The American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE)

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CHAPTER TWO: THEORY AND PRACTICE OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS

Chapter one provided the conditions for this research study. This chapter explored literature on how project managers should be assessed, how institutions approach project management certification, merits and demerits of certification, attributes of a good project manager, project success factors and a knowledge base for project managers. The chapter layout is provided in Figure 2.1.

 Introduction

The following represents a brief summary of the theoretical and practical research covered on project management certification programs. The early 1950s were noted,as the project management era, where project management tools and techniques were used for complex engineering projects. Prior to the 1950s projects were managed on an adhoc basis using mostly Gantt charts (Kumar 2005).Project management has moved to encompass techniques other than those of the planning and scheduling of activities. There have been many developments over the past fifty years to extend project management by incorporating detailed methods for the management and control of cost, resources, quality, and performance.Project management evolved from the 1950, since when project management association were formed. This chapter entailed a closer look at what were the project management associations that were formed, the certification programs that are available, and what are the curriculum and the criteria to join in the respective associations.

Assessing project management competencies

Project management competencies assessments are important because this forms the starting point for the project management associations to certify applicants. This section deals with the theory on project management assessment. Skills management and the assessment of skills are gaining popularity in human resource management (Homer 2001). Project management and project management competence were defined in Section 1.2.
To assess competencies of employees and determine skill gaps allow organisations to apply more cost effective; significant training and development practices; determine changes in individuals and team performances; and select better candidates (Hoffmann 1999).Hoffmann (1999) suggested that if the performance standards are set and have been achieved this means that competency has been achieved.Homer (2001) stated that people skills are one of the most important foundations for
a company because they impact on every aspect of corporate process and ultimately profit.Crawford (2008) concluded that performance-based inference of competencies are concerned with demonstration of the ability to do something at a standard considered acceptable in the workplace, with an emphasis on threshold rather than high performance or differentiating competencies. Threshold competencies are units of behaviour that are essential to do a job but that are not causally related to superior job performance Historically employers have hired and measured employees abilities and skill based on intelligent quotient (IQ) alone. IQ was used to measures one’s ability to learn,problem solve, and understand information. Intelligence has evolved to encompass both IQ and emotional quotient (EQ). Gordon (2010) defined EQ as the ability to identify and manage emotional information in one self and others and focuses energy on required behaviour. These skills complement the cognitive skills.Carrick (2010) stated that Daniel Goleman introduced EQ as a yardstick to measure leadership success, and there is a consensus that EQ can be developed through learning and development.Paterson (2011) stated that emotional intelligence plays a vital role at leadership level and when star performers were compared with average performers at senior levels then nearly 90% of the difference in their profiles was attributable to emotional intelligence skills rather cognitive ability or technical skill. Hartman and Skulmoski (1999) suggested that assessment of competencies can be examined by a model (Figure 2.2) for project management competencies, which include inputs, processes and outputs. Where inputs (can include and not limited to knowledge; skills; traits; motives; self image; social role; and behaviour), process competencies (examples of project management processes include planning; controlling and closing a project) and outputs (can include project performance metrics such as budget and schedule compliance and project success criteria like customer satisfaction).

Title Page 
Declaration 
Acknowledgements 
Abstract 
List of Abbreviations and Acronyms 
List of Figures
List of Tables
Chapter One: General Introduction
1.1 Introduction 
1.1.1 Importance of project management
1.1.2 Importance of the right knowledge base
1.1.3 Competency
1.1.4 Project management certifications
1.2 Definitions
1.2.1 Project
1.2.2 Project management
1.2.3 Project manager
1.2.4 Skill
1.2.5 Knowledge
1.2.6 Body of knowledge
1.2.7 Project management competencies
1.3 The problem statement
1.4 Research objectives 
1.5 Contribution of the study in relation to the existing body of knowledge 
1.6 Delimitation of the study 
1.7 Brief methodology 
1.8 Outline of the research report.
1.9 Summary
Chapter Two: Theory and Practice of Project Management Certification Programs
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Assessing project management competencies 
2.3 Certification programs: A global approach to project management
a Body of knowledge
b Ethical behaviours
c Defined minimum standards
2.3.1 Certification programs
i. The American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE)
ii. The Project Management Institute (PMI)
iii. The UK Association for Project Management (UK APM)
iv. The International Project Management Associations (IPMA)
v. The Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM)
vi. The American Academy of Project Management (AAPM)
vii. The International Association for Project and Program Management (IAPPM)
2.3.2 Summary: Certification programs
2.4 Project management certification merits and demerits
2.4.1 Merits of certification
2.4.2 Demerits of certification
2.5 Developing the knowledge base
2.5.1 Attributes of a good project manager
2.5.2 Contributors to project failure/ success
a) Project failure
b) Project success dimension identified by scholars
c) Technical skills required
d) Social-cultural skills required
2.6 Critical factors for project success 
2.7 Proposed content for competent project managers
2.8 Summary
Chapter Three: Research Design and Methods 
3.1 Introduction 
3.2 Research designs 
3.2.1 Qualitative research design
3.2.2 Quantitative research design
3.3 Sample design and sample size
3.4 Data collection method
3.5 Methodology selected
3.5.1 Method for analysis
3.6 Research instrument
3.6.1 Coding frame
3.6.2 Establishing the allocated scores
3.7 Ethical considerations
3.8 Summary
Chapter Four: Results and Discussions
4.1 Introduction
4.1.1 Data description
4.1.2 Approach to answering the research questions
4.1.3 Coding frame and adequacy scale
4.2 Presentation of the results and analysis
4.2.1 Presentation of results
4.2.2 Adequacy of the programs
4.2.3 The inadequacy of the knowledge areas
4.2.4 Individual certification program scoring obtained
a) The American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE)
b) The Project Management Institute (PMI)
c) The UK Association for Project Management (UK APM)
d) The International Project Management Associations (IPMA)
e) The American Academy of Project Management (AAPM)
f) The International Association for Project and Program Management (IAPPM)
4.3 Validity of the answers to the research questions 
4.4 Discussion of results 
4.4 Summary 
Chapter Five: Conclusion and Recommendations
5.1 Introduction 
5.2 Conclusions 
5.2.1 The ideal knowledge base
5.2.2 Core / noncore PM knowledge areas
5.2.3 Inadequacy of the certification programs
5.2.4 Technical abilities versus social cultural abilities
5.2.5 Project management certification requirements
5.2.6 Project management development programs
5.3 Recommendations 
5.3.1 The ideal knowledge base
5.3.2 Core / noncore PM knowledge areas
5.3.3 Inadequacy of the certification programs
5.3.4 Technical abilities versus social cultural abilities
5.3.5 Project management development programs
5.4 Further research 
5.4.1 Post graduate programs at learning institutions
References 

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Project Management Certification Programmes: How appropriate are they?

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