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Episode 144: aPro: asapm Performance Rated Organization

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This episode is sponsored by:
The PDU Podcast

Earlier this month, the ASAPM (The American Society for Advancement of Project Management) released their latest standard. It's called "aPro: asapm Performance Rated Organization". You can find it at

My guest today Bill Duncan, who serves as the Certification Chair on the board of directors of the ASAPM. Many of you will recognize his name, as he was the primary author of the original PMBOK® Guide. But that's a story for another time. Today, we're discussing the purpose of the aPRO standard. We'll look at what organizations should consider being rated in this way, benefits and competitive advantage of this rating, how you actually get certified and much, much more.


Episode Transcript

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

Podcast Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: This is The Project Management Podcast™. We bring project management to beginners and experts. Find us on the web at or send your emails to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to Episode #144. I am Cornelius Fichtner.

This is The Project Management Podcast™ for the 9th of April 2010, nice to have you with us.

Earlier this month, the asapm, the American Society for Advancement of Project Management, released their latest standard. It’s called aPro: asapm Performance Rated Organization, aPro. You can find it at aPRO_Assessment_Opportunity.pdf.

My guest today is Bill Duncan who serves as the Certification Chair on the Board of Directors of the asapm. Many of you will recognize his name maybe as he was the primary author of the original PMBOK® Guide. But that’s the story for another time.

Today, we’re discussing the purpose of the aPro standard. We will look at what type of organizations should considering being rated in this way, the benefits and the competitive advantage of this rating and how you actually gets certified and much, much more.

Today’s episode is sponsored by the PDU Podcast™. If you are a PMP® or PgMP®, then you need PDUs. How about if you could earn those PDUs with a Podcast on your iPod or iPhone or whatever other player you’re using to listen to this podcast right now? You can do exactly that with the PDU Podcast. Stop by at and take a look how easy it is to earn your PDUs that way. That’s P-D-U-C-A-S-T dot com.

Well, we have no further announcements so let’s get going with the interview.

Our guest, William Duncan, is a principal of Project Management Partners, a project management consulting and training firm. And as we have learned earlier, he is the certification chair of the asapm.

Mr. Duncan has nearly 30 years of management and consulting experience including five years with a major international consulting firm. He was the primary author of the 1994 and 1996 versions of the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, the most widely used project management standard in the world.

In addition, his process model of project management was used to organize ISO 10006 Guidelines for Quality in Project Management. He has helped clients in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia to improve their organizational performance through better project management.

Please note that the interview was recorded about 10 days before the actual launch of April so we are talking about the upcoming release. The actual release was now about a week before this podcast episode here was first released.

Nevertheless, enjoy the interview.

Podcast Interview

Female voice: The Project Management Podcast’s feature Interview: Today with William Duncan, principal of Project Management Partners.

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello Bill. Welcome back to The Project Management Podcast™.

Bill Duncan: Good afternoon.

Cornelius Fichtner: We want to talk about the aPro standard. The asapm is about to launch this aPro standard so obvious questions here. What’s the asapm? What does aPro stand for and how are you involved with these two?

Bill Duncan: Hi! Asapm is the American Society for the Advancement of Project Management. Asapm is a professional society like the American Society of Civil Engineers or IEEE. We’ve been around for about ten years now.

aPro stands for asapm Performace Rated Organization. It’s an approach we have developed to evaluate organization competence in project management. As to my own involvement, I was one of the charter members of asapm. I served on the board as Director of Standards for a couple of years and then moved over to head up our certification program about three years ago.

As to aPro, I was a team member, participated actively with the team we had and also effectively function as lead writer. I don’t know whether you are aware of this or not, but there are an awful lot of project managers despite the emphasis on communication that are really just not very good at putting coherent senses together. For whatever reason, I am so and I volunteer the right people who always take me up on.

Cornelius Fichtner: Yeah. That’s why I do podcast and don’t write. Audio is so much easier. But I think we’re missing out a little bit here because I read the background and history of aPro and in that I believe you’re really the original author of this. It used to be your own assessment methodology that was then moved into more of a formal asapm standard.

Bill Duncan: I have had an approach that I call Organizational Competence in Project Management. Before that, we called that Developing a Project Management Culture.

Both of those approaches were very much lose frameworks that were very much loose frameworks that were dependent upon my skills as a consultant, my knowledge of project management in order to evaluate an organization. So yes, that was the input or in many ways, the initial inspiration for aPro but if you were to compare the structure, the language of my offering to what this development team has come up with, I’m not sure whether you would actually see it. It’s almost sort of a reverse sausage-making process. It was CIPM. The product that I had was very loosely defined like I say, it was very dependent upon my skills and with the aid of the development team, we’ve put it back together and I think they can really see the meat on the bones.

Cornelius Fichtner: Okay! What then is the purpose of aPro?

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete PDF transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

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Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM, is the host and the author at The Project Management Podcast. He has welcomed hundreds of guests and project management experts to the podcast and has helped over 60,0000 students prepare for their PMP® Exam. He has authored dozens of articles on and PM World 360. He speaks at conferences around the world about project management, agile methodology, PMOs, and Project Business. Follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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