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Rebeka D. Vlahov, Maja Klindžić, Mladen Radujković


The application of project management practices in contemporary business is continuously increasing with the aim of delivering the work packages in a more cost-conscious and controlled way while making the best use of limited human resources to meet customer requirements and create competitive advantage. In order to be considered competent, individuals working in the field should demonstrate a certain level of knowledge, skills, and abilities – assessed, developed or improved through a certification system. Taking into account the importance of information modeling and technology in the domain of project management as a set of practices that determine structure, lifecycle and accessibility requirements of information and the emphasis placed on the behavioral competencies of project, program and portfolio managers, the authors of the paper focused on exploring the challenges and specificities of the project management profession in Croatia. Empirical research was conducted in two steps. Firstly, a qualitative research was done using in-depth interviews with a member of the editorial board of a new project management international certification standard and two representatives of the certification body in Croatia: the director and the assessor. The collected data were analyzed using grounded theory approach and results in four main areas were obtained: project management and certification challenges, addressing certification body needs, the missing link between educational institutions and project management in practice and key project management competencies. In the next step, a quantitative research with a questionnaire as a research instrument was conducted among 53 certified project, program and portfolio managers in Croatia regarding their perception of the importance of the behavioral project management competencies. The results show that the majority of the certified experts in the field consider "leadership" to be the most important behavioral project management competency, closely followed by teamwork and self-management, while relations and engagement, conflict and crisis as well as negotiation and resourcefulness are considered to be of the least importance for conducting the project, program, and portfolio successfully. Statistically significant differences in assigning importance to various project management competencies were revealed with regard to several respondents' independent characteristics.


competency; information modeling; behavioral competencies; certification; project management; program management; portfolio management

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