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April 23, 2005

PMP, did they spell that right?

The google ads on my site (click them and support this site) are all showing PMP certification courses and cheatsheets tonight. How embarassing. One of these days I'll get around to putting some details behind my objection to PMI's shameless fund-raising and consultant full-employment actions, but for now let me just say I don't get it. Why pay for something so meaningless? Am I alone in thinking that everyone with a PMP has been conned? Do they really think it means ANYTHING?

For anyone reading with a PMP certification. Sorry if I have insulted you personally. Feel free to leave a comment telling me why I am wrong. I'm flexible. If you can make a good case I might even change my mind

Posted by Jack at April 23, 2005 11:19 PM

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Tracked on April 24, 2005 05:21 PM



I don't have a PMP. I've thought several times about getting one just to have it. But when I pick up a study guide at Borders and thumb through it, taking the self test, I don't get the answers right.
So my conclusion is I'll need to un-learn my 25 years of Program Management in order to pass the test. Maybe the study guide was poor (it did say PMI on the cover). But I think the truth is the test questions are to simple minded for my tastes. The answers are multiple choice when my answers are essays.
Just as well though since no one I work with in the world's second (or maybe third) largest aerospace firm has a PMP, nor cares to have one. We'd rather lauch on time/on budget.

Posted by: Glen B. Alleman at April 26, 2005 09:31 PM

I am inclined to agree with you as regards the shameless money grubbing that goes on in most all of these types of programs. One could say the same thing about costs and commercialism for all programs to some degree (oops, sorry)... including continous advertisements for colleges and universities.

I do want to prime you for your next PMI subject address, however, by discussing a few good things about the "certification programs". The certification shows that person started and completed something. This puts them a cut above a huge population of workers out there. In addition, it provides some badly needed standardization in the field of Project Management Methodologies. Anyone can call themselves a "Project Manager" and many do without understanding or having successfully implmented projects. Everyone thinks that they can be a project manager. Some are actually good, most just give us a bad name.

I rebelled against this commercialism by not paying to take a course or purchase of a "cheat sheet" and crowed about it in the "end-of-test" question that asked: "Where did you take your course?".

Posted by: Chuck Eder at May 2, 2005 04:11 PM

I think that the greatest contribution PMI has made is publishing the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). It is essential to have this sort of taxonomy so that people can know what the other person is talking about.

Certification is a different story though. I've run into many people with PMP after their names who really do not know what they are doing. It is clear that the certification process is not an effective screen. You are correct that it speaks about a person's motivation, but in a sense it indicates that they are motivated by the wrong things. Perhaps I'm being too much of a snob, but I think it is a negative indicator.

Posted by: Jack at May 2, 2005 09:31 PM

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