Bridging the PM Competency Gap

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A Dynamic Approach to Improving Capability and Project Success
Loredana Abramo, PMP and Rich Maltzman, PMP
Hardcover, 6×9, 294 pages
ISBN: 978-1-60427-140-9
July 2017

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Rapidly evolving technologies, global business interdependencies, and changes to project management (PM) processes and tools demand that new PM competencies be continuously developed and adequately applied to achieve successful results. Despite the many advances in the PM discipline, significant competency gaps exist within even the most successful companies. This book provides the proven strategic approaches needed to grow and evolve your project managers’ competency over time, in step with the needs of your business, and supplies practical examples of competency models and how to deploy them.

Key Features

  • Presents several end-to-end strategic approaches to establishing a continuous learning environment (CLE) to advance PM competency not only in proven methodologies and techniques, but in emerging tools, cultural challenges, business acumen, and leadership aspects of the profession
  • Provides guidelines for planning the CLE selected, and metrics to track effectiveness of the competency development techniques from peer reviews and jury boards to project KPIs and dashboards
  • Describes viable tactical methods and options for implementing competency development as part of the organizational culture, leveraging internal and industry-based expertise, as well as tools to be used for virtual collaborative knowledge sharing
  • Illustrates methods to ensure there is an established and sustainable approach to improving project managers’ maturity level and skill set to meet the changing needs of the business
  • Supplies proven, experience-based recommendations from PM and PMO practitioners and well-known thought leaders in the profession
  • WAV offers downloadable templates and assessment tools—available from the Web Added Value™ Download Resource Center

About the author(s)

Loredana Abramo, PMP, has over 25 years of experience in deploying telecommunication networks in the US, Japan, Singapore, and Australia, filling such roles as Project Managers’ Competency Development Leader for Emerging Technologies, Deputy Director of the PMO, Lead Engineer, Technical Deputy, and Business Operations Manager. She is a published author, who also translated Peter Taylor’s The Lazy Project Manager into Italian, and is an international speaker that has delivered numerous presentations at PMI, IEEE, and IPMA global events in North America, Australia, Malaysia, and Italy.

Loredana has a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and is board certified as a Professional Engineer. She has a Convergence Technologies Professional accreditation from the Telecommunications Industry Association and a Certificate in Advanced Project Management from De Paul University. Loredana is a Member of PMI and a Senior Member of IEEE. She is currently based in Naperville, IL, USA.

Rich Maltzman, PMP, has been an engineer and PMO leader for almost 40 years. His international project work has been diverse, including the integration of two large PMOs of merging multi-national corporations. As a second but intertwined career, Rich has also focused on consulting and teaching at several universities in the US and China. Mr. Maltzman is a published author of numerous articles, PMP courseware and three books, and is a recipient of the distinguished PMI® David I. Cleland Project Management Literature Award.

Rich is an international speaker that has delivered presentations at PMI and IPMA conferences in North America, Africa, The Netherlands, Costa Rica, Mexico, Italy, and Malaysia. His educational background includes a BSEE from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst and an MSIE from Purdue University. In addition, Rich has certifications from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, and INSEAD of France.

Table of Contents


Foreword by Charles Pellerin


Chapter 1: Problem Statement: In Other Words, The Gap

     The Value of Project Management as a Discipline

     Defining PM Competency

     Developing PM Competency

     PM Competency as a Means to Be Resilient to Change

     A Matter of Scale

Chapter 2: Wanted: Bespoke Strategic Approach

     Top-Down, Bottom-Up, or Middle-Out?

     Long Term or Short Term?

     Assessing Competency: the PEAKS Model

     Where to Start: Using the Face of Knowledge

     Project Management Framework: the Left Eye

     Methods and Tools: the Right Eye

     Knowledge: the Nose Knows

     Leadership and Communication: the Mouth

     The PM Community: The Ears

Chapter 3: Know Thy Audience

     Generational Differences

     The Project Manager Personality Approach

Chapter 4: Options

     Formal Training

     Knowledge Transfer

     Above and Beyond

Chapter 5: Planning your Bridges





     Project Plans and Project Allies


Chapter 6: Time to Deliver!

     Governance: Your Key to Controlling Outcomes


     Organizational Change Management

     The Known Unknowns

     Case Study

Chapter 7: Indicators of Success – How Do You Know if Your Bridge Is Built and Working?

     Certification Programs

     Internal Certification

     Internal Competency Assessment

     External/Industry Certification and Credentials

     Project KPIs

Chapter 8: The Feedback Loop and Improving the Bridge


     Curricula Updates

     Customer and PM Maturity Assessment Surveys

     Career Path

Chapter 9: Leveraging Expert Judgment


Appendix 1: References and Useful Links

Appendix 2: Survey Outcome

Appendix 3: Details of the 4-D Approach Applied to PM Competency

Appendix 4: Case Study: Philips




“Project management has grown from a career path position to a strategic competency necessary for the survival of many firms. As a result, competency gaps in the education and training of project managers have developed. This book is a must-read if you wish to better understand and repair these changing competency gaps.”
Dr. Harold Kerzner, Sr. Executive Director, Project Management, International Institute for Learning

“This reference will help bridge the gap between the current and desired states of what your project managers need to know, need to be, and need to do for successful project results.”
Dr. Barbara A. Trautlein, Principal and Founder, Change Catalysts

“What’s the reality of today’s projects? Every day your organization is either learning and improving, or falling behind. This important book is a must-read!”
Kimberly Wiefling, President, Wiefling Consulting, Inc.