It’s surprising how often this question arises (the former not the latter). Usually the argument against the need for training and education comes from those who have no project management training or education. They’re also the people that will tell you that project management is a high stress endeavor and everything is always late and over budget. It’s just the nature of the job. Lets take a look at why that conclusion might just be a tad premature.
The next time someone tells you that project management certification is meaningless and unnecessary you might ask that person the following:
- Would you go to a doctor who hasn’t been to medical school?
- Would you go to a dentist who hasn’t been to dental school?
- Would you use a lawyer who hasn’t been to law school?
- Would you prefer your child’s teacher not have gone to college?
Those of you who have worked as a project manager know that it is indeed a very challenging job. One reason is that as a PM you are responsible for many things over which you have little control. Another reason is that many of us work in environments that may not be conducive to good project management. Politics, personal agendas, and lack of understanding on the part of management can all contribute to a challenging work environment.
Certification and training can provide the knowledge and tools to help increase your probability of success. Project management tends to be fairly mechanical, if you do this you get that. This is one reason I left the workplace to focus more on teaching, coaching, and writing. In class I would tell students not to do a particular thing when managing their projects at work or they would get a specific bad result. I would then go into work the next day and do exactly what I told them not to do and get exactly the bad result I warned them about. Sometimes management situations force you to do things that are unproductive.
Often, untrained PM’s skip important project tasks (properly defining the scope for instance) resulting in problems down the road. With proper training you’ll understand the “mechanics” of project management and you’ll know what you should and what you shouldn’t be doing. You’ll also understand what you can leave out (and the risks) and what you should include.
Certification is becoming very desirable in the workplace because organizations are discovering that they lose less money if they employ certified project managers. The Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification from the Project Management Institute is probably the most widely recognized project management certification. Many schools offer project management certification as well such as the Professional Certificate in Project Management offered by UCSD Extension where I teach.
Find the training or certification that works for you and pursue it. Both you and your team will be happier if you know what you’re doing. You’ll also be helping your organization to be more successful.
Can you afford not to be certified?
©2016 Joseph T Drammissi