PMP stands for Project Management Professional and is considered the golden standard for project management. The certification, provided by PMI (Project management institute) is recognized worldwide.
The certification requests a real commitment and proven experience within the world of project management. Once certified, professionals have more possibilities in the workforce and to take the next step in their career. The organisation will also benefit from an employee that is PMP certified, as it brings lots of knowledge and experience.
PMP is based on the PMBOK guide (Project Management Body of Knowledge), which is a guide created and updated by PMI every 4-5 years. The purpose of the PMBOK Guide is to recognize and explain generally accepted knowledge and systems that can be applied to projects. It is a summary of what is generally recognized as ‘good practice’.
The benefits of PMP
The certification process of the PMP certification requests a time-investment and covers a lot of topics. The certification process requires dedication. However, also the benefits speak for themselves, both for the individual and the organisation. We listed the 5 main benefits:
- New skills: The PMP certification scheme includes many new learnings. It covers both technical skills as soft skills and prepares the participant to be all round Project Manager.
- Global recognition: PMP is universally recognised. PMP is global and the learned techniques and skills can be applied to all sorts of projects. PMP is industry independent.
- Commitment to your profession: To be able to write ‘PMP’ behind your name, will show your colleagues, managers and recruiters that you take your profession very seriously. It shows that you are up to date regarding the latest project management developments and that you are eager to learn and constantly develop yourself.
- Join the club: Globally there are about a million PMP certified professionals. PMI regularly organises events for these professionals to increase networking possibilities. But there are also many other online and offline communities where PM related topics are being discussed.
- Professional growth: The PMP certification increases your chances of career growth and salary increase.
The five areas of PMP
The PMBOK guide offers a process-based approach to project management. It breaks down project management into 49 processes, which are then grouped under PMBOK process groups and knowledge areas. The process groups guide you in what actions to take, while the knowledge areas cover the things that you need to know as a PM.
There are five different process groups:
- Initiating: Processes required to launch a new project or project phase
- Planning: Processes required to define and plan the project and its execution
- Executing: Processes required to complete project activities and tasks
- Monitoring and controlling: Processes required to check, monitor and report the project progress and performance
- Closing: Processes required to finalize a project or project phase
The 10 Knowledge Areas that have been defined in project management are:
- Project Integration Management: This knowledge area contains the tasks that hold the overall project together and integrate it into a unified whole.
- Project Scope Management: This knowledge area contains the work that is included in the project. It defines and validates the scope.
- Project Schedule Management: This knowledge area contains the planning of activities and schedule (start and finish dates of tasks).
- Project Cost Management: This knowledge area contains the determination of the budget and manage the costs.
- Project Quality Management: This knowledge area contains plans, manages and controls the quality of the project.
- Project Resource Management: This knowledge area contains the planning and managing of the team and the resource allocation.
- Project Communications Management: This knowledge area contains the planning, managing and monitoring of the communication to and with stakeholders.
- Project Risk Management: This knowledge area contains the risk analysis, the monitoring of risks and the risk responses.
- Project Procurement Management: This knowledge area contains the planning, conducting and controlling of procurement activities.
- Project Stakeholders Management: This knowledge area contains the identification of the stakeholders and managing the stakeholder engagement.
The 5 process groups and 10 knowledge areas come together in a matrix format to encompass the 49 individual processes. The processes intersect with each process group in such a way that each of the 49 processes falls under one knowledge area and one process group.
Getting PMP certified
To be able to take the PMP certification exam, there are some basic requirements you must meet. PMI wants to keep the level high and therefore requires that the candidate must have worked as a PM for 4.500 or 7.500 hours (depending on previous education). It is also a must that the candidate has followed 35 hours of project management education.
The PMP certification also requires lots of self study, it is generally assumed that 300 to 400 hours should suffice to be fully prepared. If you study 2-3 hours a day, this means that you can plan the exam about three months after you start studying. The exam itself takes 4 hours and is made up by 200 multiple choice questions.
Once you have passed the exam and are an official Project Management Professional, you will have to maintain your certification. This means that you have to earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDU) every three years. There are two types of professional PDU’s, ‘education’ and ‘giving back to the profession’.
Interested to learn more about PMP? Register for our FREE webinar on the 1st of October. Xavier Heusdens will explain why it is worth it to invest in the PMP certification.