The role of a project manager is to navigate the ‘vehicle’ called project along the ‘road’ called solution roadmap navigating through its ‘bumpy hills and valleys’ called constraints and risks with all project stakeholders on board in order to achieve the end goal with respect to a unique product, service or result.
The foundation to project management is the ‘Guide to the Project Management Body Of Knowledge’, better known as the ‘PMBOK®’ or the ‘PM Body Of Knowledge’. Project management entails both an art and a science. The science of project management is defined in the PMBOK® through the concepts, tools and techniques discussed in the ten knowledge areas. Professionals master the art of project management when they work in projects and put these learning into practice.
A project manager who is PMP® certified is considered as someone who has mastered the science of project management and is thorough about the concepts and is capable in properly managing a project through its lifetime. Hence, it is first important to understand one’s purpose to pursue the PMP credential. The primary reason should be not just to pass the exam or to get the credential against one’s name but also to master the concepts in project management, learn about the best practices so that those can be applied to real life projects.
How does PMP® lay the foundation?
The PMBOK® guide is structured in a way that it takes the credential aspirant through a journey. The PMBOK® first of all gives an introduction to the core concepts in project management such as what a project, program and portfolio is, what are project approaches, what is a project life cycle and on how organizations structure themselves to execute projects.
The core of the PMBOK® is dedicated to taking the participant through ten knowledge areas. Each knowledge area discusses tasks, concepts, tools and techniques relevant to each topic.
The material on stakeholder management equips the project manager with key knowledge on stakeholders and on how to identify and manage them. The scope management knowledge area discusses ways to define the scope boundary for the project, methods in decomposing the project along with other key concepts in managing scope creep. Project time management examines the activities involved in estimating project effort, defining a project schedule and aspects related to managing project time so that it would not overrun. Project cost management is about identifying cost components for the project, so that the total project cost can be determined. Project quality management discusses concepts related to quality assurance and quality control, verification of project process and validation of product. The human resource management knowledge area debates about the stages in developing project teams, concepts in motivation, leadership and team building and concepts on allocating resources as well as balancing load on resources.
Project communications management knowledge area lists concepts related to identifying, planning for and managing communication among all stakeholders interested and impacted by the project. Projects don’t always run smoothly but are prone to risks and issues. The risk management knowledge area lays the foundation to the key responsibility of a project manager in terms of identifying and managing uncertain events that may affect the project. Most of the elements in a project is bound to change and are known as configurable items. The integration management knowledge area prepares PMP® aspirants with concepts related to identifying and managing changes. Finally, the procurement management knowledge area deliberates about different ways in which contracts can be created and managed and how it may impact project execution.
The PMP® credential has become a yardstick when evaluating and selecting a professional for a project management job. The certified candidates can be differentiated from others as to be an individual who is knowledgeable and is capable of applying concepts in practice. Hence, a pertinent question at project management interviews is to check whether candidates have the PMP® credential.
So, why wait to get the PMP® credential? Devise a plan to work towards the credential today itself. Identify a training provider and attend sessions to obtain the required contact hours. Then fill in the application form, do your self-studies of reading the PMBOK® guide at least thrice and by attempting at least a thousand sample questions.
Good Luck and hope to see you all as part of the community!!