the questions often asked of us are listed here with their
Q. Why does PMSelect offer career planning
as a service as well as recruitment services?
Firstly, both are in demand from project professionals.
Secondly, people we meet to help with career planning are
sometimes people we are able to recommend to employers.
Thirdly, with able people in short supply and a fragile career
structure for project professionals, we are able to add value
to the employer and the professional seeking advancement,
by recognising career routes otherwise not perceived. This
widens the field of candidates open to the employer and extends
the options of the able project professional seeking advancement.
Q. How can a project executive find a career
opportunity in another sector?
The abilities needed to manage projects can be divided into
two: the ‘Universal Abilities’ and the ‘Context Abilities'.
is the same for all project professionals, whatever sector
they work in and whatever technology they engage with. It
comes from their training and can be seen in the PMBoKs (Project
Management Body of Knowledge) published by the APM, APMA and
PMI professional associations.
amounts to the project professional’s knowledge and understanding
of the sector, organisation and technology that forms the
context of their work. This is not project management but
the knowledge of the situation that a project manager needs
to understand to conduct project management.
the capability and maturity in the ‘Universal Abilities,’
the more that that this value will transcend limitations apparent
from a lack of familiarity with a new context. Communication
with a prospective employer in another sector therefore needs
to refer to the ‘Universal Abilities’.
to develop opportunities in another sector can be to use an
Q. What qualities distinguish the most able
In our experience, successful project professionals are strong
in all aspects of project management. It is in the human aspects
of the work however, that professionals distinguish themselves.
Emotional Intelligence is critical to success as is bravery,
communication, judgement and reading and responding to the
Q. Where do I get advice for advancing my
career in project management?
Your first port of call has to be your colleagues and your
boss. They will see you differently to the way you see yourself.
Few people can work out their strengths and learning needs
on their own! These then need to be placed within the context
of where the present is taking you and where you should be
It all needs
to lead to a series of options, a strategy and a plan. You
can contact PMSelect who provide a service to do this, one-on-one,
called Career Pointers.
Q. What selection methods are used by PMSelect
in its work?
To be successful, a project professional must have mastered
a good deal of knowledge and skill. They are typically people
who are very curious about what is going on around them and
learn quickly. PMSelect's starting point is Twenty Keys, a
model of the competencies and experience that explain someone's
ability for managing projects. Twenty Keys has spawned a series
of selection methods, including
- Assessment Centre designs and processes
- The Case
- Competency-based and behavioural event interviewing
- Executive Assessment
- The Self
Q. What is meant by Twenty Keys?
Project management is very young in comparison with other
professions, with roles requiring an extensive range of skills.
The field is complex and continues to evolve. We offer here
a fresh approach, known as ‘Twenty Keys’, providing a more
useful way to understand a project management role and the
abilities needed of people who can be expected to succeed.
Twenty Keys has been developed to improve the success and
reliability of project management recruitment and a framework
to use when setting the career direction of project management
Q. What is ‘Reveal’?
Every project organisation and every project management role
is different. It is important that we recognise the employer's
performance expectations, the competences required and the
professional experience of candidates we will be looking for.
There will be no perfect candidates; but there will be trade-offs
and we need to know and understand the requirement well to
be able to recognise where these may be found.
have developed a process known as ‘Reveal’ to help us to collect
the information needed - rapidly and effectively. Recruiting
is a project. As with all projects, defining the requirement
Q. What is a ‘Universal Project Manager’?
The IPMA (International Project Management Association) chose
the theme of ‘Universality’ at their last annual Congress
in London. This idea, expressed at its simplest, claims that
an accomplished project manager can perform any project management
role successfully, regardless of the sector, technologies
used, or any other technical aspect of the work. A project
manager, in other words, is a project manager who can manage
projects – any project.
Q. How do PMSelect find jobs for project professionals?
PMSelect is not an agency that holds particulars of candidates
for passing to employers. We recognise able senior project
professionals in this occupation and introduce them to potential
employers who have retained us where we believe there to be
a good match. We want to hear from any senior professional
seeking a new opportunity who may wish to use our career planning
services. In all cases we need to assess people’s abilities
and their preferences before considering them for openings.
Where we recognise a possible opening we will recommend candidates
with an accompanying report.
Q. How do I get started in project management
Generally speaking, people cannot ‘start’ in project management.
Usually people move across gradually from another role in
the same business and then progressively specialise. This
process, for the more ambitious, is accomplished concurrently
with studying the subject and acquiring professional membership
of the APM or PMI. It is possible to complete a course in
project management and then use this as credentials to take
a junior role from which a career can be established and grown.
Q. What is it that attracts people to managing
There are many answers to this profound question! By their
own admission, project professionals enjoy the variety and
stimulus of the work. It is a particularly social role requiring
strength in communication and an interest in people and groups
and how they work. It requires the acquisition of a range
of formal methods for, including others, the planning, control
and risk management of projects. People need to be able to
learn these methods quickly as well as to develop the skill
of reading social and political situations and understanding
It is also
true that project managers tend to be more focussed on results
than attending to the power agenda. Getting the job done is
something that attracts interest and attention, to a greater
extent than winning the political game and ‘calling the shots’.