ProMentor – A framework for PM Competency Development

Yet another framework?!


I start with a prayer – that you will not be put off by the word “framework” (the f-word!!) and not read further! The f-word has been sort of over-hyped – especially in the software world to the point that “you ain’t nothing if you don’t have your own framework to brag about!”

In our case, when we, at PM Power Consulting (“PM Power”), homed in on project management competency development as a focus area, we also felt the need for a framework – not for sounding cool (well, that too!) but also for somewhat more down-to-earth reasons such as a vehicle for communicating with our customers and organizing ourselves to meet their expectations.

This framework with moving parts!


Project management competency development (or any competency development for that matter) in an organization is a big canvas. Many aspects need to be addressed in a coordinated manner. For example, some key inputs typically come from the performance management system of the organization in terms of individual competency development needs. Before launching training & development initiatives for individuals, the organization needs to ensure that the performance management system is effective in providing quality inputs for planning. Another example is the linkage of the talent acquisition processes with overall competency development. If these processes and the linkage are weak, then no matter how effective the other initiatives are in training & development, competency levels in the organization are likely to be adversely impacted. So, organizations and providers like us need to have a common understanding of the big canvas of competency development for coordinating all the moving parts.

Which moving parts are us?


Related to the above, is the fact that in the big picture for PM competency development, there were some services that PM Power could provide and there were others outside its scope. However, the effectiveness of these other “out of scope” elements was critical for the success of our “within scope” elements. For example, in addressing individual development needs, we may recommend a specialized training program (say, in Emotional Intelligence) which we may not ourselves provide but is needed to complement our interventions to form a comprehensive package for the participant PM.

So, those are the reasons for the birth of the ProMentorSM framework shown below – so that our customers, ourselves and other providers work together to address individual development needs in a holistic fashion.

  • In the diagram above, the top row of blue boxes represents the key stakeholders in PM competency development. Someone from one of the blue boxes acts as the contact point for providers like PM Power – typically from Learning & Development (often part of HR) or a Project Management Center of Excellence or the PMO.
  • The next row of green boxes comprises the “environment elements” – these have a bearing on PM competency planning and development; they provide inputs for the boxes below (in yellow and grey). PM Power typically assists organizations to fix any lacunae in these elements as a pre-requisite for launching PM competency development.
  • PM Power services typically span all the yellow boxes. Related initiatives (the grey box) could be other specialized training programs as mentioned above; they could also be organization-specific training on processes, standards & templates for project management.
  • The brown boxes are the foundation elements which represent the organization’s context (nature of business, types of projects, processes & systems, typical PM challenges etc.) as well as the individual’s specific needs & work context. Standards such as those from the Project Management Institute are important foundation elements as well. The foundation elements essentially enable PM Power to customize and tune its offerings in the core elements (yellow boxes) aligned with global standards.

As we began to use ProMentorSM in our engagements, we found it very effective to engage with our customers in a structured fashion – understanding customer & individual work context, eliciting needs, highlighting dependencies and tuning our offerings. Our customers benefited from the results through highly contextual, customized and comprehensive assistance to individual project managers.

ProMentorSM also helped us to organize ourselves better and continually enrich the content underlying the framework. Our content has grown significantly over the years – such as PM assessment questionnaires, presentations, videos, case studies, PM qualification instruments, coaching methodology and so on. So, there is much meat in the framework elements!

The proof of the pudding is that ProMentorSM has guided our thought process as well as the execution of our customer engagements since 2006. Several hundred project managers have benefited and continue to benefit from our PM competency development programs based on the ProMentorSM framework. Not just another f-word? Write to us on what you think (

What do you think?

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