Project Management Professional, Return to Value

During these recessionary times, company managers are trying to cut corners by hiring non-certified project managers, or by combining the project management with other functions such as analyst functions. This isn’t really new in my opinion, these tactics have been tried and have failed for many companies in the past. The bottom line is that you get what you pay for, and the best way to preserve value on a project is to have a project manager that knows how to be on schedule and on budget. I believe that during recessionary times more people get certifications than at other times in an effort to make their own employment more sustainable. Just because a person has a PMP certification doesn’t mean that they are actually trained or very good at managing projects. That has to be evaluated by employers as well. Bruce McGraw rants about how paper PMPs are popping up right now and making a bad name for all of us.

“March 17, 2012 — Bruce McGraw

I have seen a very upsetting trend in the United States over the last three years – organizations have stopped valuing experienced, professional Project Managers.  Don’t tell me you haven’t seen it – companies put out a call for a position such as a business analyst, developer or technical specialist, and when you read the competencies for the job, it has project management all though it.  So, do they really want a business analyst, or have they asked for a business analyst with a PMP because they don’t want to pay for a professional project manager? In how many of these situations do they really need a professional Project Manager because the project is complex or mission critical?

I will admit that even I have questioned certifications in our industry, such as the Project Management Professional (PMP).  What does it really mean today? And does it help to filter out people who don’t have real and deep experience in project management? …..

So, as more and more companies post job openings where they want project management as one skill among many, will the project management profession become obsolete? The biggest problem with this trend is the de-valuing of thousands of professional project managers who have years of experience managing projects and applying project management principles to complex projects.  I am not saying every project manager has to be a certified or professional – not all projects are the same or require full time project management.  But many of the new projects we are seeing, which were delayed due to the recession, are strategic, with high visibility and should require a professional project manager.”

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