PMP (Project Management Professional) is a certification issued by the PMI (Project Management Institute) and is often considered to be the gold standard in project management and education. What PMP accomplishes is a standard framework which Project Managers can use in the implementation of a project, irrespective of the industry, size, and jurisdiction in which the project is undertaken.
For Project Managers, a PMP certification does not only distinguish their expertise in the field with an internationally recognized certificate, but it will also provide them with the tools and skills required to ensure that they can take a project from the initiation phase all the way to completion successfully.
Project Managers all over the world are recognizing the importance of certification and how it can help them find better jobs, with better conditions and ultimately help become better Project Managers. PMP certification can be obtained from virtually anywhere in the world with institutions such as Knowledgehut offering in-class, online and virtual courses including PMP Certification Boston. With so many options available, getting your PMP certification has never been easier. By taking the time to get your PMP certification, not only will job satisfaction grow, but it will also allow you to advance forward in your career as a Project Manager.
How PMP boosts the Project Manager skillset.
Typically, all projects go through the same cycle which PMI has so very clearly defined in its PMP syllabus. This is outlaid in the PmBoK – Project Management Body of Knowledge. Project Managers who are not well-versed in the PMBoK guides can very easily miss important steps or action certain tasks in a way that can severely misfire and damage or derail the progress of a project. With so many moving parts, projects can be a very fragile thing and unless managed with the utmost of care and oversight can quite quickly come unraveling.
To this end, PMP uses what it calls Five Performance Domains to go through the lifecycle of a project from start to finish. By nature, projects must have a start and an end and PMP has managed to standardize the way projects goes through their lifecycle, thus ensuring that each and every aspect of a project is taken care of at the right time. This ensures that the project flows forward with minimal disruptions to costs, resources, and scope which is considered to be the three traditional tenants of project management.
The PMP project cycle is defined as follows;
- Project Initiation
- Project Planning
- Project Execution
- Project Monitoring and control
- Project Closure
In PMP, each of the Five Performance Domains is mapped to equivalent Process Groups, of which there are 5. These process groups, in turn, are mapped to ten Knowledge Areas. Each Knowledge Area has its own process which goes from input to tools and techniques, and then on to outputs. The ten knowledge areas include;
- Integration Management
- Scope Management
- Schedule Management
- Cost Management
- Quality Management
- Resource Management
- Communication Management
- Risk Management
- Procurement Management
- Stakeholder Management
We earlier discussed the three traditional tenants of project management which one can notice are included in the Knowledge Areas. Even now, one can begin to notice how thorough PMP is, with the addition of such things as risk and communication which any experienced-enough Project Manager will know straight away how utterly important and vital these processes can be.
Project Management is more than managing cost, resources, and scope. Even as one gathers experience in projects with stakeholders from all walks of life, he or she will begin to realize the importance of these Knowledge Areas and how they can come together to successfully close a project. On the other hand, miss one and the project can end up failing very quickly.
When managing projects, one must bring many things together including different stakeholders, their requirements and expectations. Manage projects long enough and you will learn how this can raise the risk profile, even as things outside your control start to impact cost, schedule, and quality. This is where strong communication skills can make or save the project (and your reputation). Integrations can also prove to be tricky affairs which in turn plays into both quality and procurement management. This is why getting your PMP certification is so vital, as you will be able to foresee problematic areas before they happen and address them in time rather than when it is too late.
Before sitting for a PMP exam, one must fulfill certain criteria which ensures that PMP certification continues to hold the standard in project management certification it does today. The criteria, of which there are three, concern academic achievements, work experience, and PMP training. There are 2 options with the first option focusing on academic achievements whilst the second option focuses more on work experience. Whilst the criteria need to be fulfilled in order to sit for the PMP exam, nothing stops you from undertaking the actual training which is not only a requirement for the exam anyway but will help you reap the benefits of PMP education straight away.
In the first criteria option, one must hold a 4-year bachelor’s degree or equivalent and three years of project management experience during which 3,500 hours must be spent leading and directing projects. In the second option, a secondary diploma or equivalent will suffice however this needs to be accompanied by 5 years of project management experience during which 7,500 hours of leading and directing projects must have been undertaken. In both cases, 35 hours of project management education, which will be covered during your PMP training, need to be completed.
The way PMP brings it all together makes it essential for any Project Manager to familiarise themselves with the syllabus. Yes, managing projects will always be a tricky affair and sometimes the challenges will seem endless, but this is exactly the point of PMP. Structure trumps chaos every time and when project management starts throwing you chaos, PMP will help you control it, structure it, and ultimately find a way out that leads all the way to success.