Whether you are considering getting certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP,) or as Agile Certified Professional (PMI.ACP,) or as a PRINCE Practitioner, the benefits to you as well as your employer and/or client are numerous.
In my 30+ years of professional experience, I have been surprised to find that there are so many staff members who carry the title of project manager but do not know the basics of project management, such as developing a project plan, defining the baselines for scope, time and cost, managing changes and risks, as well as other key factors for attaining success in their projects.
Therefore, I am a firm believer that there has to be some sort of licensing process to ensure quality and professionalism in the people we entrust with our work, management tasks and monitoring of our projects. We require, in many countries and jurisdictions, licensing for plumbers, nurses, electricians, dentists, architects, and engineers. So why should we not hold our project managers to a high standard of performance and competence?
There are already many companies worldwide who make the PMP Certification a requirement for their staff to become project managers and ascend the corporate ladder. Therefore, I always tell my students and clients that the best thing they can do for their careers is taking and pass the PMP or the PMI-ACP exams; depending on their jobs and the projects they manage. Both certifications encourage test-takers to study and understand the factors required to run projects, the benefits of critical and analytical thinking, the advantages and importance of preparing a concise and complete scope, a realistic schedule and the appropriate budget to maintain stakeholder satisfaction. Additionally, these certifications encourage managers to address the importance of staff’s job-satisfaction, quality assurance and control, and proper communication management, which is crucial for customer care.
As the business world continues to get more and more competitive, and standing out from among our competitors is crucial for success, having managers on staff who are certified as such is becoming the norm in all types of industries. More and more government jurisdictions, as well as some corporations, are requiring that their projects meet PMI (Project Management Institute) compliance, which requires that at least one person on the project team be PMP certified. The reasons behind this requirement, among others, are that following official management guidelines help ensure that projects meet quality standards and stakeholder expectations, that project team members, on both the client and consultant sides, know which checklists and processes to use and that they understand critical terms and definitions, such as ¨scope creep,” to avoid waste, delays and cost overruns.
In closing, I want to reemphasize the importance and benefits of project management (PM) certification, which are not just for businesses on both sides of a “professional services agreement,” but also for the people getting certified. Because, whether you plan on staying at your current job indefinitely, or you want to change jobs or go off on your own and become self-employed, the PM certification is yours to use in negotiating a promotion at work, finding a new position, or marketing yourself as an independent consultant. That said, take an exam preparation course, study the material and get certified!