Emerging Tech

Project managers need more than PMP certification

Looking to hire the best project manager for your small to mid-sized business? Look deeper than PMP certification.

Some would argue that hiring good people is now more science than art. Personality tests, leadership tests, background checks, reference checks, relevant experience, etc., all make selecting the right candidate an easier task. That may be the case for some IT resources, but it doesn't necessarily apply to project managers. And for project managers for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), it definitely doesn't.That's what CIO for Hire Jay Rollins says about hiring a project manager in an SMB. Although it may be more expedient to hire a project manager based on his or her PMP certification, Rollins warns, you have to go deeper. "The certification tells you that they meet the standardized requirements of a Project Management Professional, but it does not address style, critical thinking, approach to challenges, personality and more importantly, motivation."

To read more about what characteristics to look for and how to determine the best project for your small to mid-sized business, check out Jay's latest post, Hiring the Super Project Manager.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

36 comments
pmaina2000
pmaina2000

Interesting debate. However some arguments here are not founded on facts so first and foremost, lets dispel the myths! ============ MYTH BUSTER: ============ Myth: PMP is a bookworm certification. Fact: To get a PMP Certification you need: 1. Academics (book smart) 2. Work Experience (street smart) 3. Project Management Knowledge 4. Domain knowledge (e.g. Software Engineering) 5. Political awareness. This comes from having managed a number of projects. ============= PM OBJECTIVES ============= Any project manager (irrespective of whether they have certification or not) has the following basic objective: "To deliver what the customer asked for, within agreed constraints." The second most important objective for a PM is: "To manage the politics in order to achieve the first objective." Methodology doesn't matter... book smart vs street smart doesnt matter... the above 2 goals will always be there. ================================== PM'S POWER WITHIN THE ORGANIZATION ================================== It is important to note that most project managers do not have direct authority over the resources that they have to manage in order to deliver the project. 1. The budget is controlled by the sponsor/owner. 2. "working in project x" is not stated in any of the team members employment contract. 3. Deadlines are not the PM's prerogative. He can only advise realistic timelines - but its the sponsor's role to accept or decline. etc etc.. 4. Many times at least one person in the implementation team is more senior than the project manager (this person is usually the most troublesome!) 5. The implementation team belong to other functional units and have other work to do. They report directly to other managers who may have different priorities or agendas. This is currently the scope of PM's power. He/she has to meet the organization's objective using temporarily borrowed resources - not under his/her direct authority. Any experienced PM knows that such an arrangement simply sets the stage for politics, politics and more politics from stakeholders (direct or indirect) who would like to influence the final outcome of the project. ================= POLITICS EXPOSED ================= It is not always 100% clear who the indirect stakeholders are. For example a senior manager in another department may dislike the sponsor of your project and may want the project to fail in order to embarass your sponsor (lets be ralistic - these things happen!). Such a manager is an "indirect stakeholder" as he has an interest (albeit destructive) in the project! Since the political attacker usually cannot be direct, he/she will set numerous political traps for you as the unfortunate PM in order to get enough ammunition to embarass your sponsor. Since the battle is taking place over your head - you have a dilemma. Whether to expose it - or how to expose it without creating some GIANT POWERFUL ENEMIES. Example Tactic: Another bigger, more glamourous project could be initiated simply to compete with your resources. If you didn't have a written Charter... Example 2: frustrating your key resources to force them to quit. Example 3: Raising unrealistic expectations for the project at higher levels without PM knowledge - then attacking your credibility as an effective PM when you deliver to specifications. ets etc. lets be honest... a lot of people play dirty to gain power in organizations. ======================================== POLITICAL ANGLE TO THESE POSTS PERHAPS? ======================================== Could it be that these posts in Tech republic have some political motivation? We can't rule out this possibility as long as the "blame theme" exists. I am yet to see a credible alternative from those who claim they have a better answer! In Psychology we learn that it is human nature to try and rationalize our actions. For example although it is wrong to Kill, we accept that there are cetain exceptions (e.g. war and self defence) where the Killer becomes the HERO rather than the Villain. Behind these posts trashing PMPs, there could be a need by some inexperienced managers to rationalize certain negative aspects of their own behavior. This calls for some honest soul searching! ================== STANDARD QUALITIES =================== The desired qualities highlighted here include: 1. style (?) 2. critical thinking 3. approach to challenges 4. personality and more importantly, 5. motivation (?) I believe these are standard qualities which generally apply to all skilled jobs - and more so for positions with high responsibility. The contentious insinuation here is that PMP certified PMs lack these qualities... I disagree with such assertions. ================ BRIGHTER OUTLOOK ================= From the various posts in Techrepublic, I get the feeling that the role of a project manager is becoming more and more critical within organizations. As a result, there is increasing levels of expectations from senior management. Given these developments, I think its OK to expand the scope of work/responsibilities for a Project manager (PM++). However, these new responsibilities must be accompanied by certain management tools that are necessary for the PM++ to meet a huge array of unspecfied expectations. ===================== PM++ MANAGEMENT TOOLS ====================== Such PM++ tools are mainly political in nature and include higher seniority, increased formal power (direct ownership and control of certain key resources), ability to sponsor own projects - hence PM++ becomes an enabler rather than an implementor. In such a setting, there is no need for steering committees. PM++ calls 99% of the shots, takes full responsibility for the vision & product in addition to project management. Such a PM++ is a senior manager who is accountable directly to the Board or CEO. Equally, the pay would have to reflect the seniority of the position and the high expectations that come with it. =============== PM++ VALUATION =============== If you need such a PM++, and can afford one, then let me be the first to offer my services! Given the current economic crisis, I won't ask for much, just $200k basic per annum + house + car + comprehensive health benefits + subsidized vacations + chauffeeur + butler + corner office on 50th floor or above with sunset view + personal secretary + entertainment budget + flexitime + bi-annual Cost of living salary adjustment tied to inflation... thats all. 100% sucess in all projects - guaranteed. and I'll go beyond projects into vision definition, strategy formulation, strategy execution, tactics etc. Anything that must/should/could be done will be done. :-) Copyright 2008.

ali.kiyani
ali.kiyani

He says "Do not worry about PMP...I will get you passed the exam....focus on Project Management.

saravanakumaran.p
saravanakumaran.p

If the organization is game for allowing good project management practices, PMP would certainly do good. PMP certification alone does not yeild direct results unless operationalized. There has also been an impact on general project management practices due to mis-interpretation on existing lean methods. Right sizing of what has been prescribed by PMI is important for its success.

davidshotton
davidshotton

I think any Project Management qualification that concentrates on team dynamics and people issues at the expense of understanding the principles of 'lifecycle management' is probably symtomatic of why so many projects fail. A Project Manager in a matrix organistion (project environment) needs to be capable of managing 'all' resources in the context of programme dependencies and not just the autonomous ones. Also, I think there is a misconception created by 'short' professional courses that line-management in project management is the same as it would be for operational management, it isn't. Many of the resources are seconded and the environment is less stable so a different style of management is required.

ndsatya
ndsatya

Well, answer the following questions: 1. Will you recruit someone as an engineer who says - "I have some understanding in engg., I have read some books in engg, and I have done a couple of projects, but do not have a BS or MS degree?" Or for an engineer you will go someone with an engineering degree? 2. Will you ask someone to operate on your body who says - "I have some understanding on the way body parts functions, on the way anansethesia perform, but I am not a doctor" Or will you go to a doctor with MBBS degree and with real experience as a doctor? ... ... There are many real life situations which we need professionals who have proven their expertise. So the argument that PMP is useless, it purely pointless. Now the question is, why a PMP is needed for a Project Manager? 1. I have seen many instances in India where Project Managers have no idea of what a backward pass or forward pass is, what is crashing/fast tracking is, that a critical path can have activities which may not have lag as zero. They are dime a dozen and they do not do any project management, rather status management. It is mostly in IT companies. 2. I have seen project managers without any project plan being prepared. In fact, I have never seen or heard my manager talking of Project Charters or Preliminary Scope STatement during any meeting in the entire SDL cycle. Now these my friends, we are talking of the fundamental tenets of project management. 3. I have seen project managers who have no knowledge on the type of contract they are working on, the risk value, what can be done here and what must be looked after into during risk management. 4. I have seen project managers who take estimation reports in word format or excel format from the developers and send it to the client. WBS is never ever in the sight. 5. I have seen a number of instances where status reporting is done in %age of completion. EVM is not used and good heavens, some Project Managers even have no idea what EVM is. ... ... And there are many instances. PMP helps you to know what you are doing in the PMLC (Project Mangaement Life Cycle) via PMBOK and you know very well before hand what you should do in the entire life cycle of a project. All the instances that I have mentioned are project managers are in IT industry of India, where I have been mostly. Now you can ask me, so what? If a person comes from a technical background and knows the domain he or she can be a project manager? It is not a fact. In fact I am hardcore techie and strongly believed on the fundamental principles of PMP. However, I will say this: YOU NEED TO HAVE PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE OF USING PMP AS WELL. Like if you are using a MS Project 2007 or a Primevera or any other PM software, then it ensures that you have practical done critical path analysis, baselining, monitoring and controlling via the fast trakcing, dependency changes and so on. It ensures you get a surgeon on board who have hands on experience on surgery as well. Bottomline: PMP does not make a better project manager. But without PMP, your odds of succeeding at project management is very low. Also PMP with a MCP (MS Project 2007) hits the nail on the head by telling that the person in question has his foundation set up pretty solidly.

jdgretz
jdgretz

I'm not sure which way to go on this as I am pretty much in agreement with Violetw when it comes to certifications. I've been knocking around the IT business since '78 or '79 and have been involved in everything from code slinging to "D" and "C" level staff for a Fortune 50 company and I've got to say that many certifications are simply not worth the paper upon which they are written. If you look at my certs, you will find nothing - but I've been doing this so long that I've proven there is not much in the IT arena I cannot accomplish. Has this closed doors for me? Yes. Do I have the time to go off to school and get certified? No, I'm generally too busy accomplishing the job for which I've been hired to get the certifications to prove I can do the job I've been doing. I do not know what the answer is - but I'd take proven results over unproven certifications any day. Now about that person who has both a track record and the certs....

cssatx
cssatx

This is an interesting post. I think it points out that there are no PM Silver Bullets. While it would be nice to have a Super PM, such an animal would be a rare find. It is still incumbent upon the business unit managers to remain involved with the project to ensure their vision is correctly defined, interpreted and executed ... i.e. hard work. The PM can help you follow standard practice and make sure all is in order for a healthy project but typically can do little in terms of insuring the product meets the vision. In our projects we recognized this and took great care to ensure continuous business unit involvement and assure vision alignment. We also did a number of conference room pilots, build validations and other types of checkpoints to demonstrate the product was developing towards the vision. These steps are essential to the success of the project. The PM can help you plan and organize these steps, define the deliverables and find appropriate places in the project timeline for them to exist. Lets not set the PM up for failure by expecting him/her to be responsible for business vision alignment.

Violetw
Violetw

Well, I'm getting the PMP certification right now. Not because I think it is worthwhile. I do not. I'm only getting it so when I say the PMP is worthless, it'll have more weight and not possible sound like 'sour grapes'. Summer 2007, I was brought onto a very large project in order to save it from the failure skid it was on. The client was NOT happy with the international consulting company I worked for. I had TEN PMPs reporting to me and not ONE of them had ANY idea how to manage a project which is why all deadlines had slipped since the beginning the project. I have 47 years in I.T. since I graduated from high school at 13 and went to work as a programmer. The PMP is the most USELESS certification I've ever come across. It just pushes the bullsh*t of the PMI. To pass the test you need simply memorize the PMBOK (I know a guy who can barely speak English who got his PMP by simply READING the PMBOK several times.) Actually, as a longtime hiring manager, there are only 1 or 2 certifications I think are worthwhile because people who have obtained them have actually LEARNed something useful: Six Sigma Black Belt (because you learn probability theory, at least), and Certified Software Quality Engineer (you learn a lot about testing). The "Certified Scrum Master"... what a scam that is! You get 'certified' by taking a two-day in-person class for 1200 bucks. At the end of the 'class' they tap you on the head and say "Bam! We got your 1200 bucks, you stayed in class two days" now you are "certified". Also, for THAT certification the course materials are written by whoever is 'approved' to give the class, and the courseware is slanted from each instructor's viewpoint. Ain't that "quality". I know two good project managers (aside from myself) and neither of them have a PMP. Furthermore, PMI has a terrible reputation with I.T. recruiters because the PMI organization has a very high attrition rate amongst the consultants they hire for inhouse projects. Get real! Experientially acquired UNDERSTANDING is far more valuable than any certification any day. P.S. I did save the project with the 10 PMPs but not because of THEIR efforts, but because of my knowledge and expertise. By the end of the first week the Client was relaxed and letting me manage the project without concern. The project ended without another slipped deadline and the client renewed their contract with my consulting company.

oldmikie
oldmikie

Do you want a board certified proctologist to take care of that suspicious lump? Or would you be satisfied with your brother in law.

susanmblackburn
susanmblackburn

This article is a no brainer. Most hiring managers will look well beneath anyone's certification whether it be PMP, CSQE, MCP...whatever. I think this article was a waste of time to read, honestly. And, it appeared to degrade the PMP certification slightly.

oblisqe
oblisqe

How many times have we seen PM's with poor judgement, lacking the fundamentals, sufficient knowledge and presentation skills to drive the project forward. There are too many fake people out there that drive their team members crazy and take credit for other people's work and accomplish nothing in the end. Certifications are necessary to establish credibility and should back it up with experience but the way PMP is structured anyone can get certified for it easily. Look at all these boot camps that guarantee pmp in less than a week. It is very expensive and looks impressive but what do they really teach you about being a successful PM in one week? PMP is useful but I think a good PM should have extensive knowledge and experience with good references along with proper planning, team building, organizing, management, and presentation skills which we often do not see. Anybody that does not know how to use PM tools such as Project, Visio, or Excel, should not be even considered for the job.

Meesha
Meesha

I, like you, have been busy getting the job done with no time to worry about certifications. When time has permitted, I have attended excellent courses on PM that have augmented my many years of practical experience, skills and knowledge. I often choose practical over theoretical when achieving our objectives. To date, over 20 years, I have not had a failed project because of lack of PM certified staff - myself or others. In fact, my team and I have often been called upon to "fix" other projects that have gone off rail; note, in every project that has needed help has had the benefit of a certified PM. I do appreciate those that strive for knowledge within their fields but certification is not a guarantee. I've met some professionals, i.e. doctors, engineers, etc. that have received certifications but have done a terrible job. At the end of the day, it's the person, their ability to absorb, adapt, be flexible, extend boundaries but most of all, have common sense when assigned to a project.

ndsatya
ndsatya

I do agree that at your experience and expertise level it may not be required. You youself is an evangelist of project management. I also started with the same sceptism. I am a hardcore techie and believed in architecture, programming languages, debugging skills rather than any other thing needed for project management. But, I was wrong. And I have learnt it the hard way. PMP is not a name shake or another hoopla which came out of nowhere. It comebines the best of all: 1. EVM - I think almost all US govt. projects mandate that projects should report using EVM. 2. ISO - a number of principles of ISO is being used like corrective actions, preventive actions and so on. 3. Six Sigma - They have mentioned it in various control charts. 4. TQM 5. Kaizen 6. Various risk management teachniques like Monte Carlo, PI matrix, RBS, Decison Tree analysis et al. 7. WBS, Activitity Sequencing, Actvity estimation, PERT, GERT which fundamentals in ahy project management. However, I am firmly convinced that a PMP adds much more value to a PM's profile. And yes, the exam is one of the toughest I have ever come across. Your fundamentals have to be very clear to crack the exam. -Satya, PMP, MCP

oldmikie
oldmikie

I got the PMP in 1997. It was the smartest thing I ever did careerwise. It taught me the way to standardize project information across an enterprise. It taught me how to standardize a portfolio across multiple departments, vendors and build teams. I do agree that the PMP alone does not make a good PM. However, how do you prove this UNDERSTANDING to an executive that does not know you or is evaluating multiple consultants that claim their way is better faster and cheaper, and who will show the reference list. The PMP at least is the indicator that you are serious about the profession. PS: None of my projects have failed or missed a customer metric, and I can prove it with the PMI standard project documentation.

ithelp48
ithelp48

I work with a gentleman that recently applied for the CAPM. He is an excellent project manager, but is new to the position. Knowing your thoughts on the PMP, do you believe the CAPM is any better than a really expensive bumper sticker? My advice was to save his money and hold out for the PMP - Im not sure that was even good advice after reading the posts. Thanks, Tom.

dennis.warren
dennis.warren

Certifications (and Degrees) open doors. Degrees open more doors, obviously! Obviously, a lot more rigor/effort goes into getting a college degree then typically does for certifications. There is something to be said for that.

kelvin188
kelvin188

EMOTIONAL & CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE (EQ/CQ) TRUMPS IQ for Project Success I came across an interesting website for project managers. The site studies the importance of emotional and cultural intelligence (plus some other attributes) of project managers in relation to their project management performance. It offers free assessment in those two intelligence quotients (EQ & CQ), which are found to be more important than IQ for professional success. Such professional assessments normally cost hundreds of dollars but the site's free assessment is for a limited time only. The assessments were designed by pioneers and eminent researchers in the respective fields. I recommend you to check it out because it may be beneficial to your career. You can remain fully anonymous in the 15-minute participation. http://www.profilingmanager.com http://www.profilingmanager.com/emailfriend.asp

pmaina2000
pmaina2000

David, you interviewed industry Gurus who have been in the game for a very long time - right? Ok. Now, you also indicate in your paper that historically the project failure rate has been rather high - though there are a few improvements in recent years. Good. This is in line with other reports like the CHAOS report. Now would it not be natural to conclude that these Gurus that you interviewed are to some extent responsible for the high failure rates as they have been writing books and blogs to "guide" other project manager - yet they didn't really have the answers themselves? Would it also not be reasonable to conclude that the relatively recent efforts by PMI and the introduction of PMBOK could have played a role in the improved success rate? Remember the PMBOK is not prescriptive. It merely puts together proven best practices that have been shown to result in successful projects most of the time. The "solution" you suggested is already well addressed by the 9 knowledge areas of the PMBOK. I didn't see any new idea or concept! 1. Remember people=politics. Its the PM's job to be a politician. Focusing on people generally means becoming more in tune with organizational politics. 2. How else do you deliver value - if not by meeting the project's agreed objectives? Remember the project was initiated in order to provide deliverables which are expected to adress a certain need. Provided the initial analysis of the business benefits of such deliverables was correct and assumptions have not been invalidated, then focusing on deliverables should translate to capacity to attain the desired business benefits. There's an old African saying: "you can take a cow to the river - but you can't force it to drink". Unless the deliverables are put to intended use, the business benefits may not be realized. The ensuing blame game points at the PM process whereas in reality what was missing was a concurrent ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE MANAGEMENT project. When people want you to focus on value, chances are that you have "change management issues" to address. e.g. Did the project result in more work for certain stakeholders? Do staff feel threatened by the project careerwise? Is the project taking away someone's source of political power? etc etc.. 3. From the PMBOK, you develop a methodology which is customized to your needs. Such a methododly also needs to be flexible so that it can scale up or down depending on the project's complexity. They say you cant teach an old dog new tricks... so why consult old dogs when seeking new methods? They also say: Dont ask a man/woman about his/her rival. Perhaps APM wants to justify it's existence... and, going by the article, they still dont know how! :-)

michael.a.davis1
michael.a.davis1

David, may I have permission to post your paper on my organizations collaborations site for reference? Thx, michael Davis

ndsatya
ndsatya

Well, answer the following questions: 1. Will you recruit someone as an engineer who says - "I have some understanding in engg., I have read some books in engg, and I have done a couple of projects, but do not have a BS or MS degree?" Or for an engineer you will go someone with an engineering degree? 2. Will you ask someone to operate on your body who says - "I have some understanding on the way body parts functions, on the way anansethesia perform, but I am not a doctor" Or will you go to a doctor with MBBS degree and with real experience as a doctor? ... ... Professional competency is first measured based on your knowledge. Well, there are other extremes. We in fact do not need education at all. If you look at a Bill Gates or a Steve Jobs or a Micheal Dell or a Mark (facebook), then education is not all reqyired to be a CEO of a company!!! Details of why a PMP helps, I have tried to outline in a separate post.

sajag.banerjee
sajag.banerjee

For anything... anything in the world, there will be at least 2 schools of thought! 1. People who believe I belong to this category and believe that PMP is good. And it will help me whenever I talk of or implement risk management or EVM or Decision tree analysis as I understand them, have been tested on them and have also applied them. 2. Who think it is not worth it Well, if you are Dell or Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you do not need any certification at all. Why certification, you do not need any education at all. But if you are not, then you have have still 2 options. One - you are either the son-in-law or daugher-in-law of the CEO or someone who is very close. If that fails, then keep your bags ready to be packed! Another rare category - highly experienced people ...if you are in tech industry, then you know that technology changes like the mood of a woman. So today it is Java, tomorrow it is Baba, day after it is Kaba. So even for highly experienced people it is not that bad to keep learning the new practices and methodologies! Or is not needed at all - may be I'll learn along the way!

ndsatya
ndsatya

You hit the nail on the head. Here is anothr question, whom will you believe? 1. You have a CR (Cost Reimbursable) in Software where the project manager tells that Project is 76% complete and will be done some more xxx days. Or Another project manager who comes up with EVM estimates like CPI, SPI, ETC, EAC etc and tells you how money you are getting from your project at the current rate and how many more days will be required to complete? And he shows the metrics to show. You decide!!!

ithelp48
ithelp48

Would you recommend the CAPM as well?

ndsatya
ndsatya

PMP is better and you can definitely go for it. I will not say it is expensive, rather an investment for a long term. It will be in the range of 600 USD only. You need not go for any tution, coaching or expensive software. PMBOK, a couple of recommended books and a practice test should work out. And after having the PMP certification, you have to pursue it properly to keep continuing via talks, papers, real project where you have used PMP et al. Refer my other post at the end = why PMPs are must for any PM? Hope it helps.

oldmikie
oldmikie

It is better than the bumper sticker. The real reason for CAPM/PMP is the standardization of the PM process/language/interpretations. Not that they will be good at it. But when you are running a PMO with a bunch of live projects across a multi-national the certs provide a mission critical service in ensuring everybody knows what you are talking about when you say the WBS needs to be converted to critical chain from the critical path, and the network path is not allowing for complete utilization of interdependant float and slack.

IT Security Guy
IT Security Guy

The problem is that there are some professions that have a standard body of knowledge and a body that helps to enforce those required skills and knowledge. IT and especially IT security does not have that yet. If you have 3 people, 1 with a CISSP, but only book knowledge and another without any certification, 1 with a degree and no experiemnce and the third with no degree or cert but has 5 yrs of direct hands-on experience, who would you hire? You should go with number 3 since he/she has the actual experience. Having a degree is fine for many professions, but if you have experience, that is where you prove you can do the job. I worked on a govt contract where the PM had a CISSP but did not have any IT security knowledge or experience. He managed to tweak his resume to show IT auditing work as IT security work and of the team of 7 people when I started, ended up as just me a few months later because he drove everyone else off the team and to leave the company because he didn't understand the job or try to take advantage of our experience when we made suggestions on how to do the work better.

ndsatya
ndsatya

Disclosure: Myself and Sajag are both certified PMPs from the same batch from a REP. And we do believe and agree that it helps a lot in Project Management. Above all, it has been a really great discussion so far. Thanks, Satya

ndsatya
ndsatya

@oldmikie, I think you missed the point. 1. I am not saying PMP is the entry criteria for a PM or a certification which must be got. NO. What I am saying is, PMP helps to know a number of things which can help you make a better project manager. And that is what I believe in. 2. Gates or Jobs are not multi millionaire from birth or even when they started business on their own or even when they have had run their for a over a decade. That is not the point. They were neither executives when they started shipping products, nor did they have any earlier track record. In fact Jobs first contract was from Atari when he went barefoot to get it and Gates did not even have any DOS created when he secured his contract from IBM! They did not have any track record at all. What I am saying is - if you have the belief and conviction to start your business and succeed, then education or certification as they have proved is not the criteria. But not everyone is a Jobs or Gates or have a deep conviction in what they do. To tell the truth, over 99.9% of PMs are people like you (well you may not be!) and me (definitely) who work for someone. And I do agree with your final point. Here we concur. PMP helps you to go for continuous learning, maintain your certifcation, contributions and that helps in this ever changing world. And PMP does it in a great way. I am yet to see so much breadth and depth covered in any other cerfication. Again to tell the truth, I have seen many PMs/DMs/GMs (mostly in Indian IT services companies) et al who have never written a line of code in their career. I am not saying they should, but they need to know the ecosystem pretty well. Do not they? How they exist there - well that is different aspect and beyond the scope. At the same time, they also do not know what EVM is or how it is done. With a certification at least it proves that you have the minimal knowledge of what you are applying for. Also the article is saying a PM needs more than a PMP to go through. And I concur. 1. A degree helps you to get a call for a job 2. Continuous learning via cerifications or additional degrees helps to get to the door. 3. What finally opens the door is what is inside you - experience, skills, knowledge, passion, motivation and lot more.

Meesha
Meesha

Then you are agreeing that a certification, any certification, in and of itself is not proof of competence but rather an aid or leg up to "showing" that you understand, in this case, the PMBOK. Would you for example, hire a freshly certified PM with no real world project work experience over a many year, multi projects experienced person that does not have the PMP but has empirical proof of successful engagements? Certification in my opinion is a helpful starting point but in the example above, I would always go with the practical experience over paper based on theoretical training.

oldmikie
oldmikie

1. It is not a matter of belief. At minimum the certification aids standardization of the language (data dictionary) and the process of PM. 2. Dell, Jobs, Gates are not PM's they are business executive. They hire PM's. If you are a business executive should you trust a multi-million dollar mission critical project to someone that says trust me? Or would you pick someone that can prove a track record. Highly experienced people. Business hire for fad du jour (Java, C++, OO, RUP, Agile, etc..) They want people with 3-5 years of experience for minimum wage. A PM that has experience in 10-15 structured methodologies is not as valuable as the PM with the method that the executive just spent $100k to a consulting firm that told him/her their new methodology is the greatest thing sinc oxygen if only they had an experienced PM. The experienced PM learns new precticis and methodologies for professional reasons and PMI encourages that for PDU's to maintain certification. The PMP means constant and continuous learning.

ithelp48
ithelp48

I appreciate the feedback.

IT Security Guy
IT Security Guy

Very true, my situation was an "either or" and business needs a combination of all three, or at the very least two of the three. I think the experience is the most important of the three, with certification the least (which is not to say certs don't count or are not important). A degree gets you to the door, a cert tells you how to open the door, but the experience is the key to open the door. The problem today is that degrees or certs are looked at by themselves, with too much emphasis on just that piece. Hopefully education will get placed on top and more people will get degrees and the whole education system will get an updating. I have done well just on experience and I recently (Mar 08) completed CISSP. I have to plan ahead to complete my degree, but for me it has not stopped my career goals. I do want to complete, but time, money and other things have kept me from continuing for the last 10 years.

oldmikie
oldmikie

Of course a business needs all three. The problem you mention does not seem to be an issue of any of these items. The PM lied about his resume (an integrity problem). Then he drove people off the project because he did not use the experienced resources (a leadership problem). Generally in most of the businesses I have been in do not have the money or luxury to aquire someone with all items. So, The PM is dependant on experienced technical resources, the technical resources are dependant on the PM for scheduling, utilization, and change management. I believe that is why it is called a team.

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