I was reading the PapercutPM's blog last week and came across his article titled Is the PMP Losing its Value
. Citing other articles written by Kareem Shaker
and Derek Huether
, Geoff suggest that there are some "certified" project managers who shouldn't really be anywhere near a project. I have to agree, I've known a few project managers (certified and otherwise), who shouldn't be managing projects myself.
However, I don't think I'm ready to say the PMI's certification is irrelevant quite yet.
Regardless of the industry, certification doesn't necessarily indicate proficiency in the discipline, but rather a successful completion of a particular course of study, followed by the completion of a test. I've known very successful college graduates that don't have a "real" understanding of what they've learned until they've had some experience in the workforce. I wonder if the same could be said for the PMI's certification.
I've known very capable PMI certified project managers—but I know just as many "accidental" project managers, who are incredible project leaders. Certification is not a guarantee that your newly hired project manager will be the "perfect" project manager for your organization, anymore than an engineering degree from the local University will guarantee that your newly hired engineer will be up to the job either.
Should certification be the determining
factor when interviewing a potential project manager for hire? I don't think so. However, that's not to say that it shouldn't be a consideration.
I'm a believer that any capable leader can learn how to successfully manage project-based work. That being said, would the training required to earn the PMI's certification provide value to a project manager? Possibly.
Geoff brings up a number of questions regarding the PMI and other "for profit" organizations that provide certification, and questions whether certification provides any appreciable value. However, I believe the burden of demonstrating the value of any certification rests within the certification body, in this case the PMI. For those of us who would like to see the professional status of project managers increase (and I would assume the PMI would want to be included in the group), I would like to see the PMI publicly demonstrate how their certification provides value to our profession and what they are doing within the industry to promote the professional image of project managers to industry.
Feel free to share your thoughts.