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Association for Project Management

Multi-method competence framework review

The brief 

The Association for Project Management (APM) commissioned Shift Membership to conduct multi-stage research to inform the refresh of their current Competence Framework and provide recommendations for its further development. APM was interested in knowing how the framework was used and perceived to determine where its value lay. They also wanted to reassess how the framework sat alongside other products and services and health-check its content with a view to future-proofing this product.

The approach

This project used a multi-stage, multi-method research design to explore different objectives with different audiences:​

  1. Primary research with users and non-users, employing interviews to explore the use cases and usability of the current framework.​
  2. A literature review, including a competitor analysis and five additional interviews with key opinion leaders. ​
  3. Informed by the previous two stages, we conducted three online focus groups with different stakeholders to specify the approach of implementing small updates to the content and organisation of the framework. 

The value

Findings from each stage of this research were provided as visual reports and presentations delivered to APM’s internal stakeholders.​

The interview stage uncovered where the value of the framework lay for its users, as well as opportunities for further promotion and strengthening of the format of this product. The literature review and KOL interviews gathered ideas around visualisations, interactive features and strengthening its commercial value. Focus groups provided guidance around how to implement the refresh of the product without compromising the highly valued elements of its current coverage and format.