Have you seen the APM Competence Framework?

It’s a framework of competencies for project managers covering technical, behavioural and contextual domains.

Technical competence covers areas like:

  • Risk management
  • Estimating
  • Stakeholder and resource management
  • Planning
  • Configuration management
  • Benefits management
  • Change control
  • Budgeting

Behavioural competencies are the softer skills of project management, things like:

  • Conflict management
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Negotiation
  • Learning and development

Finally, the contextual domain covers competencies such as:

  • Legal awareness
  • Governance
  • Sponsorship
  • Organisational roles and structure
  • Project life cycles
  • Health and safety

It’s actually a neat way to split up the three areas of project management skill and ability, and is a particularly useful tool if you are looking at where you should be focusing to improve your skills.

For each competency area, the APM Framework has developed a indicator scoring matrix which you can use to establish if it is something you are already good at, or whether you need more development.  Essentially, it looks at your knowledge of an area and your experience in doing it.  For example, you may know all about earned value management, having studied it for your certification, but do you actually use it in practice?

You can buy the competence Framework and complete the self-assessment.  But you could also self-score yourself against the elements that you identify as key to being a good project manager.  Start with the list above, add some competencies of your own and ask a colleague to do the same. If you really draw a blank, have a look at the sample pages of the competency Framework and assess yourself against the headings on there.  Or better still, ask a colleague or friend to assess you, and you can return the favour.