In an earlier blog I discussed the values of being a PMP Project Manager, and in this blog I will discuss the frame of mind all Project Management Professionals (PMPs) have in common which makes them distinguished in managing projects.
Spirit of PMI (the Project Management Institute) is the frame of mind or the mindset or the paradigm through which PMPs manage projects. It is the hat that PMI requires PMPs to wear when managing their projects in order to successfully achieve project objectives. If you read the PMBOK Guide you can feel this spirit throughout the five Process Groups-Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing.
As a Project Manager (PM) to be a decision-maker is an essential part of this spirit, for instance. Although a PM should share ideas and get input from key stakeholders in arriving to the best decision to take, he should not wait for others to make decisions on how to proceed with the project, and he is the one ultimately responsible for any decision taken in the project.
In another instance, you can feel the spirit of PMI in Scope Management. Creating the WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) is an essential process that must be performed to manage the scope of project. WBS is one of the tools that make Project Management distinguished from all other industries or areas of expertise. Another piece of this spirit is the emphasis on using historical data as input to any new project. As I discussed in my previous blog about Lessons Learned, historical data could be the lessons learned from previous projects that PMs can use to manage their new projects efficiently and effectively.
Stakeholders and Stakeholder Analysis are important aspects in managing projects. PMI focuses on stakeholders’ early involvement in any project. Stakeholders’ needs must be considered and prioritized then translated into requirements. The earlier stakeholders are involved, the more likely the project closes successfully within constraints.
Prevention rather than detection is an important part of PMI spirit. A PM must be proactive. He should analyze and anticipate problems before they occur then take the proper preventive actions ahead of time. He should not wait until problems or risks become issues that jeopardize his project success.
What I mentioned above along with many other topics in the PMBOK Guide compile the Spirit of PMI that gets PMPs together despite the different geographies, languages, backgrounds, and attitudes.
Recently, I have read many comments and blogs questioning the value of the Project Management Professional (PMP) credentials; whether it really makes a difference in a Project Manager’s career, and whether a PMP project manager is more competent in managing projects than a non-PMP experienced project manager. Hence, I would like my first blog to discuss this issue and to shed some light on the value of a PMP.
For some people PMP is only a certification gained by passing an exam after which one receives a certificate that he frames and hangs up in his office. This is the argument raised by people who really do not know much about PMP. Others argue that having a project managed by an experienced project manager is safer and more likely to succeed than having it managed by a PMP with little experience.
The PMP is not only a certification; it is rather a journey into the Best Practices of Project Management. In order for someone to be recognized as PMP he has to understand and be trained to apply the PMBOK Guide (Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide). This guide is a document (standard) of what is globally recognized to be the Best Practices in Project Management. There is global consensus by SME’s and PM veterans on the effectiveness of these practices that if applied correctly would ‘enhance’ success opportunity for projects. Hence, through PMP you will learn the shortcut to success. I see PMP as a driving license; unlicensed drivers would probably make more accidents than those licensed ones who learned the rules of the game before being involved in it.
The PMBOK gives project managers the best practices on a plate! It does not however deny the value of experience nor do I. Experience is important in PM, but it remains lacking the best practices. PMP credential is an agreement to consensus on how to initiate, plan, execute, monitor, and close projects. This global consensus is by far better and more effective than individual judgments on how to manage projects.
Some people argue that they have read the PMBOK Guide and they found it not applicable to their industry. Well, I say that the PMBOK Guide is not a methodology on how to run projects in different industries. It is a standard containing processes that YOU need to use when building your own methodology. It is similar to the ISO9001 standard for Quality Management; the standard gives you the clauses needed to build a Quality Management System (QMS) which enhances the possibility of delivering a quality product to your internal and external customers but it does not build to you the QMS itself. Building the PM methodology is the challenge of each firm to develop by adopting the guidelines outlined in the PMBOK Guide. And here comes the role of the Project Management Office (PMO) which I will address in my coming blogs.