Competency Models

In the twenty-first century, companies will replace job descriptions with competency models. Job descriptions for project management tend to emphasize the deliverables and expectations from the project manager, whereas competency models emphasize the specific skills needed to achieve the deliverables.


Figure 19-11 shows the competency model for Eli Lilly. Project managers are expected to have competencies in three broad areas1:

• Scientific/technical skills

• Leadership skills

• Process skills

For each of the three broad areas, there are subdivisions or grade levels. A primary advantage of a competency model is that it allows the training department to develop customized project management training programs to satisfy the skill requirements. Without competency models, most training programs are generic rather than customized.

Competency models focus on specialized skills in order to assist the project manager in making more efficient use of his or her time. Figure 19-12, although argumentative, shows that with specialized competency training, project managers can increase their time effectiveness by reducing time robbers and rework.

Competency models make it easier for companies to develop a complete project management curriculum, rather than a singular course. This is shown in Figure 19-13. As companies mature in project management and develop a company-wide core competency model, an internal, custom-designed curriculum will be developed. Companies, especially large ones, will find it necessary to maintain a course architecture specialist on their staff.

1. A detailed description of the Eli Lilly competency model and the Ericsson competency model can be found in Harold Kerzner, Applied Project Management (New York: Wiley, 1999), pp. 266-283.





Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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