Categories: Reflections on the PM Life
Do you ever notice how after learning a concept many years ago, when you come across it again, you understand it either differently or better?
As we experience "life" in project management -- managing various projects, working with new teams and wearing different hats on those teams -- we get to see various aspects of project management in action. We add to that knowledge from our own successes and failures.
We usually refer to those experiences as growth and development. The experience alters how we see things and how we communicate with people: our teammates, suppliers, third party partners, customers and clients. It also alters how we perform work because we gain a new point of view or change in our current point of view.
As such, it's valuable to review what you already know by reading through chapters of A Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) to focus on the key areas that you work in, be it in risk management, scope management or resource scheduling.
When you review the material after having had some experience, you not only remind yourself of what you learned initially, but you see it differently. You catch some elements that you didn't see how to implement before, or you recognize how to relate to something in a way that you didn't before. Having that "life" experience in project management alters how you see the material and how you apply it in everyday work.
This happened to me when I reviewed the PMBOK® Guide recently. After reviewing the chapter on risk management, I realized that my company needed to include additional steps for how we handle a backup or restore operation. While many companies have testing strategies, ours only documented this step conceptually. I may not have noticed this if I hadn't reread the PMBOK® Guide.
I challenge you to review the knowledge in the PMBOK® Guide and see how you can apply it to your active projects. Areas that you can improve on will turn up and will add value to your project management practice.
How do you rediscover your project management knowledge? Have you rediscovered practices from the PMBOK® Guide recently?
Editor's note: From 17 February - 20 March 2012, the exposure draft of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) -- Fifth Edition will be open for public review. Find out more and provide your recommendations and comments on the draft.