Although at PM Workshops, we mostly adhere to project management methodology developed by the Project Management Institute (PMI,) we also recognize that there are variations within PMI, such as CAPM, PMI-ACP, or Disciplined Agile; as well as other methodologies, such as PRINCE2 and the Certified Scrum Master. In general, there are at least 10 or so well-known certifications, and they are all worth attaining, so how do you choose the one that is best for you and/or your organization?
Project Management Certification – Workshops for Passing the PMP
At PM Workshops, we typically start by asking our clients to consider the following before starting to prepare for certification:
- Their role in project management. Since our clients range from seasoned project managers to young professionals, sometimes the best option for the latter is to start with the CAPM, for example. The Certified Associate in Project Management is geared towards people who work in project management but do not have the amount of experience (36 months) required to sit for the PMP exam. And for seasoned project managers, they need to consider their immediate need, as well as for the near future. For example, if a project manager is reaching the height of their management career, they may want to consider obtaining the PgMP, which stands for Program Management Professional.
- The types of projects they work on. If they work on projects, such as construction where the project lifecycle is typically predictive, then the PMP, PRINCE2, or other similar certification might be best. However, if they work on quick turnaround projects dependent on changing technology, such as IT, then the PMI-ACP or Disciplined Agile might be a better fit.
- Their short-and medium-term plans. Many of us often consider a career change at some point. Therefore, if you are serious about working on different projects, a different industry, or going off on your own and launching a start-up, then plan accordingly now and seek out a certification that will best serve you in your new career.
Although I firmly believe that obtaining just about any certification is good, primarily because they encourage you to learn and/or master something new, there are better known and globally recognized certifications. For example, PRINCE2 originated in the UK and is the standard there and in some other commonwealth countries; however, PMI has the largest amount of certified professionals than any other entity. In the EU, India, China, and the Middle East, PMI certifications are the most sought after and well recognized. In fact, many of the construction projects I worked on in Saudi Arabia required a PMI approach, which means that at least one person on the building team is PMP certified.
Regardless of which certification you pursue, the important thing to remember is that the exam is a drill. The certification will open doors, but what will make you a better and more effective project manager are the skills you learn through training and the effort you place by including them and executing them in your project work.