Developing organizational project management competencies through industry clusters

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Cambridge Handbook of Organizational Project Management, 2017, pp. 268 - 280
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© Cambridge University Press 2017. Introduction This chapter investigates people-related issues that span across organizations and projects by exploring relevant literature on the reported roles, skills, and competencies of project managers (PMs) and project portfolio managers (PPMs). The application of specific principles that are considered to support PMs and PPMs toward effective organizational project management (OPM) will be outlined, before describing how industry clusters may provide a further mechanism for knowledge sharing and project management competency development. Young and Conboy (2013) suggest that there has been increasing interest in project management competencies in recent times, with PMs seeking guidance on desired project management competencies, in addition to credentials that will enhance their careers. They also point out that, although competency standards have been developed by the relevant industry bodies for PMs (Association for Project Management, 2006; Australian Institute of Project Management, 2010) as a way of identifying basic performance requirements, there has not, as of 2017, been any attempt to develop a set of project portfolio management competencies. Given that PMs are likely to be responsible for more than one project concurrently, a move away from project management toward project portfolio management is suggested as relevant for contemporary organizations. Jonas (2010) states that a project portfolio constitutes a group of projects that compete for scarce resources and are conducted under the sponsorship or management of a particular organization. Whereas Jonas (2010) focuses on the roles and responsibilities of PPMs, particularly senior management involvement, Young and Conboy (2013) focus on the development of competency standards for PPMs. This chapter aims to propose a set of principles for OPM based on a review of accepted project management competencies. These principles are intended to form the basis for PMs and PPMs to improve their knowledge and competencies in OPM. One of the key problems with project management is the transitory nature of project teams. Team members join together to work on a project; the team is then disbanded when the project is completed, and members move on to join a new team and begin a new project. Thus, collective knowledge is unlikely to be perpetuated in this context. Grabher (2004) points out that projects are predicated on a dense fabric of lasting ties and networks that provide key resources of expertise, reputation, and legitimization relying on an intricate project ecology.
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