people that supported you in this project and thank
them; even an e-mail will suf¬ce. It will make it a lot easier to get their
support the next time. Most organizations have some performance re-
view system for evaluating how raises and promotions are distributed.
I suggest you make notes on each contributor™s performance during the
performance of the project. You may be asked for inputs to individual
performance reports at a later date, and you™ll be glad you made the
notes. Further, it will give you insight into individual performance
when the next project comes along. A little effort now saves a lot of
head scratching and confusion later.
As you can see, the small task using the project management pro-
cess is quite simple. But don™t equate simplicity with importance; your
task is very important to the overall success of your department and
your company. While the process may be simple, performance may or


may not be simple. Performing under these conditions will try your
leadership skills, abilities, and patience.

An Intermediate Project
There are important differences between a small project and an inter-
mediate project. The primary differences lie in the assignment of people
and in the complexity and risk of the project. For an intermediate proj-
ect, people are assigned to the project for performance of the work you
de¬ne although you may still be required to ˜˜share™™ some team mem-
bers with another project. But while a team member is assigned to
your project, their performance is your responsibility and under your
authority. You will ¬nd that the complexity of an intermediate project
is greater than that of a small project, and with increased complexity
usually comes increased risk. So, Risk Management (20) should be high
on the list of subject areas you have your arms around.
At this level, projects are more complex and more subject to
change. Here is where you will apply your knowledge of Change Con-
trol (12) for the project and Con¬guration Management (15) for the
An intermediate project requires the project manager to be knowl-
edgeable of at least the Advanced Skill Set. In the following paragraphs
you will see why. You are required to use all twenty-four of the subject
areas for this project and will likely be confronted with Negotiation
(40) demands and could be required to use other subject areas as well.
Figure 9-4 shows the characteristics of an intermediate-level proj-
ect. Comparing this table to the tables presented for the other project
and program types, you can see where the differences lie at a glance.
Now that we have seen the overall characteristics of the intermedi-
ate-level project we can parse the project into the stages described in
Chapter 1.

Initiate Stage
An intermediate-level project is usually initiated by your group man-
agement in response to their own needs or the needs of another group
in the company. Once the project has been de¬ned in terms of its re-
quirements, it will be assigned to you for implementation. The re-
questor or the requesting group is the customer.

Planning Stage
Your Planning Stage starts at the time of project assignment. In this
case, your project plan is relatively simple but must include all the ele-

Matching the Skill Sets to Projects and Programs

Figure 9-4. Intermediate project characteristics.
Tasks: Installation, construction, administrative,
medium R&D, subsystem, small system.
Customer: The customer is inside the company and
may be in the same or a different
operating unit.
Value: Usually between $500,000 and
Duration: Usually 6 months to 18 months.
Risk Level: Low to moderate.
Complexity: Installation, construction, administrative,
medium R&D, subsystem, small system.
Contract Type(s): The customer is inside the company and
may be in the same or a different
operating unit.
Number of People: Usually between $500,000 and
Disciplines: Usually 6 months to 18 months.
Schedule Tools: Low to moderate.
Accounting Base: Labor hours, materials invoices.
Accounting Tools: Time cards/sheets, invoices.
Organization Type: Matrix.
PM Reports to: Line manager.
Materials and Subcontracts: Identi¬ed by a management team,
procured and accounted for by Materiel
Department, veri¬ed by project.
Quality: Ad hoc.
Effectiveness: Ad hoc.
Facilities and Equipment: Identi¬ed by project, provided by the
Team Training: 1 day.
Applicable Skill Set: Advanced


ments necessary for a complete project plan. The best plans are those
that have participation of team members so they can ˜˜buy in™™ to the
conduct of the project. Explaining the needs will put demands on your
Communication (10) skills and your Information Management (13)
Even though the materiel department is responsible for providing
materials, you are responsible for overall schedule. This conundrum is
typical of these kinds of projects.
For these projects, you need to negotiate for the people who will
support your project. Likely you will have to negotiate hard because it
is a provider™s market, and all the other project managers want the best
people they can get too. You may need to get ˜˜up to speed™™ in Negotia-
tion (40) in a hurry. You should have Quality (21) involved in all these
Once assignments have been made and the project plan completed,
call the people together for a team training session. This situation will
test your knowledge and application of the Training (24) subject area.
The training session does not need to be a fancy ˜˜dog and pony show™™
but it must turn the group (or as we used to say, ˜˜a column of mobs™™)
into a team. A team is a group of people working together for a cause
higher than their own individual needs.
As the leader of the team, you need to be prepared to start the
session off on the right foot. This will test not only your Training (24)
abilities, but also your Meeting and Negotiation Skills. The ¬rst thing
on the training agenda should be the objective of the team. Next, give
your team the schedule and any important milestones. Then, your pre-
sentation should include the organization”the hierarchy, if you will.
The breadth and depth of the organization will vary in accordance with
the complexity of the task. If it is not obvious, the charter of each ele-
ment may also be presented, but don™t tell them their jobs. If they al-
ready know them, treat them as professionals, if they don™t know their
jobs, send them back to their functional managers. Finally, have each
project element stand up and specify the input products they need to
do their jobs, who they expect to provide these products, and when.
Document this effort and have each team member sign the input and
output sheets that apply to them. Each team member gets a copy of their
sheets, and you get copies of all of them. Hopefully, you never need to
have a session where you must refer to the sheets. Just going through
this process will instill your seriousness in their minds. Besides, if you

Matching the Skill Sets to Projects and Programs

don™t have these understandings and you have to resolve these interface
issues every day, you™ll never get the rest of your job done.
You will likely know what each job is, and after you set up these
sessions for a few projects, know them by heart. Your people will be
˜˜chomping at the bit™™ to get on with the job, but make sure they com-
plete the team session ¬rst. Remember, just as soon as the job starts,
they will be spending your money and consuming your schedule and
contributing to your reputation. Make sure everyone understands all
the objectives of the training sessions, then get on with it.
Kickoff for these projects can be accomplished shortly after the
team session and lasts about half of a day. It is always a good idea to
have each group stand up and go through their responsibilities and
their schedules.

Execution Stage
The Execution Stage is what the project is designed for as far as man-
agement and the customer are concerned. You™ve planned your project
and trained the team, now is the time to make it work.
At the intermediate level, projects become not only complex but
diverse as well. As you saw in Figure 9-4, these projects cover the wa-
terfront. You may or may not have a design phase, but if you do, it is
likely you will use a rapid prototype of both the hardware and the soft-
ware. It is not at all unusual for a project at this level to have several
components being addressed simultaneously. For instance, if you have
an IT project that requires facility modi¬cations to make room for the
¬nal con¬guration, you will have software and hardware design or pro-
totyping going on at the same time as the physical work of modifying
the facility. It will require that you be in several places at one time.
Procurements will ˜˜fall out™™ at several levels and at several times,
and control of the situation will tax your understanding of Procurement
and Contracts (17). The most important procurements are the so-called
long-lead items. These are items that require a long time to produce or
are in such demand you have to wait a long time for them. Whatever
the reason, they can bring your project to a screeching halt if not or-
dered in time to get them when and where they are needed. Usually
these are subcontracts and either create new products or heavily modify
existing products.
The design process will reveal the next series of procurements. The
details of each really won™t be known until they are revealed by design


need. The ¬nal level is the common items that can be purchased ˜˜off-
the-shelf.™™ Scheduling the delivery of all procured products is critical
because they pace the critical path of your implementation and integra-
tion activity. Remember: ˜˜For want of the nail the shoe was lost; For
want of the shoe the horse was lost; For want of the horse the rider
was lost; For want of the rider the battle was lost; For want of the
battle the kingdom was lost; And all for the want of a horse shoe nail.™™1
Criticality was understood even in Ben Franklin™s day.
In this case, implementation will consist of bringing all the ele-
ments together into a single system.
Testing will be incremental and consists of compiling the unit tests
of each element of the system, the results of subsystem tests, and the
results of the ¬nal system test. This process is common to all the activi-
ties at this level of projects, even construction and administrative proj-
Final testing will draw the entire system together. If there are dis-
crepancies, they must be captured in Discrepancy Reports (DRs) and
dispositioned as Action Items (AIs) for closure. Performance errors
must be ¬xed and the ¬nal test rerun in its entirety. Whenever all the
AIs have been closed, the system should be accepted. Knowing this,
you will have run the ¬nal test a number of times before the customer
arrives just to make sure the system runs properly during the real ¬nal

Closure Stage
The Closure Stage will have begun at ¬nal test and the ensuing AIs will
have been captured. Final Test is usually a part of the Closure Stage to
ensure that the ¬nal AIs are closed to the customer™s satisfaction. Then
it™s time for handover, the Final Report, and the ˜˜Lessons Learned™™
Wrap up the project by having the customer sign off acceptance of
the system. No matter what your internal procedures are, it is a good
idea to have the customer sign off. We said at the outset that a project
has a beginning and an end. This is the time for the end. If there is no
acceptance that the project is completed, little items could bug you for
a long time. Likely you will be graded on the project, and if it never
ends, you never get the grade and the recognition you deserve.
Finally, write a Final Report that summarizes the project. The Final
Report usually goes to the customer and is ¬led internally. Addition-

Matching the Skill Sets to Projects and Programs

ally, you should write a ˜˜Lessons Learned™™ paper. This paper is an in-
ternal document and should not go to the customer. Hopefully, it will
be a short paper and should re¬‚ect the changes that were made or that
need to be made to processes and procedures for future projects. This
is a good reference for you and may prove valuable to other project
managers who run similar projects.
A Manpower Plan is part of your Project Plan and shows how peo-
ple are phased into and out of the project. This plan is kept up-to-date
to allow the functional managers to adjust their personnel availability
for other projects. Even though a project has a beginning and an end,
the people are phased in and phased out. To have them all available on
day one and to let them all go after the ¬nal test would be a disaster.
You should be ˜˜shedding™™ people and allowing them to go back to their
functional managers all along. Hopefully, at this point, you only have
yourself and the senior technical lead left (if you had one at all).
Writing thank-you notes to all who participated in your project is a
good idea. If you can get some simple ˜˜give-aways™™ from marketing or
sales, the task is that much easier.

A Large Project
The differences between an intermediate project and a large project
are due primarily to size. But, large projects are an inherent part of a
company™s planning and contribute to its overall ¬nancial performance.
Because of this, your Project Plan must establish Project Success Crite-
ria (8) and a Strategy (9) that ensures success. The size and complexity
of large projects puts demands on your knowledge of Structure (14)
and Life Cycle (16).
In Chapter 4 you saw that a large project requires the project man-
ager to be knowledgeable of at least the Advanced Skill Set. You are
required to use all twenty-four of the subject areas for this project plus,
of course, the earlier areas and a knowledge of all the other areas, to a
lesser degree. The size and complexity changes lead directly to in-
creased risk and thus more complex Risk Management (20).


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