PMP®, the right choice

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Those who are dedicated to project management with passion know that for many people this is a vague profession and they believe that it does not need any special training. This ignorance causes them to continue making the same mistakes than 50 years ago in terms of project management and planning. Companies do not always have clear our skills and often call “Project Manager” people who are not really doing management tasks. How many times do we see that to motivate a worker who performs tasks of analysis or programming is promoted to “Project Manager”, without assigning him a defined project or resources to manage it? What perception will this professional have of project management if he continues doing the same job, except that now he is “responsible” for what he does? Unfortunately this situation is too common and to avoid it is very important that we promote the dissemination of best practices and specific training on this subject.

Ley de Brooks: añadir más efectivos a un proyecto de software en retraso, lo retrasará más.

In this dark scenario, where many projects have failed due to lack of knowledge, causing great economic losses and even the bankruptcy of many companies, it seems that step by step companies are becoming aware of the serious existing problems and begin to value to have good project management professionals. And this is where the certifications come into play to prove a common training and years of experience in Project Management. More and more often we see certifications like PMP, CAPM, ITIL, etc. are prerequisites to get access to a job or are part of a contract terms demanded by the clients.

In this article I will focus on the PMP certification for 2 reasons: first because it is one of the most recognized worldwide and second because I have chosen this certification and I can give my opinion on the preparation process and achievement of this certification.

Project Management Professional (PMP) is a certification offered by Project Management Institute (PMI). This certification demonstrates that you have the experience and the education to lead and manage projects successfully. Knowledge in project management, accredited by certifications such as CAPM (also PMI) and PMP are a guarantee to share globally the unification of terms, concepts, structure and guidance about good practices in project management.es una certificación ofrecida por el  (PMI).

In the next picture you can see the official statistics at the end of July 2013 about the number of members of PMI, PMP and CAPM in the world and in Spain:

Estadísticas PMI - Julio 2013

Spain is at the thirteenth place in the ranking of countries with the largest number of PMPs certified. Although the main focus of demand is in Madrid and Barcelona, the demand is increasing in other cities. For example, at November 23, 2013, a search of the word PMP in InfoJobs returned 44 jobs: 21 in Madrid, 15 in Barcelona and 8 in different cities of Spain.

The requirements to get the PMP certification are:

  • At least 3 years of professional experience leading projects or as a member of a project management team.

  • Having an university degree (if not available, you must provide more than 5 years of experience managing projects instead of 3).

  • Have completed a training of 35 hours about Project Management.

I have to admit that the exam to get this certification is very rigorous, the same as the requested continuing education is to maintain it. The experience required and the exam is focused on five groups of processes: initiation, planning, execution, control and closure. Most of the questions are referring to the PMI guide for project management (also known as: PMBOK Project Management Body of Knowledge).

My advice would be that if you are thinking about getting a certification on Project Management and you meet the minimum requirements, a good choice is the PMP certification. You will need several months of preparation and pass a hard exam, but is a worthy feel that your experience and training is widely recognized and valued. And certainly this will have a positive impact in your career.

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