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Managing Scope Creep: A Measurable Impact With PRINCE2®

Defining ScopePRINCE2® defines a project as “A temporary organization that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to an agreed business case.” The words “delivering one or more business products” here lead us to lay down as to what exactly we are going to deliver in this project. The boundaries within which we are going to do this will have to be drawn and ascertained whether we have the resources to achieve the above.  The boundaries are the limits within which the project will be managed and these are called the Scope of the project.  This precision and clarity with which the project team can write the Scope of a project ensure the success of a project.Triangle of Project Constraints The six main aspects or variables of a project in which a Project Manager has to manage are Cost, Time, Scope, Quality, Risks, and Benefits.  If Time, Cost, and Scope are three sides and Quality, Risks, and Benefits are three angles of an equilateral triangle then it will be apparent to the reader that changing any one of them will have an impact on the other five. The first two, Cost and Time are the top-priority ones.The Business Case written and amplified in the pre-project processes defines the cost and timescale besides listing the Benefits, Risks and stating the Quality requirements of the product based on Customer’s Quality Expectations and Acceptance Criteria.  The sixth main aspect Scope is covered for a Plan and it is the sum total of its products and the extent of their requirements. Whilst a Business Case tells us ‘Why’ we are doing a project Scope tells us as to ‘What’ exactly is the project delivering.Functional and Non-Functional RequirementsIrrespective of whether one is doing a Waterfall or an Agile Project, being absolutely certain of what the customer, as well as the stakeholders require, is essential for the success of a project. The requirements help us define the scope and capturing them right at the beginning of a project simplifies the Scope Management. Functional requirements are those which tell us what a product must do and what all the steps it will take to perform that function. Think of Functional requirements as-“This product shall- ( perform some action )-”.Non-Functional requirements, on the other hand, are related to the system. Think of them as efficiency, quality, reliability etc. As an example-“No patient shall be discharged without the issue of a discharge slip from the doctor”.This is a Functional Requirement.“Patients will be discharged within 30 minutes of receipt of discharge slip from the doctor”.This is a Non-Functional Requirement of the hospital’s system of discharging a patient. It speaks of the hospital’s efficiency. Functional requirements define the product scope. With Non-Functional requirements added, they help define the Project Scope.PRINCE2® recommends Product-based Planning. It means breaking down of the Project Product into smaller and identifiable components. The Project Product Description is broken down into Product Description of each component. Then a Product Flow diagram is created. This enables working out the Product Scope of the project besides writing Plans and Quality Management Approach based on Customer Quality Expectations and Acceptance Criteria.Prioritising RequirementsIn Agile projects, the customer may not be very clear at the start of the project as to what he wants. His requirements keep changing with each delivery. MoSCoW helps in streamlining and prioritizing the requirements. Thus essential requirements without which the customer will not accept the completed product are listed under Must Have. Some requirements which have a high priority but are not absolutely essential fall under Should Have and those of low priority but useful to have will be listed in Could Have category. Won’t Have means either the project will not provide it or it will be held over to be considered at a later date or even passed over to the next project. MoSCoW prioritization technique is a useful tool to arrive at an agreement between the Customer and the Project Manager to arrive at a requirements list which is deliverable and both the parties are very clear as to what (Scope) the project is going to deliver. MoSCoW can also be used for Waterfall projects, prioritizing Risks and most importantly define Scope Tolerances.Reasons of Scope CreepMost Projects have a tendency to exceed their original boundaries. This is called Scope Creep. One of the common cause of scope creep is the liberty given to the customers and stakeholders to Raise an Issue or Request for Change.Each RFC has to be considered for its impact on the Business Case. In order to work within the Cost and Time limits, a Project Manager should have a clear understanding as to what is in the Scope and what is not. Some Project Managers have a tendency to provide much more than the scope of the project. This is called Gold Plating and it is more relevant to software projects.The other reasons for Scope Creep could be wrong estimations of Time and Cost during the planning stage. Sometimes a project may be issued with a legal legislation forcing it to exceed the project scope. Lastly, it could be the fast-changing technology which could compel a Project manager to recommend increasing the budget or/and time. Be as it may, the Project Manager has to study and analyze the change in terms of its-Impact on Business Case (Cost and Time)BenefitsQualityRisksAnd finally, seek approval of the Project Board before implementing a change.Tips to Eliminate Scope Creepa) It is imperative for the Project Manager to be alert to all Requests for Change, Issues and Off Specifications. The aim is not to stop a change but to study its impact on all the six constraints and then take approval of the Project Board before implementing it. Issue and Change Control Procedure should be in place.b) Any good Project Manager will ensure that the project remains aligned with the project plan. This is his endeavor when he is controlling a stage on a day-to-day basis. He has to, therefore adhere to a Change Control procedure either laid down by his organization or as recommended by the PRINCE2 manual. He first ‘Captures’ the issue to determine its severity and then ‘Assesses’ its impact on the project objectives and the Business case as well on its Risk Profile. Thereafter, he identifies and evaluates options to propose the best corrective action to be taken to bring the project back on track if it is estimated that implementing the requested change might entail exceeding the tolerances of the all the project constraints especially of Cost and Time. He puts it up for the approval of the project board. The PB will ‘Decide’ whether to approve, reject or defer the option. The corrective action would then be ‘Implemented’ by the project manager or the nominated Change Authority as directed by the project board.c) A Project Manager should be absolutely clear as to what the customer wants. In fact, all stakeholders should be involved in forming the requirements list.d) The goals and objectives of the project should be clear before the project starts. The deliverables should be well understood by all members of the Project Management Team.e) Estimation Techniques used whilst making Project Plan or Stage Plan should be efficient.f) Ensure that there are minimal changes affecting critical path tasks.g) Avoid Gold PlatingThe client is not concerned about the commitment, they are worried about their business!The scope is the heart of the project that estimates whether the result is successfully achieved or not. We must at least be able to manage scope creep if we can’t find ways to avoid it completely. Doing a proper research and gathering all the essential requirements for a project can help us develop and understand a well-defined project scope that reduces scope creep. With the ability to find the signs of scope creep we will be better able to manage it proactively.

Managing Scope Creep: A Measurable Impact With PRINCE2®

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Managing Scope Creep: A Measurable Impact With PRINCE2®

Defining Scope

PRINCE2® defines a project as “A temporary organization that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to an agreed business case.” The words “delivering one or more business products” here lead us to lay down as to what exactly we are going to deliver in this project. The boundaries within which we are going to do this will have to be drawn and ascertained whether we have the resources to achieve the above.  
The boundaries are the limits within which the project will be managed and these are called the Scope of the project.  This precision and clarity with which the project team can write the Scope of a project ensure the success of a project.

Triangle of Project Constraints
Scope, cost & time The six main aspects or variables of a project in which a Project Manager has to manage are Cost, Time, Scope, Quality, Risks, and Benefits.  If Time, Cost, and Scope are three sides and Quality, Risks, and Benefits are three angles of an equilateral triangle then it will be apparent to the reader that changing any one of them will have an impact on the other five. The first two, Cost and Time are the top-priority ones.
product scopeThe Business Case written and amplified in the pre-project processes defines the cost and timescale besides listing the Benefits, Risks and stating the Quality requirements of the product based on Customer’s Quality Expectations and Acceptance Criteria.  The sixth main aspect Scope is covered for a Plan and it is the sum total of its products and the extent of their requirements. Whilst a Business Case tells us ‘Why’ we are doing a project Scope tells us as to ‘What’ exactly is the project delivering.
Product scope flow chartFunctional and Non-Functional Requirements
Waterfall vs agile in stepsIrrespective of whether one is doing a Waterfall or an Agile Project, being absolutely certain of what the customer, as well as the stakeholders require, is essential for the success of a project. The requirements help us define the scope and capturing them right at the beginning of a project simplifies the Scope Management. Functional requirements are those which tell us what a product must do and what all the steps it will take to perform that function. Think of Functional requirements as-

“This product shall- ( perform some action )-”.

Non-Functional requirements, on the other hand, are related to the system. Think of them as efficiency, quality, reliability etc. As an example-

“No patient shall be discharged without the issue of a discharge slip from the doctor”.

This is a Functional Requirement.

“Patients will be discharged within 30 minutes of receipt of discharge slip from the doctor”.

This is a Non-Functional Requirement of the hospital’s system of discharging a patient. It speaks of the hospital’s efficiency. Functional requirements define the product scope. With Non-Functional requirements added, they help define the Project Scope.

PRINCE2® recommends Product-based Planning. It means breaking down of the Project Product into smaller and identifiable components. The Project Product Description is broken down into Product Description of each component. Then a Product Flow diagram is created. This enables working out the Product Scope of the project besides writing Plans and Quality Management Approach based on Customer Quality Expectations and Acceptance Criteria.

Prioritising Requirements

In Agile projects, the customer may not be very clear at the start of the project as to what he wants. His requirements keep changing with each delivery. MoSCoW helps in streamlining and prioritizing the requirements. Thus essential requirements without which the customer will not accept the completed product are listed under Must Have. Some requirements which have a high priority but are not absolutely essential fall under Should Have and those of low priority but useful to have will be listed in Could Have category. Won’t Have means either the project will not provide it or it will be held over to be considered at a later date or even passed over to the next project. MoSCoW prioritization technique is a useful tool to arrive at an agreement between the Customer and the Project Manager to arrive at a requirements list which is deliverable and both the parties are very clear as to what (Scope) the project is going to deliver. MoSCoW can also be used for Waterfall projects, prioritizing Risks and most importantly define Scope Tolerances.

Reasons of Scope Creep
scope creep reasonsMost Projects have a tendency to exceed their original boundaries. This is called Scope Creep. One of the common cause of scope creep is the liberty given to the customers and stakeholders to Raise an Issue or Request for Change.
request for changeEach RFC has to be considered for its impact on the Business Case. In order to work within the Cost and Time limits, a Project Manager should have a clear understanding as to what is in the Scope and what is not. Some Project Managers have a tendency to provide much more than the scope of the project. This is called Gold Plating and it is more relevant to software projects.

The other reasons for Scope Creep could be wrong estimations of Time and Cost during the planning stage. Sometimes a project may be issued with a legal legislation forcing it to exceed the project scope. Lastly, it could be the fast-changing technology which could compel a Project manager to recommend increasing the budget or/and time. Be as it may, the Project Manager has to study and analyze the change in terms of its-

  • Impact on Business Case (Cost and Time)
  • Benefits
  • Quality
  • Risks

And finally, seek approval of the Project Board before implementing a change.

Tips to Eliminate Scope Creep

a) It is imperative for the Project Manager to be alert to all Requests for Change, Issues and Off Specifications. The aim is not to stop a change but to study its impact on all the six constraints and then take approval of the Project Board before implementing it. Issue and Change Control Procedure should be in place.

b) Any good Project Manager will ensure that the project remains aligned with the project plan. This is his endeavor when he is controlling a stage on a day-to-day basis. He has to, therefore adhere to a Change Control procedure either laid down by his organization or as recommended by the PRINCE2 manual. He first ‘Captures’ the issue to determine its severity and then ‘Assesses’ its impact on the project objectives and the Business case as well on its Risk Profile. Thereafter, he identifies and evaluates options to propose the best corrective action to be taken to bring the project back on track if it is estimated that implementing the requested change might entail exceeding the tolerances of the all the project constraints especially of Cost and Time. He puts it up for the approval of the project board. The PB will ‘Decide’ whether to approve, reject or defer the option. The corrective action would then be ‘Implemented’ by the project manager or the nominated Change Authority as directed by the project board.

c) A Project Manager should be absolutely clear as to what the customer wants. In fact, all stakeholders should be involved in forming the requirements list.

d) The goals and objectives of the project should be clear before the project starts. The deliverables should be well understood by all members of the Project Management Team.

e) Estimation Techniques used whilst making Project Plan or Stage Plan should be efficient.

f) Ensure that there are minimal changes affecting critical path tasks.

g) Avoid Gold Plating

The client is not concerned about the commitment, they are worried about their business!

The scope is the heart of the project that estimates whether the result is successfully achieved or not. We must at least be able to manage scope creep if we can’t find ways to avoid it completely. Doing a proper research and gathering all the essential requirements for a project can help us develop and understand a well-defined project scope that reduces scope creep. With the ability to find the signs of scope creep we will be better able to manage it proactively.

Captain Dinesh

Captain Dinesh Lamba

Author

Captain Dinesh Kumar Lamba, BSc (Hons), MA(Statistics), MSc (Defence Studies) is a Navy veteran and a PRINCE2 Trainer. He was accredited P2 Trainer for The Knowledge Academy from 2014 to 2018 and People’s Cert ( Invigilator) and empanelled P2 trainer for National Institute for Smart Government , Hyderabad.   As a PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner Trainer, Captain Lamba has conducted various PRINCE2 Courses for the The Knowledge Academy,London & NISG, Hyderabad. He is also a qualified AGILE DSDM Atern Foundation and Practitioner.

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2 comments

Umang khanna 08 Aug 2018

One of the best best article ever read.. hats off to u sir..

Shikha midha 10 Aug 2018

Very well explained . Thank you sir

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Reports such as Earned Value Management, Resource Availability, and many other reports can be used for project tracking and control. How to Make a Project Schedule? Many professionals, while creating a project schedule, use a project schedule template from organizational repositories. A project schedule is not just a standard timetable that works for every project. There are different project scheduling techniques and project management tools involved in the scheduling process. Also, every project has different resources, timetables, scope considerations and other unique variables that must be considered in the schedule management plan. Project management software can be integrated into other project management tools, such as Gantt charts, dashboards and reports to monitor the progress of your project. Project scheduling occurs during the planning phase of the project life cycle.  After creating the project schedule plan for your project, set the project start and project end dates of your project. Follow these steps to create a project schedule of your own. Define activities from the WBS after decomposition of work packages: Scope statement should be made available during the initial planning. It contains project description, deliverables, acceptance criteria of each deliverable, in-scope and out-of-scope, and any assumptions and constraints of your project. WBS is created from this scope statement. Be thorough when putting an activity list together, you should not, and you don’t want to leave anything out. By using a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) you can organize these activities and lay them out in order of completion.  Figure out task dependencies and then sequence activities: Activities are the small jobs that lead to the final deliverable and it’s crucial to map out the sequence of those tasks before diving into them. Most of the times an activity will be dependent on another activity to start or finish. You don’t want to get halfway through an activity before you realize you can’t complete it due to unclear objectives.  Estimate the realistic resources for each activity using each resource availability. Estimate the realistic duration of each activity. Build project schedule: The critical path is a method for scheduling activities in a project to find those which are critical to completion of the project on time. This will allow you to make choices about activities that can be ignored if time and costs become constraints.  Monitor and control project schedules throughout the project life cycle.Which Are the Project Estimating Techniques?Estimating the duration of project activities as realistically as possible is a key to creating a realistic schedule. There are various project estimating techniques known which are very widely used by project managers. Analogous Estimating: In this technique, project managers interview their team and other stakeholders to get their perspective on how long certain tasks can take. This technique relies on actual duration of previous, similar projects as the basis for estimating the duration of the current project, done in early phases of the project when cost of estimation is low. E.g. duration, budget, size, weight and complexity as the basis for estimating the same parameter or measure for a future project. Parametric Estimating: This technique uses an algorithm or a mathematical model, to calculate cost or duration based on historical data and project parameters, done in later phases of the project when cost of estimation is high. E.g. duration on a design project is estimated by the number of drawings multiplied by the number of labor hours per drawing. Three-Point Estimating (Triangular Distribution): In this technique most likely (tM) –based on the duration of the activity, given the resources likely to be assigned their productivity, realistic expectations of availability for the activity, dependencies on other participants and interruptions, optimistic (tO) – based on analysis of the best-case scenario for the activity and pessimistic (tP) – based on analysis of the worst-case scenario for the activity are determined. Depending on the assumed distribution of values within the range of the three estimates, the expected duration, tE, can be calculated as : tE = (tO + tM + tP) / 3 Another technique which is very widely used uses the same three-point estimates of each activity, and is called Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT). It uses Beta Distribution. Which Are the Project Scheduling Techniques?Project managers can make use of project scheduling techniques to increase the accuracy of their time estimates to minimize scheduling risks. Some of the commonly used project scheduling techniques are: Critical Path Method (CPM): The critical path method (CPM) is a technique that calculates the Critical Path which is the sequence of activities that represents the longest path through a project, and determines the shortest possible project duration (how quickly?). The longest path has the least total float, usually zero.  Other commonly used project scheduling techniques, schedule compression such as schedule crashing and fast tracking, can reduce the schedule duration without impacting the project scope. But also note there would be risks and costs involved in schedule compression techniques which need to be carefully managed. Simulation, resource-leveling and resource-smoothing are other tools that can help with project scheduling. How to Manage and Maintain Your Project Schedule During Execution Once you’ve got every piece of your schedule together, the last thing you want to do is manually create a document to keep a track of activities and update the status of the project completion.What Are Project Scheduling Tools?Project scheduling tools are used to help managers organize and execute their project’s tasks and resources within a given budget. Software offerings range from rudimentary to sophisticated and provide users with a wide spectrum of features that facilitate the scheduling of their project.There are many project scheduling tools available in the market such as MS Project, Primavera, Open Project, Project Server, etc.  which can be useful for simple as well as complex or large projects. Best Practices for the Project Scheduling ProcessEvery project manager must use a project scheduling tool to track projects, estimate realistically, consider 6:30 hours per day for creating a schedule, involve project team members in estimation after they come on board etc. Project Schedule vs Project PlanA Project schedule is a Timeline. It tells you when each activity should start and when it should end, which resources are working on the activities, duration of each activity, dependencies of each activity, estimated cost of each activity, etc. It is not a plan. A Project Plan is an approach which tells how you are going to manage your project, how you are going to re-plan, how you are going to execute, how you are going to monitor and control and how you are going to close the project.  Conclusion: Project scheduling is fundamental for planning and control in project management.  The main purpose of project schedule is to deliver the project scope over a period of fixed time (fixed start and fixed end). It is an essential tool to deliver a project on time and within budget. The project schedule is often used along with a work breakdown structure (WBS) as it defines the scope of the project. WBS must be created first as it helps to create project schedule. Follow these steps to create a project schedule of your own: Define activities from the WBS after decomposition of work packages  Figure out task dependencies and then sequence activities  Estimate realistic resources for each activity using each resource availability Estimate realistic duration of each activity Build project schedule and note the critical path(s) Monitor and control project schedule throughout the project life cycle. Various project scheduling tools can be used to create and track project schedules such as MS Project, Primavera, Open Project, Project Server, etc. These tools are full of features and functionality that a project manager can use to make effective schedules and lead projects to success. 
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Best Project Management Certifications in 2021

While nothing can replace industry work experience, there is no doubt that a credible certification can open up new opportunities and elevate your current profile. This is true for any area of work and more so in the project management field.With projects getting more complex, pan global and resource intensive, organizations look to hire project managers who come with solid expertise and a recognised certification to back their knowledge and skill.With so many project management credentials to choose from, which one would suit you best in terms of the knowledge and opportunities you will gain? Here is a ready compilation of the best Project Management Certifications for 2021, to help you to make an informed decision.PMP® Certification TrainingCAPM® Certification TrainingPMI-RMP® Certification TrainingPRINCE2® Foundation and Practitioner Certification TrainingProgram Management Professional (PgMP)® Certification TrainingPMI-ACP® Certification Training1. Project Management Professional (PMP)®Arguably the most well-known credential in the Project Management space, the PMP is globally recognized as the gold standard in project management. Offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI)®, the PMP gives you the bandwidth to work in any industry, using any methodology and working on a variety of situations.This certification is a litmus test of your project management knowledge and skills in managing the project "triple constraints", that is time, cost, and scope. And with its new rollout, the PMP helps holders grow and develop diverse project management skills to suit the fast-changing markets of today and beyond.PMP DemandThe reason why PMP is so well received is because the skills one learns during the PMP certification journey can be applied across sectors, geographies and industries including IT, government sectors, telecommunications, manufacturing, banking and more.It allows certified professionals to maximise value, enhance bottom line margins and prove that they can drive business results.PMP continues to remain one among the best Project Management Certifications for 2021.Benefits of getting PMP certifiedValidate your commitment to continued excellence and qualityDemonstrate your proficiency in project managementGrow your career in project management with confidenceManage projects across sectors and industriesGet yourself hired by the bestEarn salaries that are up to 58% higher than those who do not hold the certificationEarn salaries up to $145,000Top companies that hire PMP professionalsExxon MobileAppleSAICEXELONWhere to take training for certification: Aspirants must undertake the training from an Authorized Training Provider of PMI®.Who should take the training for certification:Mid-Level, Senior Project ManagersProject CoordinatorsProject AnalystsProject LeadersProduct ManagersProgram ManagersProject SponsorsTeam LeadersAnyone interesting in building project management skillsEligibility for PMP examTo be eligible for the PMP® exam, you must fulfill the following criteriaEDUCATIONAL BACKGROUNDSecondary Degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or global equivalent), ORFour-year Degree (bachelor’s degree or global equivalent), ORBachelor's or Post-Graduate degree from a GAC accredited program (bachelor’s degree or master's or global equivalent).PROJECT MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCEMinimum five years/60 months unique non-overlapping professional project management experience, ORMinimum three years/36 months unique non-overlapping professional project management experience, ORMinimum two years/24 months unique non-overlapping professional project management experience.PROJECT MANAGEMENT EDUCATION35 contact hours of formal education, unless you are an active CAPM holder.Exam FormatThe latest (2021) PMP® certification exam pattern is as follows:No of questions: 180 multiple-choice, multiple responses, matching, hotspot and limited fill-in-the-blank.Time: 230 minutesDifficulty level: The questions are populated as per the difficulty level. The questions are randomized so that no two candidates will get similar questions. The easier the question, the higher the passing score determinant and the higher or tougher the question, the easier the passing score. Duration to get certified: After completing your 35 hours of PMP workshop training, you need to rigorously prepare for the exam. Experts suggest dedicating several weeks to studying for the exam to ensure thorough preparation. Your web-based exam results will be visible to you immediately upon completion of the exam.Course fee for certification: In India: INR 14999, America: USD 999, Canada: CAD 1399Application fee: For PMI membership: USD $ 129 plus USD $10 for application fee.Exam fee for certification:In IndiaMember: ₹23,459.00 Non-member: ₹42,863.00In US Member: $405Non-member: $555Retake fee for certificationMember: $275Non-member:$3752. CAPM®: Certified Associate in Project Management Yet another offering from the PMI, the CAPM is a foundational credential that reflects the holder’s expertise in defining and managing new age project management tools and techniques. Based on the PMBOK® Guide-Sixth Edition, the CAPM will help you stand out among non-certified project managers and showcase your proficiency in implementing global project management best practices.  CAPM Demand: The CAPM certifies the holder as being adept in project management practices. An organization having a pool of CAPM qualified professionals has a good reputation and standing in the market. Owing to the benefits that they bring in, CAPM practitioners are much in demand.Benefits of getting CAPM certifiedLearn the right skills in project managementGain insights into project executing, monitoring, controlling and managementBe thorough in estimating project activity costsAchieve quality management and quality assurance at every stageMaster global project management best practicesOpen yourself to new opportunities and lucrative job offersEnhance your market credibility  Gain 23 contact hours/PDUsBe part of the PMI network and gain several benefitsEarn average salaries from $93,500 to $111,500Top companies that hire CAPM professionalsKaiser PermanateAecom CorporationSAP AmericaBooz, Allen, HamiltonInternational Business Machines (IBM) CorpWhere to take training for certification: Aspirants must train from an Authorized Training Partner (ATP) of PMI.Who should take the training for certificationAssociate Project ManagersProject ManagersIT Project ManagersProject CoordinatorsProject Analysts, Project LeadersSenior Project ManagersTeam LeadersProduct ManagersProgram ManagersProject SponsorsProject Team MembersEligibilitySecondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or the global equivalent)23 hours of project management education completed by the time you sit for the examExam FormatNo of questions: 150 questions Time: 3 hoursDifficulty level: Moderate but requires thorough knowledge of project management principlesDuration to get certified: After completing your 23 hours of CAPM workshop training, you need to dedicate around 45-60 hours to ensure complete preparation for the exam. Your web-based exam results will be visible to you immediately upon completion of the exam. Course fee for certification: INR 8999, USD 799Application fee for certification: For PMI membership: USD $ 129 plus USD $10 for application fee.Exam fee for certification:In IndiaMember: ₹17,377.00Non-member: ₹23,169.00In U.S.Member: $435Non-member: $4953. PMI-RMP®: Project Management Institute-Risk Management ProfessionalThe pandemic exposed many vulnerabilities that organizations had not been prepared for. When faced with unprecedented risks, organizations need specialists who can identify and assess project risks, mitigate threats and take advantage of opportunities. The PMI-RMP course and certification prepares professionals to perform this role and successfully steer projects in complex environments.PMI-RMP Demand: According to the 2015 Pulse of the Profession® by PMI, “Eighty-three percent of organizations that are high performers in project management practice risk management frequently while just 49 percent of low performers do so”. This shows the importance of risk management and the emphasis organizations place on qualified risk managers.Benefits of getting PMI-RMP certifiedApply risk management practices for greater competitive advantageIdentify and measure risks in project development and implementationQuantify and create risk response strategies to deliver products that meet stakeholder expectationsUse a proactive and focused approach to preventing problems, rather than dealing with them once they occurIncrease your visibility within the companyAim for greater career growthEarn salaries upto $115,931Top companies that hire PMI-RMP professionalsWhere to take training for certification: Aspirants must train from an Authorized Training Partner (ATP) of PMI.Who should take the training for certificationRisk ManagersRisk Management ProfessionalsProject ManagersProject SponsorsProgram ManagersProject EngineersProject CoordinatorsPlanning ManagersPlanning EngineersProject Cost Control EngineersQuantity SurveyorsCivil EngineersIT Project ManagersProduct ManagersProject AnalystsBusiness AnalystsProject LeadersProject Co-ordinatorsTeam LeadersTeam MembersEligibilityTo apply for the PMI-RMP® Credential, you need to possess a:Secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree, or the global equivalent)4,500 hours of project risk management experience40 hours of project risk management educationORFour-year degree (bachelor’s degree or the global equivalent)3,000 hours of project risk management experience30 hours of project risk management educationExam FormatNo of questions: 170 questions Type: Multiple ChoiceTime: 3.5 hoursDuration to get certifiedApplication fee: For PMI membership: USD $ 129 plus USD $10 for application fee.Course fee for certification: INR12999, USD 999Exam fee for certificationIn U.S.Member: $520Non-member: $670Retake fee for certificationMember: $335Non-member: $4354. PRINCE2® Foundation/PRINCE2 PractitionerThe PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) Foundation and Practitioner credentials are sought-after offerings from AXELOS. There are a number of credentials offered under PRINCE2 that make it suitable for a wider audience. Axelos keeps the PRINCE2 curriculum regularly updated with the latest industry advances, which makes it suitable for new age project management and intensive, demanding projects.  PRINCE2 Demand: PRINCE2 extends its applicability across industries and sectors. This makes it very popular in the market as it is a one size fits all model. Although PRINCE2 was founded in the UK, it has now firmly established its presence in industries across the world. According to a report in LinkedIn, PRINCE2 is the most popular project management methodology. A professional adept at PRINCE2 and holding the credential is highly valuable and sought after by organizations implementing PRINCE2 for their projects.  Benefits of getting PRINCE2 certifiedGuide projects in their entiretyTailor PRINCE2 to suit the needs of projects and organizationsValidate your commitment to continued excellence and quality Master and demonstrate your proficiency of the PRINCE2® framework Gain project management best practices and grow your career with confidence Work across projects in diverse sectors and industriesShow your ability to work in challenging work environments Command higher salaries (upto $99,012 average) than your non-certified peers Top companies that hire PRINCE2 professionalsShellBPTranspower New ZealandIBMHPAquasoftGetronicsSiemensWhere to take training for certification: Aspirants must undertake training from a Certified Partner of AXELOS and an accredited training organization (ATO) with PeopleCert®.Who should take the training for certification?Project ManagersProject CoordinatorsProject AnalystsProject LeadersProduct ManagersProgram ManagersProject SponsorsTeam LeadersSenior Responsible OwnersProduct Delivery ManagersBusiness Change AnalystsProject and Programme Office PersonnelOperational Line ManagerAnyone who wishes to build up knowledge in project management EligibilityThere are no eligibility requirements for the PRINCE2® Foundation certification exam. To qualify for the PRINCE2 Practitioner exam, you must have at least one of the following certifications: PRINCE2® Foundation or higher (applicable only to certificates obtained after 1 January 2009) Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® IPMA Level A® (Certified Projects Director) IPMA Level B® (Certified Senior Project Manager) IPMA Level C® (Certified Project Manager) IPMA Level D® (Certified Project Management Associate) Project Management Qualification (PMQ) Project Professional Qualification (PPQ) Exam FormatFoundation ExamDuration: 60 minutes (1 hour) Questions: 60 Multiple choice questions Pass mark: 33 out of 60 available, or 55% Use of textbook: No, it’s a closed book examPractitioner Exam Duration: 150 minutes (2.5 hrs) Questions: 68 Objective type questions Pass mark: 38 out of 68 available, or 55% Use of textbook: Yes, but only the official PRINCE2® manual is permitted. Duration to get certifiedYou will need to attend 32-hours of PRINCE2® Foundation and Practitioner training from an ATO of AXELOS and PeopleCert®, following which you will be required to take the exams to demonstrate your knowledge of PRINCE2 and get certified. The results of your tests are issued within 2 business days from the date of your exam.  Course fee for certification: USD 1999Exam fee for certification: Included in course fee5. PgMP®: Program Management Professional (PgMP)® Certification TrainingAnother project management from the PMI, this credential is more advanced than the PMP and certifies the holder’s ability to manage complex projects that cover functions, organizations, cultures and geographies. The credential mandates holders to be proficient in the six prime focus areas: Governance, Prioritization, Escalation, Resource Management, Benefits Realization, and Stakeholder Management.PgMP Demand: Credentials from the PMI are known for their rigorous standards and testing, which is why they are well accepted in industries across sectors. PgMP holders are better able to promote integration and coordination of multiple projects for the overall benefit of the program. According to PMI’s 2015 Pulse of the Profession® report, an organization’s projects are far more successful with program management than without it — 76 percent compared to 54 percent. This further compounds the demand for PgMP professionals. Benefits of getting PgMP certifiedGet in-depth knowledge of tools and techniques to handle complex multiple related projectsUnderstand Program Lifecycle and its processes, competencies, tools and techniques with practical sample templatesLearn to implement large-scale programs to align with business strategyOpen yourself to lucrative job opportunities and leadership rolesWork in projects across geographiesEarn high salaries, upto $139,000 on averageTop companies that hire PgMP professionalsAmazonGoogleMicrosoftCognizantCapgeminiDeloitteJP Morgan ChaseErnst & YoungWhere to take training for certification: Aspirants must train from an Authorized Training Provider of PMI®Who should take the training for certificationTeam LeadsSponsorsProject DirectorsProgram ManagersPortfolio Managers  Project Management Office (PMO) HeadsEligibilityA Four-year Degree (Bachelor's or Global equivalent), with at least four years of Project Management experience and four years of Program Management experience.ORA Secondary Diploma (High school or Global equivalent), with at least four years of Project Management experience and seven years of Program Management experience. Exam FormatNo of questions: 170 multiple-choice, of which 20 are considered pretest questions which are not scored.Question type: Most questions are scenario based and test a professional's understanding and clarity of thoughts on different Program Management concepts.Time: 4 hoursDifficulty level: DifficultDuration to get certified: You have to complete your 24 hours of training from an Authorized Training Partner (ATP) of PMI. Make a study plan and stick to it religiously. The PgMP is considered to be more difficult than the PMP and requires a fair bit of preparation. Once you pass the 4-hour exam you will be PgMP certified.  Course fee for certification: INR 13,999; USD 1199Application fee for certification: For PMI membership: USD $ 129 plus USD $10 for application fee.Exam fee for certificationIn IndiaMember: ₹46,338.00Non-member: ₹77,230.00In U.S.Member: $800Non-member: $1000Retake fee for certificationMember: $600Non-member: $8006. PMI-ACPPMI-ACP Demand: Agile is a fairly new concept in the context of product development. Though organizations reap immense benefits by adopting Agile, the road to transformation can often turn out to be expensive if not well executed. PMI-ACP professionals are therefore in huge demand as they can bring in project management best practices in Agile environments and ensure project success.  Benefits of getting PMI-ACP certifiedThe shortage of Project Managers has increased job opportunities in the Agile environmentYou will qualify for Agile jobs with expertise in Agile methods like Scrum, FDD, Kanban, etc. which are in demand in the industryEarn salaries in the range of $108,000 on an averageEquips you with knowledge of various Agile methodsMakes you more marketableTop companies that hire PMI-ACP professionalsStandard CharteredOracleIBMVMWareSource: IndeedWhere to take training for certification: Aspirants must train from an Authorized Training Provider of PMI® Who should take the training for certification?Project ManagersProject PlannersQuality Assurance StaffDevelopers/ProgrammersDesigners, TestersProject ControllersProduct OwnersScrum MastersScrum Team MembersEligibilityTo apply for the PMI-ACP®, candidates must meet the following requirements:1. General Project Experience2000 hours of working on project teams within the last 5 years or having an active PMP®/PgMP® credential2. Agile Project Experience1500 hours of working on Agile Project Teams or with Agile Methodologies, in addition to “General Project Experience” above;3. Training in Agile Practices21 contact hours earned in Agile PracticesExam FormatNo of questions: 120 MCQ, of which 20 are pre-testDuration: 3 hoursDuration to get certified: Once you complete the course, you need to schedule the exam date. Exam applications have to be submitted and approved by PMI. Online applications m ay take upto five business days to get processed. Once your application is processed, you can schedule your exam date, and on passing receive the PMI-ACP credential.Course fee for certification: INR 10,999, USD 1099Application fee for certification: For PMI membership: USD $ 129 plus USD $10 for application fee.Exam fee for certificationFor members: $435Non-members: $495Retake fee for certificationMembers: $150Non-members: $200SummaryProject Management is among the most sought after job roles, not only in the tech industry but any industry that executes and manages projects. By 2027, 88 million individuals will need to be skilled in project management-oriented roles. This makes it among the hottest job trends in the coming years, and a credential will go a long way in helping you capitalise on this trend.
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Best Project Management Certifications in 2021

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