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PM Essence

Why should you take PMP Certification

Santosh Varma, PMP

Projects managed by people who are not PMP certified project managers have only 25% success rate in contrast to 75% success rate of projects handled by PMP certified managers.

Two to three years ago, it was my main and ONLY aim of my life to be PMP Certified. Such was the craze and trend during that time that I was carried away by this new fantasy in town. PMP Certification is one of the most sought after certification among professionals, be it IT or manufacturing or any field of profession. On this basis, and for my future aspects, I also decided that this was the time to take on this certification. I came to understand that anyone having 4 years IT experience is eligible to write PMP Certification Examination. As long as the role involves any process of a project, anyone can go ahead and appear for this exam.
I knew that passing out this exam would be a Herculean task, considering that I did not have full time project management experience and was a bit nervous about taking the examination. However I was confident with myself that I can clear this certification, if I study and understand the PM concepts and take the help of other PMP professionals and managers in my company.

PMP Certification basically tests the different phases of Project life cycle eg. Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring and Controlling and Closure. It is not necessary for one to have experience in all of these phases, but at least knowledge in all these areas is required and this can be obtained by reading PMBOK and other PMP related books.

My primary focus of this article would be to provide my perspective on the following oftenasked questions :-

• As an individual / Project Manager, why should I be PMP Certified ?
• What advantage would I have over Non-PMP Certified Project Manager ?
• What is the marketability opportunity of any PMP Manager?

The following explanations would try to explain the above concerns.

PMP is a credential offered by PMI (Project Management Institute) . To pick up the details from Wikipedia,

• As of 31 July 2010, there were 393,413 active PMP certified individuals worldwide.

Government, commercial and other organizations employ PMP certified managers in an attempt to improve the success rate of their projects in all areas of knowledge, by applying standard project management principles. A professional with PMP Certification is recognized worldwide to handle projects with confidence / professional and constructive approach. It certifies his/her expertise in Project Understanding, Risk management, Stakeholder management, Time management, Cost management, Quality control, Leadership , Budgeting, Communication and Documentation.

Projects managed by people who are not PMP certified project managers have only 25% success rate in contrast to 75% success rate of projects handled by PMP certified managers, according to a survey by Foote Partners LLC, an IT workforce research company.

As we know Project Management processes help in improving existing processes and in mitigating the challenges at the right time. There were of course failures and success in projects before PMI introduced these processes, but once PMP certification became widely adopted, the way to approach the failures and success of any project drastically improved. The challenges were now getting mitigated at the right time, using a very professional and process driven approach.

As I see it, a typical PMP manager adopts the following processes with passion and sincere diligence for managing his/her project.
• Project status reporting
• Project schedule management
• Conducting regular project status meetings
• Coordinating all project communications
• Formal and informal meetings
• Project budget and resource management

To me this set of processes brings in many advantages, not only to the project, but to the overall Organization. Many people have argued with me saying that they as Project managers have succeeded without doing PMP Certification and their projects have also succeeded without actually following any processes. I am not here to advocate PMP Certification, but I would definitely like to advocate that the processes / guidelines / standards, if adopted will positively influence the projects which will result in vastly improved quality of the project deliverables. Market will definitely look for, hire and nurture those kind of project managers. Not only they deliver the 'scope' of the project, they deliver the 'value' to their clients, their organization and to themselves.