IPMA Education & Training Board Series: Closing the Gap between PM Training and PM Performance: Part 2: Closing the Gap


By Stacy Goff,

asapm co-founder

IPMA VP Marketing & Events

ProjectExperts President 

Colorado, USA


Enterprises and Government agencies have spent hundreds of millions of $USD over the last 25 years in Project Management training—just in the USA. Such a stimulus package! What do we have to show from this “investment”? Most people find it difficult to answer this question, because they cannot show improved PM Performance; nor can they even show the improved competences they hoped for. In fact, based on discussions with Executives, the perception is that programs and projects are significantly much-less successful today than they were 25 years ago. And Executives ask: What return on investment is that?”

This article, presented in two parts, explores secrets all Managers can use to Close the Gap between PM Training and PM Performance, improve PM Learning and Development methods, increase stakeholder PM Competence, improve PM Performance, and establish the success measures needed to prove you have done so. The secret: Base PM Learning on a Competence Baseline, rather than a Knowledge guide.

Part 1: Understanding the Gap

Part 2: Closing the Gap

Causing Learning, Versus Just Doing Training

Does training accomplish nothing? Au Contraire; poor training accomplishes nothing. Training that merely prepares for an exam accomplishes even less. Training that conflicts with your organizational standards and unique methods will damage performance. On the other hand, there are many ways your Learning and Development initiatives can productively involve training in your quest for improved PM Performance. Among the actions you should consider, for all PM learning:

A. Train the Right People. PM CompModel i, ProjectExperts’ PM competence assessment and development planning process and tool, helps identify the competence or performance gaps of all key project stakeholders. It does little good (for example) to send a Senior Project Manager to advanced PM training if the real project problem is Sponsors or Resource Managers who demonstrate significant competence gaps. Assess your project team to reduce risk and improve project performance. Assess your department to reduce risk and improve project performance. You get the idea. Note: We made this tool available to all of IPMA in 2006.

B. Assess Learning Needs for each selected learning event based on participant strengths and weaknesses against Targets. Use class Learning Objectives as the criteria for this assessment; note that some vendors list only their class topics, and one cannot readily identify from this information what Learners will be able to achieve after the class. The author has used SNAP™, Skills Needs Assessment Process ii for over 30 years to target Learner needs before any class, populate classes with participants having similar levels of learning needs, modify class timings for each audience’s needs, and assess progress and results six weeks after the class—with follow-on recommendations for coaching or other interventions, where needed.


To read entire article (click here)

Editor’s note: This series of articles is provided by the IPMA Education and Training (E&T) Board on the subject of project management education, training, careers and related topics.  More information about the IPMA E&T can be found at http://ipma.ch/education.

About the Author 

pmwj23-jun2014-Goff-IMAGEStacy A. Goff flag-usa

Colorado, USA

Stacy A. Goff, PMP, the PM Per4mance Coach, is President of ProjectExperts®, a Program and Project Management consulting, methods, tools and Learning consultancy. A co-founder of asapm®, Stacy has been the USA representative to, and an officer in, the International Project Management Association IPMA®. He has also contributed to the success of the Project Management Institute® since 1983.

A Project Management practitioner since 1970 and PM consultant since 1982, he improves Enterprise or project team PM competence, efficiency, and Performance. Mr. Goff speaks at industry events, offers coaching and consulting services, and presents workshops of great interest to Executives, Managers, Project Managers and leaders, technical staff, and individual contributors.

His Project Management tools and methods are used by Government Agencies, Enterprises, Consultancies, and individuals on six continents. He combines his PM Process insights with wide-ranging experience in projects and programs, and with sensitivity for the human aspects of projects. The result: Measurably increased PM Per4mance™– Portfolio, Program, Project and Personal Performance.

Stacy can be contacted at [email protected].

To view other works by Stacy Goff, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/stacy-goff/