Introspective Innovation – Examining and Enhancing Oneself

By MaryGrace Allenchey, PMP

Introspective: looking into one’s own mind, feelings, capabilities, etc.

Innovation: process of making changes… new methods, techniques, devices, capabilities, etc.

Exploring the critical capabilities and expectations of project managers, I more often than not encounter senior management incapable of articulating their expectations for these managers, but “just know it when they see it”!

Opting to observe individuals who are deemed successful, effective, and even exceptional by their senior management, specific performance capabilities are always exemplified and therefore expected, in some degree, for each of the various Project/Program Management (PM) positions: Project Assistant, Project Coordinator, Project Manager, Senior Project Manager, Project Director, Program Manager, Assistant Vice President-PM, and Vice President – PM.

For each of these positions, the PDUs2Go course: Project & Program Management Professional Development and Career Program defines the performance expectations for the specific performance capability or professional dimension.

The following matrix, of typical expectations for a project manager, provides an effective assessment tool to examine your own capabilities and determine your enhancement opportunities.


Professional Dimension

Performance Expectations



[Products produced by the Position]

Project Charter, Project Plan, Progress Reports, Task Management, Risk Management, Meeting Facilitation & Documentation, Performance Evaluations
Scope of Responsibility

[Number and Size of Projects]

2+ projects within a business unit; moderate complexity with 100-200 tasks, 10-20 resources and a budget < 100k.


Minimum PM-Experience

[ Application of Skills]

3 years

[Professional recognition]

Organization PM-Certification and registered for or attained PMP-Certification.



[Professional commitment]

Performance Skills

[Management & Leadership Capabilities]

Excellent: Integrity

Strong: Communications, Continuous Learning, Customer Focus, Decision-Making/Problem-Solving, Flexibility, Leadership, Planning/Prioritizing/Goal-Setting, Relationship Management

Satisfactory: Influence, Initiative, System-wide Problem-Solving


Technical Skills

[PM Knowledge and Skills]

Very Strong: PM best practice Processes & Techniques

Strong: Company Knowledge, Client-Company Knowledge, PC Desk-Top Tools, PM Concepts, PM-Tools Knowledge, PM-Tools Application

Satisfactory: Marketing


Acknowledging “learning is a journey, not a destination”, an effective project manager must continuously innovate… embrace and apply new methods, tools and techniques.

Introspective Innovation is a disciplined approach for assessing one’s current capabilities, identifying opportunities for improvement, and embarking on a very specific, goal-oriented professional development plan!

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