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Project Manager : Project Manager Aug Sept 2012
www.aipm.com.au Project Manager 19 Time to get a mentor? experts say that 20 per cent of learning is the result of feedback from and observation of role models. CovER SToRy • PROFESSIONAl dEvElOPMENT IN PRACTICE when nova systems acquired sA project management firm Panurgem in December 2011, it wasn’t just buying a brand. nova systems bought knowledge, skills and a learning attitude along with the existing workforce. Panurgem, like nova systems, had been up- skilling and developing staff for the previous decade in response to the expectations of clients, resulting in a high number of AiPM- certified project professionals, from CPPP through to CPPD. “ Many of our clients have high expectations for service provision, and for the knowledge transfer back into the organisation through mentoring programs and importing contemporary ideas and practices,” says Brenton scroop, key Client Manager – government at nova systems. to meet client expectations, the organisation must prioritise professional development internally, which influences both hiring practices and ongoing staff development via formal and informal learning. “ it makes sense for our staff to participate in ongoing learning and personal growth, as well as continuing professional development such as the AiPM regPM process,” scroop explains. “we are upfront with staff about the organisation’s approach to ongoing learning from the outset, and we provide each consultant with an annual professional development budget alongside professional membership incentives as part of the remuneration package.” A mentoring program within the company fosters relationships between senior and junior staff and this is treated as a serious part of the professional development toolbox. “ in our system each mentor/mentee relationship is called a contract. it is based upon encouragement, constructive comments, openness, mutual trust, respect and willingness to learn and share,” says Australian operations Manager Bret Barton. Like many companies that adopt industry certification programs, nova also considers professional development a key retention tool for both staff and clients. “ By encouraging participation in CPD opportunities, we foster a well-rounded and grounded workforce,” says Barton. “ investing in our people is investing in our business and our clients – we all benefit from the process.” “A long w ith [a degree qualification], it’s also beneficial to up-skill with systems tra ining,” Peter Noblet, Senior Regiona l Director of Hays recr uitment ex pla ins. “ For example, a PM in the construction industry could up skill in Primavera, Microsoft Project or Cheops. This ensures PMs can be employed on smaller to medium sized projects, which make up the majority of construction projects in the current market.” Project management as a profession is well accepted in the corporate sector. However, there are d ifferent demands placed on corporate PMs and therefore different obstacles. “ The financial environment for commercial PMs includes things like profit and loss, but more importantly the comparative margins they can make on various jobs,” Hudson explains. “Encouraging clients to understand the importance of investing in ongoing education for PMs is an actual problem.” The educators Chris Mansfield, Professional Development Manager at Living Planit (and AIPM NSW Chapter Councillor) has found that project management skills are best acquired through a combination of on-the-job experience and theoretical learning. He also says that skills development is an investment in time and that younger project professionals view career advancement as their responsibility, rather than something the employer provides. As a result, they are more willing to move from role-to-role or organisation- to-organisation if this means improving skill set and job satisfaction. “For organisations to keep their rising stars, clear project management caree r paths need to be established in (
Project Manager June July 2012
Project Manager Oct Nov 2012