It may seem as though I get paid for every person I convince to get PMP Certified. Still, my interest is mostly based on my penchant for efficiency and the willingness to pass on advice, which is what others have done for me and helped me succeed; also, I meet so many people in my classes and through clients who dread the idea of taking the PMP exam; even when their preparation course, as well as the exam itself, are being paid for by their bosses. So, I try to help them find their motivation to prepare and take the exam, which often comes down to people’s aversion to taking tests, which is right up there with public speaking. Yet the PMP, like many other certifications, can only benefit people in the short and long run, plus it offers particular advantages to those interested in starting their own businesses or firms.
Entrepreneurship and the PMP Project Management
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20% of new businesses fail within the first year of starting, 30% by year two, and 50% by the end of the fifth year. And not only have these statistics remained the same for decades but so have the four most common causes, which are:
- Lack of funding
- Inadequate management
- Insufficient (business) planning
- Ineffectual marketing
As you will note, all four of these common causes relate to Project Management. For example, “lack of funding” is related to poor budgeting and Cost Management, and “ineffectual marketing” relates to poor Communication and Stakeholder Management. In addition, having proper Risk Management, which is also a key knowledge area of Project Management, can mitigate the potential uncertainties of starting a new business, leading to a higher business success rate. So, why don’t most entrepreneurs employ proper project management? Part of the reason is that most entrepreneurs enjoy what they do and, therefore, tend to be laser-focused on just getting the actual work and production done. They do not think about project management and/or see it as unnecessary or beyond their grasp. However, project management is a great tool to start a new business and help it succeed.
In addition to the knowledge areas noted above, other elements of Project Management can also contribute to a business’s success, such as Scope Management, which for a business would include a detailed description of the work needed to be profitable; Schedule Management, which sets not only deadlines but also milestones along the way to ensure that the business project is on track; and Procurement Management, which helps a business determine, plan and execute outsourcing activities, as well as ensuring that the third party activities are done well and on time.
As you can see, applying appropriate Project Management methodology can increase your chances for business success. If your interest is to have your own consulting firm or business someday, make an effort to obtain project management training and even certification, then use the skills learned to become an entrepreneur, especially, as noted above, if your current employer is willing to foot the bill.
Being certified is like knowing a foreign language or playing an instrument. Chances are good you will not meet someone who will say, “I wish I didn’t speak Japanese” or “I wish I could not play the piano.” More likely, people wish for the opposite. However, oftentimes they are not willing and/or able to spend the time and energy to make it happen. But, as in the case of certification, think of all the benefits you will get at the end of your learning process. One such benefit might be gaining more independence by becoming your own boss when you start an exciting new business.