Performance or Knowledge?

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Your move

Your move

I learned to play chess when I was about 10 or 11. I know how each piece moves. I know how to avoid Fool’s Mate. I know a few opening gambits. I know the relative value of the various pieces. I played with my friends and won about as many games as I lost. If you gave me a chess quiz, I suspect that I could get at least 61% percent right.

My 19 year old son, Michael, stares at me blankly when I mention the King’s Gambit or the Ruy Lopez opening. He knows nothing about chess notation and has never heard of Tal or Kasparov.

But he beats me consistently. I have the knowledge; he is a better performer.

If you are a project manager, which category do you fit into? Do you have the knowledge (and the credential to prove it?), or you a performer? If you are a performer, wouldn’t you like to be able to get a credential that proves it? Have I got a deal for you …

Let’s start with full disclosure. In addition to running my own project management consulting and training company, I also volunteer for a couple of professional associations. One is the American Society for the Advancement of Project Management (asapm ? we use lower case to remind us to be humble), and the other is the Global Alliance for Project Performance Standards (GAPPS, asapm is a member of GAPPS and is also the USA Member Association in the International Project Management Association (IPMA, the world’s oldest international project management organization). My main responsibility for asapm is to run its certification program ? a program that uses a performance-based competency standard (PBCS) developed by GAPPS in its assessment.

Although fairly new to project management, performance-based competencies have been widely used throughout the world for over 20 years. The governments of Australia and New Zealand have nation-wide competence assessment systems that use performance-based competencies for everything from sports referees to chief executives.

Our system requires you to providence evidence that you can satisfy 100% of the performance criteria. You must provide both documentary evidence and verbal evidence. For example, do you have a list of stakeholders (documentary evidence) and can you also explain why and how the list was developed (verbal evidence)? It takes most people about 6-8 hours to gather the documentary evidence, and the interview with our two-person assessment team takes about 2 hours. Since you don’t need to buy any books to prepare (all of the support material is available for FREE online), and you don’t need to take any expensive preparation courses, most candidates spend much less for this performance-based credential than they would spend for the most popular knowledge-based credential.

More details at, or post a question here and I’ll try to respond promptly.