What is the most important piece of knowledge? This is a question that could be asked you during a job interview. I know this because I have asked it when I interviewed candidates. I also have been the one who was asked the question as a job applicant. Although it may seem like a trick question, it is not. The person asking you this question is probably trying to find out if you are familiar with the knowledge areas in the PMBOK. Guide. This is actually a good sign. It means that the person expects you to be a project manger and use the best practices that have been created for us all by the PMI. Let’s first look at communication management and risk management before we discuss how to answer this question.
When I teach project management, and I’m discussing risk management with my students, I tell them that projectmanagement is risk management. When I talk with them about communication management, I tell them that project managing is all about communications. After I tell them these things, I joke with them about being schizophrenic. I don’t believe I am. (Would you believe I could?) I want everyone to think about what could happen if they walk around with this mindset. If a team member says they will finish an activity early, don’t just say thanks, but think about what that could mean. What could happen if this piece of work gets completed early? It’s possible to complete it early if it’s on the critical pathway. If it’s not on the critical pathway, you have the option to take that resource and place them on a critical activity or help someone who is having a difficult time. You are practicing risk management by recognizing an opportunity. The same goes for when a colleague approaches you to tell them that some materials ordered are likely to be late. You want to ask yourself: What could happen? How can you fix this? I am asking you to adopt a proactive mindset.
Another way I would say this is that if you have a colleague who manages projects and it seems like everything goes very smoothly, you might be tempted think she always manages the easy projects. This is not likely to be the case. Your colleague is likely very skilled at risk management and has a proactive mindset. It’s not hard for her because she has already identified and determined the best responses to many of the threats and opportunities her project team will face.
What does all this have to do about communications management? A complete risk register is useless if no one sees it. You want to be proactive and walk around with a positive mindset. ?
Let’s get back to the interview. Your future employer will look at you and ask you what the most important Body of Knowledge is. You could answer all of them. This person really wants you to make a choice. Start by saying that you are familiar with the PMBOK. Guide is a collection of important processes that should all be considered when managing a project. This will allow you to narrow your focus and choose one. You can then narrow your focus and choose one Body of Knowledge to use on your project. Your Body of Knowledge should be argued strongly. Sometimes, the interviewer has a preconceived idea of what you should say. Sometimes, they want you to talk about communications management or risk management. You can try to second-guess your interviewer and give them the answer they want. You can also do an outstanding job with your answer. It is best to just