Two years ago, I attended an event held by Project Management Institute (PMI) UK Chapter. One of the speakers was a Vice President in a global telecom company. She was sharing her views about project management market needs, jobs’ roles and responsibilities, skill set vs job titles.
“Do not get hung up on titles and focus on the responsibility the actual role has. You will be surprised how different companies, sectors, industries, deal with things differently.” And she continued “as professionals, the best way to widen your experience and keep your knowledge up to date is to volunteer and network. The power it has is great!”
And she is right! Understanding a framework is one thing, understanding how to apply it in a different context takes it to a completely different level.
One thing that is always important to me personally throughout my learning process is the ability to link theory to practice. Having that in place can make or break any learning experience. This is no difference from the project management framework as defined by PMBOK Guide 5th Edition. It is the most structured framework I am working with and has proven to be successful on different levels.
Structured could mean detailed for some, cumbersome for others. In my experience, structured means necessary, but not enough. Real case scenarios, case studies, examples on how to apply this structured framework plays a significant role in advancing my understanding of the framework.
In my current role, I deliver an internal training programme for employees who wish to pursue project management experience. The group is always a mix of backgrounds, from IT, to service delivery, quality and client management. So it was essential that I set the tone and introduce the framework in a simplified approach before we can tap deeper into it. Today, I decided to take this approach further and test it in my mentoring approach.
PMI framework covers 10 knowledge areas and 47 processes under a life cycle of 5 phases. Now if you are new to the concept, this could potentially frighten you away. So I wanted to make sure people are introduced to the framework in a simple away.
“Let’s have fun and hold a dinner party!” Everyone of us at one point would have either hosted a dinner party (or simply invited a friend or a date over for a dinner), or been invited to a dinner party held at someone’s house. Common grounds? In my situation, that was the case. Now that I had everyone’s attention, the practical application of the project management framework to this dinner party began.
The key takeaway from there is that if you want to drive success by following a framework or a standard, you always can. To guarantee your success, you must understand the context you want to apply it to.
Have you ever thought of applying project management to a new context? Are you interested in learning more about the framework? let me know what your thoughts are and get in touch.
I have attached an activity document you can use for the dinner party exercise.