If we were to tell you that few years back the world as a whole spent nearly $10 trillion of its $40.7 trillion GDP – a near 25% – on projects wouldn’t it persuade you to look at project management differently?
Project Management has, over the last couple of decades evolved, in to a discipline of its own, much like Accounting, Finance, or Engineering and more and more organizations see projects as a means of achieving their strategic objectives. Bob Napier (late), the EVP and CIO of Hewlett Packard, once said, “… the language of the business today, which is not English, French, or Spanish, but Project Management …”. This statement highlights the fact that Project Management is playing a more important role in organizations.
In March 2013, the Project Management Institute (PMI), a well-known organization within project management circles, stated, based on a study conducted by The Anderson Economic Group, that project-based industries could be at risk due to the lack of skilled project managers. Between the years 2010 and 2020, an estimated 15.7 million new project management jobs will be added globally, reaching an economic impact of over $18 trillion, across different project intensive industries. Also, in January 2013, Sarah Fister Gale reported in PMI’s PM NETWORK magazine that the sectors to watch for project management hiring opportunities were technology, global infrastructure, energy, financial services and health care. So it is quite evident that Project Management offers people opportunities for career growth.
So now the question is that if you are aspiring to be a project management professional, what options do you have? Should you go for traditional project management or agile project management? Should you pursue a project management certification and if yes, which certification to pursue? And, finally, what to look for in a project management training provider? Let’s address these questions one-by-one.
Project management discipline, broadly speaking, is divided in to two groups: traditional and agile. Traditional project management is mainly plan-driven and emphasizes that a project manager should come up with extensive project management plans upfront and then follow those plans rigorously. Changes to the plan are controlled so as to maintain an original course of action. Agile project management, on the other hand, is mainly change-drive and it is suitable for project where there is uncertainty surrounding projects. So see what type of domain you are working in? Is your organization working on relatively stable or evolving projects? Stable projects require traditional project management and evolving project require agile project management approach.
The next question you might be wondering is whether certification helps? The answer is yes, it does. There are surveys stating that employers prefer certified professionals over non-certified professionals and also the remuneration for certified professionals is 10 to 15% more than non-certified professionals.
If you are convinced that you would like to go for a certification, the next thing that you need to decide on is which certification to follow? For traditional project management, two most prominent certifications are Project Management Professional (PMP) by Project Management Institute (PMI) and PRINCE2 by Axelos. The former is more popular in North American market and the later in UK. For agile project management, consider PMI’s Agile Certified Professional (PMI-ACP) or Scrum Alliance’s Scrum related certifications (Certified ScrumMaster, Certified Scrum Product Owner, and Certified Scrum Develop).
Finally, the last thing that you need to consider is which training provider to select? While making this decision, it is very important that you select a training provider which is authorized by the certification body. For example, PMI recognizes training providers as Registered Education Providers (REP) and Axelos recognizes them as Accredited Training Organizations (ATO). If a training provider has this status, it indicates that its courseware is approved by the certification body and that its trainers meet the necessary eligibility criteria to provide project management training.
Business Beam (Pvt.) Ltd. is one such training provider and has been serving the project management community by offering trainings in project management methodologies, frameworks, tools, and certification preparation. Should you decide on making project management your career, do consider us as one of your potential training providers.