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5/5/2009
04:49 PM
Rajan Chandras
Rajan Chandras
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PMP Certification for Info Pros: Analyze This!

I recently took some time off from my moonlighting activities (e.g., writing for IE) to get my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute. I then sat down to analyze myself. Why did I do the PMP certification? How can it be helpful for me and others like me?

I recently took some time off from my moonlighting activities (e.g., writing for IE) to get my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute. I then sat down to analyze myself. Why did I do the PMP certification? How can it be helpful for me (and others like me)? If it's something you, too, are pondering, read on for my experiences and thoughts...

What drove me to getting the certification is a three-part answer: partly curiosity, partly certification value, and partly "Why not me?"

  • Curiosity: Everyone knows about the PMP certification, of course -- nearly 300,000 certified PMPs worldwide, a big chunk of those here in the US and a big chunk in the information/business technology field. But I've worked on plenty of projects over the years, in all sorts of roles. What would I learn from the famed PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) -- the "syllabus," if you will, for the PMP examination?

    This wasn't a rhetorical question. I have no illusions about being all-knowing in project management (or any other area, for that matter); it was a simple, honest question. Well, it turns out that this question was the thin edge of the wedge. I got the PMBOK publication from PMI and read through it… which led me to thinking the Nike way: Why not just do it?

  • Certification value: This is a two-part answer. Part of the value in any certification is "resume building." Everyone wants to build up her or his resume, but there are different strokes for different folks. IT folks want to build up their resume by working on increasingly challenging projects (and getting certified), CEO's by acquiring increasingly large companies and firing increasingly more people (and sometimes getting "certifiable"). But let's not forget the other (real) value in certification, which is increased knowledge.

  • Why not me? Actually, I turned this question around to "Why me?" For one, I merely wanted to prove to myself that I can do it. Secondly, to quote that incomparable Master of Understatement, P.G.Wodehouse, "Every little bit added to what you've got makes just a little bit more." And in these times, that extra "little bit" can be useful. For me, there was a third reason. Lately I've found myself spending a lot more time advising clients on IT and data management strategy (DW/BI/MDM, etc.) and helping clients with project initiation and planning. If I am advising clients in these matters, I reasoned, it might be a good idea to have the certification best aligned with the work -- in other words, the PMP certification (I have my eyes on the ITIL certification next, but that's going to have to wait for a while at least).

Thus, I went out and got the PMP certification. My experience in the preparation, what PMP certification offers to us (and what it doesn't offer) will be described in my next blog.I recently took some time off from my moonlighting activities (e.g., writing for IE) to get my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute. I then sat down to analyze myself. Why did I do the PMP certification? How can it be helpful for me and others like me?

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