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Self Assess and Chart your Career

14 Apr 2014
Self Assess and Chart your Career

The PMCBI (Project Management Competence Baseline Ireland) describes the essential knowledge and experience requirements of a person responsible for project management and is an integral component of the universally recognised IPMA®4 level certification system.

It is structured to assess the individual’s level of project management competence in the Technical, Behavioural and Contextual domains as shown in the “Eye of Competence”.

The Self-Assessment benefits the individual via high-quality learning and personal development as described here by Krystyna Linkowska, an IPMA®Level D certified professional.

‘Participating in the PMCBI self-assessment highlighted and exposed areas in which my knowledge and experience are limited and enables me to clearly see the elements which require greater practice and/or knowledge. It also helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses, which is a great starting point for further development and improvement.

PMCBI documents all the key aspects required for project management in an unambiguous and detailed manner. I would have applied many of these over the years of my professional career without having a piece of extensive theoretical knowledge of the same.  The undertaking allowed me to target sectors where I should emphasise and leave me eager to read, learn, and practice more to improve.

Due to the nature of my working environment, I realized that my own strengths resided primarily in the elements of Technical Competence. I have firm knowledge and experience in so-called solid elements, thus feel quite confident in this zone.  

My experience in applying and implementing the Behavioural Competence elements can definitely be improved.

Unfortunately, in the construction industry sector where I was working, I am not exposed to large and complex projects, which allow one to execute many of these project management competence elements. Projects are limited both in size and in the number of people defining/creating the structure of the particular projects.

Nowadays, it is widespread that one person ‘plays’ multiply roles, multitasking throughout the whole duration of the project. It doesn’t leave too much space to practice your leadership, engagement, motivation, creativity skills etc. You can enforce some of these (if not the majority) on yourself personally. This will give you some basics, but unfortunately, it is totally different to managing a larger group of people.

The first three competencies in the Contextual Competence section (project, programme and portfolio orientation) also led me to conclude that I had limited knowledge and experience within this area. In essence, the Contextual section of project management competence is the one area in which I feel the least confident.

Personally, I believe that you always have to strive for continuous improvement and aim for the best results. Therefore, you have to cluster your work experience and knowledge, spending some time defining pros’ and cons’, advantages and disadvantages, wins and failures on the completion of every project. This is the only way of improving, developing effectiveness and success, and circumvent problems and constraints in future projects.

All 46 project management competence elements have significant value and exert an influence on the result of every project. PMCBI  made me realize that all of them complement each other - you can’t undermine any of them. That is why it is so important to understand each of them, the correlation between them, and their use in professional practice. 

Undertaking the assessment has allowed me to internalise and understand better the components of the competency elements, improved my self-confidence and provided me with a platform to chart my future career development in my chosen discipline.’

cristinaKrystyna Linkowska, IPMA-D®, is a graduate of the Wroclaw University of Technology, Faculty of Environmental Engineering. She currently works as a Contract Manager with Leo Lynch Mechanical contractors in Ireland and is completing an IPMA Strategic Project Management Diploma with the Institute of Project Management.