Projects come in all shapes, sizes, and levels of complexity. Much of effective project management is based on experience. Regardless, even the experienced project manager should be abreast of any recent developments and certifications. That quest for knowledge should extend to furthering skill and ability for the job at hand. There are different levels of certification and training available. While knowledge is a great thing, seeking out the highest level isn’t always the ideal direction to pursue.
Not every project needs an MBA qualified individual for it to be a success. Acquiring skills via certifications could eventuate in a waste of time. If an opportunity to put into practice newly learnt theory doesn’t eventuate, then it may result in those skills becoming rusty and forgotten. Selecting the right training for a job starts with knowing and understanding what level of expertise is needed for the type of project being worked on.
There are components to factor in when determining the level of training required and certifications to obtain in order to work and achieve the desired result. These four processes are to be considered when trying to identify the right levels for effective project management. It can be thought of as a four-step process for acquiring the amount of project management skill for a particular position. It starts with examining the situation and concludes with putting a right-sized repertoire of abilities into action.
• Drive
• Depth
• Development
• Deployment
Drive involves asking and answering the question of why someone wants or needs to develop project management skills. The motivation behind the drive, it could be only to occasionally work on projects as a member of a cross-functional team. There may be a requirement to act as project manager regularly as a part of the job. It can also be the case that someone needs to be able to show project management knowledge in order to be eligible for their next promotion. What drives a person to acquire PM skills can be as diverse as the various types of projects. That drive will also directly influence the types of skills necessary to achieve their project management goals.
Determining the depth of knowledge required for project management can be a direct correlation with the motivation and the selection of the right set of tools for the job. In this step, an individual needs to determine the type of knowledge that they need and how much of it is necessary. This way, they can focus their efforts on learning what is needed to be known. For example, the person occasionally working as a team member of cross-functional project team will need to know the basics of the methodology they will be working on. Key concepts like deliverables, success criteria, sprints, and documentation procedures are what will help the most. The regular project manager will need more extensive knowledge of the methodology, as well as details for team coordination and procedure implementation.
Once the required project management skill is understood, the next step is to go out and get them. With the necessary skill set identified, an individual can find the training to acquire those skills. This is the development step in the process, where an individual goes out and develops the project management competencies they identify for the depth of skill they require.

With the new project management skills learned and developed, it’s time to put them into practice. Theoretical knowledge that can’t be used is nothing more than useless information. In the deployment stage, individuals can take their newly acquired knowledge back to their professional settings and put it into practice. This means managing project, working on project teams, overseeing project portfolios, or any other activities where the new project management skills will be useful and beneficial.

Also important in the deployment stage is to look out for repetitive opportunities. These are chances for people to use their project management skills again, and again, and again – pausing in between each time to look for chances to improve. Every new endeavor is an opportunity to learn and progress, but only if time is taken to use them.
Work environments are constantly changing with new challenges and situations arising from anywhere, it’s important to regularly revisit and reassess the types of skills needed. By focusing on the immediate and near-future requirements, a person has the chance to learn not only the skills they need for the moment, but the skills they will actually have the opportunity to use, practice, and master. So when the time comes to move further up the ladder, they will have a strong foundation to start from before taking the next step.

Author's Bio: 

Project Management Companion are not a “Body Shop”, but work with our clients and their teams in a mentoring capacity to assist in every facet of project delivery so the Intellectual Property remains within the organization. We help your team deliver projects successfully.