Getting Certified in Project Management

 

Teamwork is essential; it allows you to blame someone else. –The Jokes In today’s economy, businesses are learning more and more about the importance of teamwork. From a purely professional standpoint, group work results in a faster and better product. What’s not to like about that? Well, the issue companies keep running into is the Law of Diminishing Returns. Successfully finding a project manager with experience can feel like flipping a coin. Not to mention the money and resources that are typically wasted during projects. If you’ve ever thought about filling in this gap by taking on a management position, you’ll be very interested in learning about what certification in project management can do for you on that front.

Why Project Management Skills Are Useful in the Workplace

No discussion on the modern business world would be complete without mention of the generational changes in the workforce. Besides requiring a philosophical change in the structuring of teams, companies are looking for more efficient methods of reaching their goals. The problem for many corporate teams is the fact that projects are expensive undertakings that often miss deadlines while exceeding budget limits. To complicate matters even further, many organizations have learned the hard way that spotting mistakes early in the process is more cost-effective than the alternative. This is where the value of a project management professional typically comes in handy for management.

Project Management Certification

Boasting a global network that numbers in the hundreds of thousands, the buck stops at the Project Management Institute (PMI). These days most business professionals have at least a passing familiarity with the organization’s testing standards in the field of Project Management.

The Project Management Professional Exam

Also known as the PMP, the Project Management Professional certificate is easily the most well-recognized project management credential available. Comprised of 5 weighted categories for a total of 100%, the areas exam-takers get tested on are pretty straightforward: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing. These categories add up to 175 graded questions and 25 unscored questions for a total of 200. In order to sit the exam, you have to register at the Project Management Institute’s website where you’ll be able to apply for the PMP.

Prerequisites

The prerequisites are where the PMP exam gets interesting. A bachelor’s degree along with a minimum of 3 years spent doing project management make up the starting point. There’s also a minimum hours requirement for time spent on project education. Even so, you don’t necessarily have to be a college graduate to qualify for the PMP. A high school diploma or an Associate’s Degree will work as long as the applicant has at least 5 years of project management experience. The requirement for hours spent on projects jumps, but the project management education stays the same. In other words, the PMI is looking for individuals who have been able to put the principles of project management into practice before the exam.

Taking the Exam

With PMP Exam prep materials on PMI’s website, there are study aides available to those who are getting ready to take this exam. The site even has a practice test. It is important to study and prepare for this exam - practice questions always help! Once you’re ready you can go online and register for an appointment at the testing center nearest to you. On the day of your exam, don’t forget to bring ID and a calculator. Since the exams are computer-based, there’s no need to worry about pencils or pens. Your final score will be shown to you on completion so you’ll see the pass or fail score right away. Word to the Wise: You have 4 hours to take this test.

Additional Credentials Available

Interestingly enough, PMP is not the only credential offered by the Project Management Institute. The website also lists Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), Program Management Professional (PgMP), PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP), PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP), PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP), and OPM3 Professional Certification. Simply because of the money they save for businesses if nothing else, Project Management certification is growing in demand. Besides the management skills that you’ll have studied in-depth, these additional qualifications are also great for enhancing your resume. The credibility boost alone definitely makes it a thought worth considering.