This Is All About The PMP Certification Benefits
PMP Certification Benefits – Project management is often described as quite a tough job that requires bringing together such a complex set of skills and capabilities that seems to put it a little beyond the reach of mere mortals like us. However, if one adopts a more realistic view and makes a little effort to understand what exactly it is about, project management emerges as quite an interesting field with its own unique challenges and possibilities, inviting the curious and competent to take the plunge.
Project management has always been quite a competitive field; however, the unprecedented pace at which technology is advancing in recent years has changed the dynamics of the global industry like never before. This has also led to quite a few fundamental changes in project management methodologies and forced experts to reconsider what is supposedly the best way to manage any industry project. A part of the ongoing debate also revolves around the ideal definition of a project.
What is a Project?
A project is nothing but a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a specific product, service or result within pre-defined scope and resources.
It would be fair to say that although it sums up the idea of a project quite well, not all experts completely agree on it. This is largely due to changing parameters that define a project in a complex and ever more interconnected modern setting. However, the definition still works for all practical purposes, but it must be kept in mind that the dynamics of a project are changing fast in the global industry, forcing a rethink on how exactly to define a project.
What is Project Management?
Project management is essential “the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements.”
We can say confidently that any project is supposed to meet project requirements within its pre-defined scope, budget, and time. It is the job of a project manager to walk a tightrope balancing all these constraints and complete the project as per these requirements. This is where project management becomes more than just an effective way of executing a project, it becomes an entire discipline.
However, this goal of completing the project to meet certain specific requirements is not such a straightforward process in reality as the project requirements might change within the duration of the project and this can potentially change everything. While an approach adopted for carrying out certain project tasks might be found suitable at the beginning of a project, but any changes at a later stage might force the need to adopt a novel approach in order to achieve the predefined objectives.
Traditionally, project managers have relied on their knowledge and experience in the field, accumulating useful knowledge resources and skills over a span of years. However, with changing industry requirements, the project manager is also supposed to have upgraded skills and capabilities to be successful at modern project management that stands apart from the traditional approaches in more ways than one.
Challenges Posed by Modern Project Management
The increasing complexity of projects
One thing is the increasing complexity of projects due to transforming industry processes and the emergence of sophisticated project goals. As a result, it has become essential for project managers to gain exposure to different aspects of the field. An acquaintance with novel concepts in managing affairs would also be necessary for a modern project manager.
Need for a Common Language for Project Management
The geographical spread of team members is another common aspect due to an increasing number of projects going global in recent years. This requires the project manager to be able to efficiently collaborate with teams spread in different geographical locations without any difficulty. This also involves another challenge, that of different standards and codes of practice in different parts of the world. To overcome this, either project managers need to have a thorough understanding of these different codes of practices or be acquainted with some common language or methodology, which works for project managers across the world and enables them to convey their concerns with complete clarity.
The credibility of Project Managers
Another problem is that of credibility. With an increasing number of professionals entering the field of project management, prospective employers have a really hard time deciding who would be the best choice for managing critical projects. There are relatively few with decades of experience behind them, so a choice has to be made based on certain objective criteria.
Faced with these challenges, the need for a central body was felt, equipped with the capabilities to tackle these and other emerging concerns and to develop guidelines for the profession of project management as a whole. This is where the Project Management Institute (PMI) stepped in.
PMI and Its Role
PMI is the premier body for project management professionals around the world. Founded way back in 1969, PMI is dedicated to the singular task of establishing global standards and defining best practices for the field of project management. With a view to addressing the issues discussed above, PMI went about developing PMBOK Guide, a universal reference for project management professionals.
The Significance of the PMBOK Guide
This guide embodies the fundamental principles of project management and lays down standard methodologies to be adopted for successfully completing project tasks. The PMBOK Guide talks about five broad project management processes and divides the study of this field into ten knowledge areas to make the whole thing as organized as possible.
This definitive work embodies the fundamental concepts of project management along with related terminology and basic definitions to help gain a comprehensive understanding of the complex practice of modern project management. As a matter of fact, the definitions of project and project management we have cited are also sourced from the PMBOK Guide.
PMP Certification Benefits
PMP Certification by PMI also offers Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, a globally accepted credential that validates the skills and capabilities of a project management professional. To earn PMP certification Benefits, a professional should have adequate exposure to PMBOK methodologies through professional work experience and should be well conversant with different aspects of project management as a field.
Prerequisites to Appear for PMP Certification Benefits Exam
- Aspirants should be acquainted with five core pmp certification Benefits processes of project management, including initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. They should also have a thorough understanding of ten Knowledge Areas (KAs) of project management as defined in the PMBOK Guide. This includes aspects of scope management, time constraints, resource management, risk assessment, efficient collaboration, and critical decision-making.
- To appear for the PMP certification exam, professionals need 7,500 hours of documented project management experience if they hold a secondary-level degree/diploma or 4,500 hours of experience if they hold a 4-year bachelor’s degree or its global equivalent.
- They also need to earn 35 Professional Development Units (PDUs) to qualify for the certification exam. These PDUs can be earned by completing at least 35 hours of formal project management education through a Registered Education Provider (REP).
How Earning PMP Certification Helps?
PMP certification Benefits help a professional gain acquaintance with PMBOK concepts and methodologies that serve as a common language for project managers across different parts of the world and across different industries. This makes it possible for project managers to plan, develop and implement strategies for achieving specific project tasks in highly complex global projects and facilitates easier collaboration among geographically spread team members.
PMP certification Benefits can be of great value to any project manager, both in terms of acquiring necessary project management skills and gaining credibility in the eyes of prospective employers as well.
Is PMP Essential for Project Managers?
It might sound like without a PMP, it would be rather difficult for any project manager to make a mark for themselves. However, nothing can be further from the truth, as there are a number of highly experienced project managers who have not only survived but thrived in the field for decades without a PMP. Some of them may not hold PMP in very high esteem but the common perception among them is that it is certainly useful for a project manager in terms of a valuable credential and as a means of getting acquainted with principles and concepts of project management.
Limitations of Being a Certified PMP
Despite all its professed advantages, the certification by itself may not be enough for a professional to become a good project manager. There are certain things that can be difficult to inculcate in any pmp certification Benefits training program for that matter. The leadership ability of a project manager and the ability to make intuitive decisions in project-critical situations in real life are some such qualities not easy to develop with any sort of formal qualification, much less with a PMP certification Benefits.
How Certified Professionals Fare as Compared to Non-Certified Professionals?
Still, for all practical purposes, the utility of this credential is well acknowledged by project managers with years of industry experience. There are a number of advantages afforded to certified PMPs over their non-certified peers. This includes higher average earnings, better job opportunities and employers tend to trust certified professionals for managing an increasing number of sensitive projects.
As per the 2010 pmp certification by PMI Salary Survey, PMPs were reported to be earning an extra 10,000 USD annually as compared to non-PMPs in at least six major countries. One of the fundamental reasons why employers trust PMPs more is that they know little about the intricacies of project management, and their sole criterion is usually the certification or relevant education in the field apart from professional experience.
Obviously, it may not be the best reason for choosing PMPs but some studies have also suggested a higher rate of success in managing projects for firms employing a higher number of PMP-certified professionals. However, there are no clear indicators to show that PMP is responsible for the higher rate of success or not.
Does PMP Ensure Successful Project Management?
On another extreme, some industry experts warn that an over-reliance on PMP as some sort of assurance for successful project management can lead to disappointing results. This might happen in some cases where an employer tends to overlook actual experience of having managed complex projects successfully. This is especially relevant because some experts are quick to point out that one can earn a PMP without ever having managed a project from end to end. As a part of prerequisites, the only thing required is to have exposure to different areas of project management, but in totality, managing a project can be a different thing altogether.
What after PMP?
Contrary to popular perception, PMP does not teach everything there is to know about project management but only gets a professional going in the right direction. Project management is a highly dynamic field, constantly evolving to keep pace with industry developments, and continues to become an ever more sophisticated discipline. In such a scenario, it would be crucial for certified project managers to update their knowledge and skills continually, and this is possible by earning Professional Development Units (PDUs).
Professionals are required to earn no less than 60 PDUs in a span of 3 years in order to retain their PMP certification Benefits. These PDUs can be earned by means of formal education programs designed to help professionals get acquainted with the latest developments in the field or by making a contribution to the project management community at large through or as part of a non-profit initiative.
Is PMP the Future of Project Management?
Despite having talked about PMP at length, it would be necessary to add that PMP does not teach the only way for efficient project management. As a matter of fact, the PMBOK Guide focuses primarily on the traditional waterfall or sequential methodology of project management. Though it continues to be the leading methodology to date, it has its own set of inherent limitations, which has spurred the growth of several alternate methodologies of late.
Agile methodology is a leading alternative that relies on incremental project development instead of sequential development, integral to the traditional methodology. Originally employed for software development projects, project managers were quick to adopt an agile methodology for cross-industry projects.
How Do Sequential and Incremental Development Methodologies Differ?
In short, where sequential methodology stresses achieving different project tasks in such a way as to sequentially lead to the accomplishment of project requirements at the completion of the project, incremental methodology encourages completing individual project tasks in the capacity of mini-projects in and of themselves. This allows for a review of completed project tasks and an easier review of project goals and pmp certification Benefits requirements, along with making improvements right in the middle of the project.
However, despite all its apparent advantages, the incremental methodology may not be found suitable enough for every kind of project, and the sequential method simply works better at times. At the end of the day, the responsibility of choosing and adapting a suitable methodology for any specific project rests primarily on the shoulders of a project manager. It is here that a seasoned professional needs to put all the knowledge and experience at his command to work in order to be able to make the right decision.
Although offering no guarantee of success, having a PMP can certainly lend that extra edge in terms of skill, talent, and confidence which might be all that is needed by a project manager to make the right move at the right time.
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