9 August 2008

Dear Bas - Conversations with the Project Shrink

Bas de Baar, the Project Shrink, and I are convesing on project management, and in particular professional development.  The conversations is across both our blogs.  You can go back to the beginning, or just start reading here.  Your opinion is important to us, so please - drop us a comment.

Me? Professional memberships? I have none. Today. Kind of.

I joined the IIBA when I first heard about it, and even helped organise some IIBA events in Melbourne while I was there. I also went to a few PMI events during the same period.

Now however I am not in a major city and so there are no local associations. That said, I always involve myself with my colleagues at different workplaces and like to get discussions about how best to tackle problems and build competencies.

I also have the option of joining and associating with online organisations. And I have taken the opportunity to become an active member of some of these communities; primarily MyCatelyze, RNQG and Modern Analyst.

In particular I have been pretty active at Modern Analyst. It’s mainly a once way thing – as an experienced person I share my opinion with the many juniors in the forums. It’s still rewarding.

And of course there is the discussions we have at Better Projects, Project Shrink and our other project blogs.

Lastly I have taken up another opportunity. One day a week I trave to Sydney and teach project management to university students. I enjoy it, and so do they.

So yes. I have work based communities that I participate in. And I fully recognise that my participation in these various forums has helped me develop as a practitioner.

What’s the lesson here?

I think it is this; no matter where you are in your career, and no matter where you are in the world, actively getting involved in discussions about how to do you job better will help you. Whether it’s asking questions, discussing ideas of sharing your own views on how things should be done – if you are doing this, you are improving your professional capabilities and continue to stay well ahead the pack when it comes to delivering value to your clients and satisfaction to yourself and your immediate team mates.

Now, another point.

Today I m not a member of the PMI or IIBA and so am not on the inside. As an outsider it is easier to criticise things you think are not good. I don’t make claims to be a journalist, but that is one of the ideas around journalistic independence. They should be independent in their investigating in order to bring the truth to the public.

It’s a little less dramatic in the context of a blog on projects, but I do like to think my outsider view of the industry organisations’ provides me with the opportunity and lends me some credibility when I say

I think the BABOK has a serious flaw in the way for example it treats requirements communication, or when I say the PMBOK’s view on Scope is one of the reasons for so many over budget projects.

Bas, Are you an outsider looking in? Are you an insider selling something?

Readers, What do you think about this?

Bas and Craig have a weekly conversation, back and forth on their respective blogs, Project Shrink and Better Projects. With blog titles like that, you don't have to guess what the topic will be.

Picture care of rhoadeecha , CC and Flickr

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