Educating the Senior PM: A Roadmap

Mark Mullaly is president of Interthink Consulting Incorporated, an organizational development and change firm specializing in the creation of effective organizational project management solutions. Since 1990, it has worked with companies throughout North America to develop, enhance and implement effective project management tools, processes, structures and capabilities. Mark was most recently co-lead investigator of the Value of Project Management research project sponsored by PMI. You can read more of his writing at markmullaly.com.

There is a phenomenal amount of information, material and training available on the topic of project management. Amazon lists 28,056 books on the subject (but that's only as of September 11). There are hundreds of thousands of articles. I can't even begin to think about how one might count the training courses (although there are 46,241 currently registered programs provided by Registered Education Providers of PMI, so that will be enough to getting on with). 

The challenge with many of these references is that they are relatively introductory in nature. What I mean by that is that they teach the essential building blocks of what we understand project management to be. They teach terminology, templates and process. Many, if not most, are designed to get people to go from no (or minimal) understanding of project management to being at least functional. There is in fact a fairly well-trodden continuum of courses that guide the new project manager down the path of discovery and awareness.

Once a project manager discovers they are a project manager (and this alone can take years; it took seven, in my case), they typically seek out some information on the subject. They might read a book (and for my money, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Project Management is a pretty good place to start). They take an introductory course (sorry, but I'm not making …

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