If you are considering a role in project management then it is a good idea to consider developing your career further by increasing your knowledge and experience. As a way of developing your career, an ideal measure how you are doing is to look at your competency and having a benchmark against which you can do this is a great idea. This is where the APM Competency framework comes into play.
Released in June 2015, the APM (Association of Project Management) competency framework is the perfect way to do this. The framework sets out APM’s views on the necessary competency to effectively manage a project, portfolio or programme in today’s highly competitive environment.
The APM competency framework has been created by professionals to help professionals and it provides a great benchmark against which all organisations and individuals in the field of project management can measure themselves against.
It doesn’t matter what sector you are working in, whether the company you work for is small, medium or large, it doesn’t even matter where your company is located – this is the common reference point that all companies can use.
How does it work?
The full APM consistency framework is made up of 27 competencies. The APM website contains a helpful self-assessment form where you can review each of the competencies and get a score. There is a good chance that you will score low on some of the competencies and this is fine.
In fact, very few people will really be experts in all of the areas. The APM has defined a series of 14 role profiles that any corporate member can take a look at.
This will give an indication of which roles should be scoring in which bands. For example, an advanced programme manager should be achieving a much better score for conflict management than they do for asset allocation in order to be able to do their job effectively.
The self-assessment for has a handy section where you can record your scores, and you can also ask your manager to add some scores as well. The main thing is that you need to be honest in your abilities, this will help you to pinpoint any gaps in your knowledge, and therefore show you those areas which you need to work on the most. Assuming these skills are relevant to your current role, then it gives you a clear focus for immediate improvement.
If they are not relevant, they might be for another role in the future, so you could always start working on them anyway.
APM training can be a really good way to go about improving any of the skills that you are lacking in and that would be of benefit to you either in your current role, or a role you are considering for the future.
Why use the framework?
The APM framework provides a very useful tool to any individual, manager or team who is faced with any of those all-important questions that can so often come up in respect of the role that they currently have, and the roles they might like in the future:
You might find yourself asking:
- What do I need to be able to do in my next role?
- What can I do to improve my career chances and get the promotion I want?
- How can we make sure that the candidate we have selected is the most appropriate person for the job?
- What can be done to make sure that my team maintain quality standards?
- What learning and development is out there that I can provide for my staff?
Obviously, this is just a small snapshot of what the APM competency framework can offer to you, your company or your project management team. But they offer a very valuable tool that is readily available to anyone who is looking to improve their skills and knowledge base.