Random Acts of IT Project Management

Project Management for Information Technology

Should You Pursue PMP Certification?

Posted by iammarchhare on 19 August 2009

There’s an interesting article at Project Manager Planet titled “PMP Certification: Is It Worth It?

The gist of the article is that it is worth it if you are a practicing project manager.  Beyond that, it gets hazy.  However, if you are seeking employment, it is a checkbox on many employers’ checklists.

However, the lean employment market is causing a flood of PMP applicants and this in turn is diluting the certification’s prestige and meaning. “More and more individuals are taking the PMP exam who are not intending on practicing the principles, which has negative impact on the value of the certification overall,” said R. Thomas Nieukirk, Jr., director of Knowledge Management at CGN & Associates, a global business performance consulting firm with offices in the U.S., China, India, and throughout Europe.

Actually, I find this statement ironic.  Many PMPs do not intend on practicing the principles because many companies neither intend on supporting them or caring about them.  Yes, they will list “PMP” on their requirements, but when you actually talk to them about a position, you are gritting your teeth throughout the entire interview because it is obvious they don’t have a clue.

Some companies refuse to learn from their mistakes.  Projects are setup to fail because the product manager promised the moon in 3 months so they could meet some short term performance objective.  Testing is always shorted.  Resources are always stretched thin because they couldn’t set priorities.  How many projects do you think are successfully completed at companies like this?

Whether large or small, startup or mature, all organizations need to be in a cycle of continuous learning.  Look at the US automotive industry.  One of the companies has now effectively failed twice.  Whatever happened to the giant makeover that was supposed to occur after the 1970s?  Why did they not learn?

Companies that quit learning and quit innovating eventually die.  No government bailout can bring it back from the dead once it gets beyond a certain point.


One Response to “Should You Pursue PMP Certification?”

  1. This is very interesting as a commentary on the “lifecycle” position of the PMP certification. It seems that the PMP may be suffering due to a higher degree of saturation – but I do not think saturation is the problem at all.

    Part of the problem, at least, is due to misperceptions by companies as to what the PMP means. They may think that it is helpful to have PMPs on staff, but then to do business as usual. If one of the PMPs mentioned was actually tasked to bring best practices to those companies, I think the result would be quite different.

    Still, the key is for both individual professionals AND organizations to use their heads and take ethics seriously.
    John Reiling, PMP
    Project Management Training Online

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