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PMP, did they spell that right?

The google ads on my 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



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Comments (14)


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.

Chuck Eder:

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?".


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.

Ron Morris:


I agree partly with your assessment of the PMP.

PMI is a self perpetuating body that also is enagged in advancing PM methodology / knowlegde.

I was a PM without a PMP and found myself shut out of some opportunities as some HR weenies hung onto the PMP in preference to my 10 years as a PM.

As a result of my frustration and my practicalilty. I bought the books, studied their lexicon, and passed with flying colors.

With minimal preparation, the true practitioner should pass the exam.

I am now a PMP because I needed to be labeled as such and paid the freight to get it done.

On a side note, I would rather have a real PM than someone who has never done it, but took a few courses and passed a test.

Best Regards,



I am searching for some pmp test sites which are good in Professional ethics and Risk Management. I saw a good site in PMquestionbank. Please send me the sites


For the most part, you are right. PMI has PIMPED their trivia across the world. Job opportunities exist for PMP holders Internationally (do a PMP search on Dice.com). I am a Program Management consultant for 15+ years with fortune 100 companies under contract with the Federal Government. I retired in 2004 but have to have something to do until "big casino":o so I tried to get back in the swing of things. Nope, my consultant pals got the PMP so I had to do it too. I start back in DC in March on two big contracts.
You have to admire the PMI group for pimping their wares as successfully as they did. Part of their ploy was in fooling the HR wingnuts with their mountain of minutia (PMBOK). The wingnuts are unskilled and mostly inexperienced so the PMP is a good way to do their CYA.
So I took their silly test and am playing the "certification" game. You should too unless you are trying out for the Don Quixote role in this hypocracy we are playing.


Mark waiting on PMP test:

I work in government contracting and I'm studying for the PMP. The government loves PMP! PMI is not the only certification mill in town. It seems everybody is on the bandwagon and the wagon is full of cash. Used to be having a master degree in something met you were considered at least minimally qualified. I've noticed that everybody who gets the PMP places it after their name. Do they really think it is more important than having a good education and being able to think. When was the last time you placed BS or MS after your name. The only people who used to place letters after their name all had doctoral degrees. Now everyone with a CCNA, MCSE, CCISP, PMP, CAPM, or some other combination of letters feel required to place them after their name, like they mean something.


I do not agree with your assessment that the PMP certification is worthless. Having been involved in Project Management for over ten years, I found the information in the PMBOK guide very useful. Of course it is stuff we all are supposed to know and do, but now every process we go through has a name and can be communicated discretely. Preparing for the PMP exam and getting your certification isn't an easy process. Like the first commenter wrote, he has 25 years of project management experience and can't answer the study questions! What this indicates to me is that he doesn't know the common terminology we all should to be able to effectively communicate our profession to others, and to pass his 25 years of knowledge on to subordinates in the most efficient ways. Acquiring the PMP cert demonstrates an above board commitment to our profession. And PMI has done a good job, even if they have built an industry around themselves and profit from it. This is America, and that's what its all about. People trying to make the Project Management profession better is not a bad thing. I am glad I have gone through the process, and I am a better Project Manager because of it. I only wish it was mandatory within my company, and that upper management would commit itself to adhering to the principles and ideals of the PMBOK guide. There is nothing worse than crisis management, and that is what I have to deal with all too often. My bosses still seem to think the planning stage of a project is the least important part of project management.


Those who think that pmp can be passed by a cheat sheet or testking , you will be in deep trouble when you revise on that .

PMP is sacred. The strongest exam that better than MBA.



You may think that being PMP certified is worthless and a bunch of crap.
You may be the best PM in the world without the certification. BUT,,,
The fact is that if you want a job in project management, in MOST cases you NEED TO BE CERTIFIED to be considered for an open position. Look at the job postings yourself and see how many say PMP Certified Required - PMP Certified Perferred - PMP Certified a MUST.
If anything is worthless I think it's the Human Resourse Department at the corporations. I was told that for every open position the HR dept will receive an excess of 800 resumes. If you're not PMP Certified your resume will end up in the trash like film clips on the editors floor that never make it to the screen. You may be a great PM but HR will scan for the PMP certificate, If you don't have it you'd have a better chance selling a snow ball to an Eskimo.
And while I'm at it why does HR ask what year you graduated High School? Isn't a diploma good enough?
Why do they ask you to explain any gaps in employment when this is the worst economy since the Great Depression? That question is an insult when millions of US workers are out of a job. Have they lost touch with society? Do they not turn on the TV or listen to the news?
HR in my opinion is worthless - PMP Certification in today's world is a must. It may not be fair but that's what we have to deal with until HR departments are regarded as overhead and eliminated.


PMI needs to refine or add designators at the end of the PMP to eliminate confusion from the cookie cutter certification. When I was looking for sub-project PMPs, too many of the wrong PMPs applied for the job. PMI needs to have PMPSD for software development PMPs, or like PMPI for infrastructure. I got tired of PMPs applicants with the title of PMP with the wrong specialties. PMI also needs pull the PMBOK methodology out of its own little world. SDLC is better at software development than PMI.

I would rather have somebody with 25 years in the trench without a PMP than a fresh faced kid with the certification mill diploma working for me.

Also, if a person has an MBA, I would take them over a PMP anyday of the week.


I do agree that PMI and PMP are a worth while accreditation; however some employers do over require the PMP for job seekers in the USA. My issue is with the accreditation process and criteria. For example I have been a PM since 1998, however I took a non PM job for 3.5 years. I have all the PDU’s required and use PMBOK for reference etc etc… but since I do not have a bachelors degree then I need 5 years experience in the last 8 which I do not have, because of my PM break. So someone whom came from collage with a degree in cooking and has 3 years expertise qualifies… Were as I do not qualify with a combined 8.5 years experience… PMI need to look at the overall combined expertise, or stop persecuting individuals whom did not take the university route in to the job market.

PMP is beneficial. many jobs in the industry are only reserved for PMP holders. so in my opinion PMP is good.
having something is better than nothing


No..the PMP is a joke, meant for people that are administrators. I'm an Enterprise Architect and a PM. And I've designed/architected and managed $5M budgets at IBM/GBS. PMP types are very much looked down upon by anyone that you'd really want to work for it. PMP types are the "slipped through the system" people that have little or no technical or technical management experience. They are transactional, not analytical thinkers. They'd make good bank tellers I'm sure. I do not hire them, as a rule.

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