Cheetah Know How Network

Lei Parla Project Management?

By Michelle LaBrosse, PMP®, Chief Cheetah and Founder of Cheetah Learning, and Kristen Medina, PMP®, Co-Author

I continued to pantomime my intent as the Italian store grocery clerk looked at me in complete confusion. My lack of being able to communicate with this person was beginning to frustrate me – I mean, this is me, the person who was voted as the queen of charades by friends and family alike. How could he not understand that I was looking for eggs?  I was making the appropriate chicken moves and was rather certain that my omelet making motion was right on point. But he just kept on staring.

After returning home from my trip to Italy, I remember how every event in my life seemed to take place with relative ease compared to my experience abroad. From getting groceries to making travel arrangements – when you speak the same language, you have already overcome the largest barrier in communication that exists. The same is true when it comes to managing projects: everything is easier when you speak the same project language.

Every person and every organization does projects. Projects have been around since the beginning of mankind, and continue to evolve. Modern Project Management standards, developed in the 1950s in response to the quickening pace of the business-oriented world, created a language to use for these projects so that tasks can be performed more efficiently.

Numbers Talk 

How can your organization benefit by learning the common tongue of project management? Let’s take a look at the numbers - perhaps one of the clearest “languages” there is when it comes to bottom-line improvements. 

A 2011 study conducted by project management firm PM Solutions, “The State of Project Management Training,” reveals the various areas of operations that can be improved through PM training. The report finds improvements due to formal project management training in the following areas:

· 29% improved stakeholder satisfaction

· 27% improved schedule performance

· 26% fewer project failures

· 25% improve budget performance

· 25% improvement requirements performance

· 25% improve project quality

These numbers got us wondering: how was Cheetah Learning PM training affecting the organizations we have been training over the years? After running the numbers, we were delighted to find that, after twelve years of service to some of the biggest, most successful publicly traded companies in the US, 90% of our clients increased their profitability and 85% of them increased their growth rate in the year immediately following retaining Cheetah Learning for their on-site PM training needs. All we can say to that is, “Bellissimo!”

Becoming Fluent

As with any language, the more time you spend immersed in the culture (in this case, project management culture), the more fluent you become. You can become fluent in different ways: through exposure/experience or deliberate practice/PM courses - or better yet, both.

When you are fluent in the language of PM, it pays. One of the quickest ways to become fluent in project management is to earn your Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential. According to PMI’s Project Management Salary Survey, conducted in six major countries, PMP-certified project managers reported a $10,000 salary advantage over non-PMP-certified project managers. Once you have that base of formal PM knowledge, your experience adds to your level of PM fluency. Each additional year of PM experience equates roughly to $2-3,000 salary increase for PMPs (according to Payscale.com). 

How can mastering the language of project management help you and your organization? 

About the Author:


Michelle LaBrosse, PMP, is an entrepreneurial powerhouse with a penchant for making success easy, fun, and fast. She is the founder of Cheetah Learning, the author of the Cheetah Success Series, and a prolific blogger whose mission is to bring Project Management to the masses.

Cheetah Learning is a virtual company with 100 employees, contractors, and licensees worldwide. To date, more than 50,000 people have become “Cheetahs” using Cheetah Learning’s innovative Project Management and accelerated learning techniques.  

Recently honored by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), Cheetah Learning was named Professional Development Provider of the Year at the 2008 PMI® Global Congress. A dynamic keynote speaker and industry thought leader, Michelle is recognized by PMI as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Project Management in the world.

Michelle’s articles have appeared in more than 100 publications and websites around the world. Her monthly column, the Know How Network, is carried by over 400 publications.

She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management (OPM) program and holds engineering degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Dayton.