Are You A PMO Expert Or A Know-It-All?

The AIPMO IPMO-Expert course has been running successfully now in the UK for the last two years (and in other parts of the world for the last five). It sits alongside the AIPMO Foundation and Practitioner courses. As part of the enrolment process, we review individuals’ CVs and have a chat with the potential delegates to ensure they are signing onto the most appropriate course. Our experience is that delegates are more than happy to nominate themselves (or be nominated) for the Foundation and Practitioner courses but are far more reticent about nominating themselves for the Expert course. Discussion typically centres around two points:

1 – Who wants to self-declare themselves as an expert or even suggest they are expert material?

The stereotypical English person is modest and not one for shouting about how brilliant they are. Applying the word expert to oneself is often seen to be an unacceptable level of arrogance, and even when others refer to us as such, we shuffle from one foot to another politely declining the reference.

But looking at the definition of an expert, many of us should recognise ourselves. As I write this, I’m very conscious about calling myself an expert but objectively, I have been in and around PMOs for over 25 years, I am the Lead Author of P3O©, contributed to a variety of other publications and am engaged as such by my clients or to speak at conferences.

Somehow the word ‘expert’ has come to imply ‘know-it-all’ – a term nobody I know would use about themselves or like to be used to describe them. This links to the second area of discussion:

2 – If you’re an expert, why do you need to go on a course?

The very fact that expert does not mean know-it-all, means that even experts still have much to learn. One of the exciting facts about the world of project management is that it is constantly evolving, with new thinking and theories to review and determine how best to apply them.

The course challenges your underpinning knowledge of Projects, Programmes and Portfolios and really makes you think about what you do and don’t know. It truly fits with the definition of ‘expert’ as knowledgeable rather than ‘know-it-all’.

On the expert course, we do just that – with a cohort of fellow experts. My role, more of a facilitator than a trainer, is to guide the discussion and give the delegates the opportunity to reinforce things they already know, shape some of their emerging knowledge and work with other delegates to develop new knowledge – not just as theoretical concepts, but work through the application of the theory within a case study and their own environment.

Running the course as a five-day residential event allows us to continue the discussion into a more relaxed setting outside of the classroom. To broaden the discussion further and provide additional networking opportunities, we also take the opportunity to invite guests to evening dinner – often previous delegates.

It’s not just the delegates who learn lots on the expert course!



If you like the sound of the AIPMO IPMO-Expert course and would like to stand up as a PMO Expert, you can take a look at the course outline and see our upcoming dates here.


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