Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I love the PMP

As part of expanding my career horizons toward the project management arena, I've run across a few interesting blogs. Jack Dahlgren is who I want to be when I grow up (from what I can tell from his blog). He appears to be a project manager type with some pretty strong technical skills evidenced by the kewl Project / VBA stuff found here.

So Jack's quickly gained my respect, and then he goes and disses the PMP in his post entitled "PMP, did they spell that right?" (a subtle dig that perhaps there's an "I" missing somewhere in there)

With resources like these (brain dumps, PMP bootcamps, etc.), I imagine the PMP will quickly go the way of the MCSE. At some point after the MCSE was introduced there were people who were just trying to add letters after their name the easiest way they could without having a deep understanding of the knowledge. They became known as "Paper MCSE's". I've known people who were Paper MCSE's and people who didn't have the certification that we're some of the brightest Windows Technicians that I'd ever met.

I would imagine the PMP will go the same route (especially if it's a huge way for the PMI to make money). There will be skilled PM's without the cert whose reputation will mean much more than a PMP. There are also those who will have the cert and will not be worth the paper it was printed on.

In defense of the PMP, there are quite a few hurdles to get it. The PMI can change all this by making the certification more "hands on" and less of a examination. Cisco went this route with the CCIE, and I think it's paid off for them. Basically what they need to do is make the barriers high enough to keep the bad people out while still allowing the good people in. For some it might be raising the cost of obtaining the certification, for others it might be to make it a more grueling experience. Of course this is more art than science, but if the PMP is to stay as a premium certification in the eyes of hiring managers, the PMI has to do something.

Overall, time will tell. Personal reputation will separate the wheat from the chaff, and we could end up with one less indicator of a truly talented PM.