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Lei parla project management?

Michelle LaBrosse
February 24, 2014

I continued to pantomime my intent as the Italian store grocery clerk looked at me in complete confusion. My lack of being able to communicate with this person was beginning to frustrate me: I mean, this is me, the person who was voted as the queen of charades by friends and family alike. How could he not understand that I was looking for eggs? I was making the appropriate chicken moves and was rather certain that my omelette making motion was right on point. But he just kept on staring.

After returning home from my trip to Italy, I remember how every event in my life seemed to take place with relative ease compared to my experience abroad. From getting groceries to making travel arrangements, when you speak the same language, you have already overcome the largest barrier in communication that exists. The same is true when it comes to managing projects: everything is easier when you speak the same project language.

Every person and every organisation does projects. Projects have been around since the beginning of mankind, and continue to evolve. Modern project management standards, developed in the 1950s in response to the quickening pace of the business-oriented world, created a language to use for these projects so that tasks can be performed more efficiently.

Numbers talk

How can your organisation benefit by learning the common tongue of project management? Let’s take a look at the numbers, perhaps one of the clearest ‘languages’ there is when it comes to bottom-line improvements.

A 2011 study conducted by project management firm PM Solutions, ‘The State of Project Management Training’, reveals the various areas of operations that can be improved through project management training. The report finds improvements due to formal project management training in the following areas:

  • 29% improved stakeholder satisfaction
  • 27% improved schedule performance
  • 26% fewer project failures
  • 25% improve budget performance
  • 25% improvement requirements performance
  • 25% improve project quality

These numbers got us wondering: how was our training affecting the organisations we have been training over the years? After running the numbers, we were delighted to find that, after 12 years of service to some of the biggest, most successful publicly traded companies in the US, 90% of our clients increased their profitability and 85% of them increased their growth rate in the year immediately following retention of Cheetah Learning for their on-site project management training needs. All we can say to that is, “Bellissimo!”

Becoming fluent

As with any language, the more time you spend immersed in the culture (in this case, project management culture), the more fluent you become. You can become fluent in different ways: through exposure/experience or deliberate practice/project management courses, or better yet, both.

When you are fluent in the language of project management, it pays. One of the quickest ways to become fluent in project management is to earn your Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential.

According to the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Salary Survey, conducted in six major countries, PMP-certified project managers reported a $10,000 salary advantage over non-PMP-certified project managers. Once you have that base of formal project management knowledge, your experience adds to your level of project management fluency. Each additional year of project management experience equates roughly to $2,000-3,000 salary increase for PMPs according to Payscale.com.

How can mastering the language of project management help you and your organisation?

Co-authored by Kristen Medina

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Michelle LaBrosse
Michelle LaBrosse (PMP) is one of the Project Management Institute's (PMI) 25 Most Influential Women in Project Management in the World and the founder of Cheetah Learning, a former PMI Professional Development Provider of the Year. She boasts a background in engineering and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Owner President Managers (OPM) program, as well as a prolific writer and educator, having authored Cheetah Negotiations, Cheetah Project Management, Cheetah Know How and Cheetah Exam Prep as well as numerous articles in publications worldwide.
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