July 21, 2005 10:59 AM   Subscribe

Anyone with a Project Management Professional certification?

I took a two-day prep course for the PMP exam at Boston University last spring, but never got around to filling out the paperwork and taking the exam. For anyone who has taken it recently, what's it like? Did you have any trouble with it?

And for anyone else who has the certification, Is it worth it? Has it made a difference in your career/salary/love life/etc?
posted by NotMyselfRightNow to Education (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I gave this answer to a similar question I saw on the Green about 7 months ago. My experience corresponds to software project management, so this may not be relevant to you.

At any rate, It's still a great question, and everyone's MMV, but I have never seen anyone with PMP have an advantage over a qualified PM without it. It mostly seems like something to put on a job description when they run out of other things to put down. My personal experience has been that I haven't been too impressed with the PMPs I've met. If you want something that might give you a bit more mileage, I would recommend taking a Six Sigma course.
posted by psmealey at 11:07 AM on July 21, 2005

psmealy, what you say is very interesting. I've worked with impressive and unimpressive PMP's, so I'm not sure that's the end-all, be-all. In Seattle, some industries *require* a PMP (Washington Mutual Bank, for one) for most of their PM II and above positions. Six Sigma is also very big there and other places.
The folks I know who have gotten their PMP recently said they are glad they did it, it was waaaay hard (trick questions abound), and that the percentage of correct answers required to pass is going up this fall (from 65% to 85% is what I heard) - so you may want to get cracking sooner rather than later.
I'd also say that the just passing the PMP exam doesn't make one a good PM any more than passing the bar makes one a good attorney - but you've joined a 'club' .
posted by dbmcd at 3:30 PM on July 21, 2005

I didn't mean to imply that there aren't gifted and talented PMs who went and got the PMP certification. But I don't think passing the bar is an apt analogy. You may not practice law if you not are admitted to the bar. You don't necessarily need a PMP to be a project manager, let alone to be a good PM.

It's a very good thing to be fully versed in the PMBOK, but being a good PM is so much more about having real road experience and more than a few intangibles (being a driver without pissing people off, knowing how and when to challenge estimates, how to mitigate against project risk and scope creep, keeping stakeholders on board with difficult decisions) than it is about getting a certification. It's a credential to be sure, but based on my own personal experience training, working with, hiring and firing PMs over the past 10 years, I haven't found it to be a particularly valid one.
posted by psmealey at 10:19 PM on July 21, 2005 [1 favorite]

I joined the Project Management Institute this year and am studying for the PMP certification right now.

The combined PMP requirements of 4,500 hours spent managing projects, 35 "contact hours" of training, and passing a non-trivial exam are not proof that you are now or will be in future an effective project manager, but attaining the certification offers reassurance to potential employers that you have done PM before and have at least some idea what you're doing.

PMI has done a great job marketing the credential, and it is increasingly showing up as a requirement or a "nice to have" on job reqs. By my calculations, the cost of the classes and exam are absolutely worth it.

Plus, I think "P.M.P." would look great on a business card, and wouldn't it entitle me to wear gold teeth and a hat with a big feather in it, and keep a stable of 'hos?

(Depending on whether you've got a good local PMI chapter, you might get a lot of that too. The New York City chapter is very active and puts on some great educational programs.)
posted by enrevanche at 8:45 AM on July 22, 2005, you might get a lot OUT of that, too.

More coffee.
posted by enrevanche at 8:51 AM on July 22, 2005

PMI officially announces that it will deploy the updated PMP credential examination (referred to as the “2005 Examination” for purposes of this communication) globally at 14.00 GMT on 30 September 2005. Five days prior, a “black-out” period (beginning on 25 September 2005) will commence during which the PMP credential examination will be unavailable.
posted by VulcanMike at 4:10 PM on July 22, 2005

Not used to the new preview system, sorry for not completing the above thought. Anyways, I heard that the revised exam is going to be a lot tougher (and would obviously decrease the value of your exam prep at BU). It's probably wise to get your exam and final training completed before 25 September.
posted by VulcanMike at 4:12 PM on July 22, 2005

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