MORE THAN ONE DECADE IN THE MAKING
Created and improved during a process that dates back more than one decade, A Sixth Sense for Project Management® is Roeder Consulting's proprietary approach to interpersonal skills. Honed from our work with clients and presentations to thousands of project managers virtually and in-person, A Sixth Sense for Project Management® is a tested framework for project and change management.
THE EARLY YEARS
Roeder Consulting was founded in 2001 to help organizations implement their strategic ideas. We quickly learned that there is much more to implementation than a timeline and a budget. Change requires getting people to work together, so we set out to create a framework focused on the human-side of change. It was important to us that our framework was based in fact, so we hired a consultant to conduct interviews and focus groups with project managers and executives. At the completion of this process we had a list of approximately one dozen interpersonal attributes a project manager needed to succeed. Over time, this list was distilled into the six core disciplines that currently form our approach. One day, Tres and the consultant were in our offices attempting to name the collection of disciplines. Tres said, "it's almost as if project managers need A Sixth Sense for Project Management® to succeed." Roeder Consulting trademarked that term and began to beta test training programs on the six disciplines.
THE MIDDLE YEARS
After the inital insights that led to A Sixth Sense for Project Management®, the next steps were to both determine a more robust definition for the disciplines, and detail how to improve one's skills in each area. Roeder Consulting launched a multi-year process that included:
- Sponsoring surveys and discussions
- Studying peer-reviewed scientific research and related articles
- Attending scientific and project management conferences
- Capturing the expertise present within the experienced Roeder Team
- Working with various additional interpersonal Subject Matter Experts, including a decorated U.S. Army Colonel, a prominent Chief of Police, and a renowned pre-school teacher
The Balanced Approach
By the culmination of this period, we had rigorously defined each of the disciplines and learned how project managers can increase their capabilities in them. We also realized the deep and interconnected importance of business acumen and technical project management skills. The result was Roeder Consulting's Balanced Approach. Our assessment tool tests for each area of the Balanced Approach: 1) the six disicplines in A Sixth Sense for Project Management®, 2) business acumen, and 3) technical skills.
In 2011, Tres Roeder published these findings in his first book titled A Sixth Sense for Project Management. He went on a speaking tour and interacted with numerous project managers across the globe. In addition to Tres' travels, Roeder Consulting's network of trainers conducted in-person and virtual training with thousands of project and change leaders. Over time, we learned how people interact with our disciplines and incorporated their collective experiences into a deeper understanding of how to help individuals develop their capabilities. Along the way, Tres was invited to serve as an official reviewer of the Project Management Institute's first ever attempt to address interpersonal skills in its seminal global guide book, The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide Version 5.0). Tres reviewed Chapter 13 on stakeholder management. In 2013, he published his second book, Managing Project Stakeholders with additional details, templates, and frameworks not covered in Cahpter 13. Both books became Amazon best-sellers.
We constantly revise our assessment tool based on new experiences and current research. For example, Roeder Consulting conducted joint research with Professors Stephen Leybourne and Virgina Greiman of Boston University. In this multi-year empirical research study, we found that the project management role is becoming more strategic. We found an overlap in the fields of strategy, project & program management, and organizational change. These powerful insights are integrated into our A Sixth Sense for Project Management® assessment tool. Findings from this research, including the framework below, were presented at the 2015 IRNOP (International Research Network on Organizing By Projects) Conference in London.
Our assessment questions get to the heart of what we're testing for. Roeder's assessment methodology has been reviewed by experts, including research faculty at Case Western Reserve University well-versed in survey methodology. To take advantage of our full suite of information and developmental tools, check out our virtual treasure chest of educational content (becomes unlocked upon completion of the A Sixth Sense for Project Management® Assessment).