Which of the Project Management Certifications is the right one to pursue in the year 2023?

PMI has broadly diversified its certification offerings into General project management certifications, Project domain specific certifications, Skill specific certifications. As the offerings increases, it becomes complex to choose the right certification. This blog post will help you to choose the right PMI certification based on your present work experience and future career aspirations.

PMI General project management certifications applicable to all streams of project management

  • PMP – Project Management Professional Certification still remain the flagship certification by PMI, because of its global recognition. This is not domain specific. Hence for anybody who want to understand predictive project management, agile project management and hybrid project management, this is ideal. If you have around 4 years of work experience after graduation, and if you are looking forward to going for a well-recognized project management certification, PMP is the one to go.
  • CAPM – Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
  • PMI-RMP – Risk management professional (PMI-RMP)
  • PMI-PBA – Professional in business analysis
  • PgMP – Program management professional
  • PfMP – Portfolio management professional
  • PMI-SP – PMI Scheduling professional
  • PMI Project management ready (for school students)

PMI Construction project management certifications

  • PMI-CP – Construction professional in built environment projects (New). Still, it is not released. But according to me, this is the certification that has the potential to become one of the best known (like PMP) from PMI, after a long gap. This certification is exclusively for professionals from the construction domain (3 years’ experience in construction is mandatory)

PMI Agile project management certifications applicable to Information technology and new product development projects

  • PMI-ACP – PMI Agile certified practitioner – According to PMI, this certification will provide you with basic understanding of agile. According to my personal experience, if you go for PMP exam, 50% of the syllabus is Agile and on top of it you will gain good knowledge about predictive and hybrid project management. I always prefer and recommend PMP certification over PMI-ACP certification.
  • DASM – Disciplined Agile Scrum Master
  • DASSM – Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master
  • DAVSC – Disciplined Agile Value Stream Consultant (DAVSC) Certification
  • DAC – Disciplined Agile Coach Certification

After PMP or CSM, What is Next?

Choose your certifications wisely. Certifications with redundant syllabus overlaps is a sure disadvantage.

There are too many project management certifications out there like the PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM, PSP, PSM, SaFe....etc...Many of them have redundant contents.

Choose your certifications Wisely….

I did my PMP, what next?.Should I do any of the agile certifications? – This is one question we had to answer multiple times in the past. Yesterday also I had to answer this question again. From the Version#7 of the Project Management Body Of Knowledge (PMBOK), the base reference document for PMP certification, equal importance is given to both predictive project management (traditional project management) and agile project management. In other words,

  • 50% of the questions are from predictive project management
  • 40% from agile project management and
  • 10% from hybrid project management.

Given that as the basis, logically there is no reason for someone pursuing any one of the agile certifications like Certified Scrum Master (CSM) or Professional Scrum Master (PSM) after their latest PMP certification based on PMBOK7. As PMBOK7 covers both agile and predictive project management in detail. But then in real life, I come across many PMPs who still do not understand critical path and earned value management even after their PMP certification. So are many of the certified agilists who does not understand empiricism and self organizing teams. When we examine just the exam content, the latest PMP course content is sufficient to manage projects in predictive, agile or hybrid way.

Then what makes the difference. Two factors.

  • Factor one, the structure of the course delivery. How well it is sequenced. If it is sequenced logically according to the natural sequence within projects, then it becomes much easier for the learner. The learner will be able to comprehend the concepts better and put them into practice at the appropriate opportunity.
  • Factor two, the ability of the teacher / coach / trainer/ instructor to explain things with practical hands on experience sharing and real life examples.

Trainers with sufficient knowledge, experience can make a lot of difference. Multiple certifications with overlapping syllabus contents is a disadvantage. It can send wrong signals to others. Especially to those who are hunting for competent project management professionals who can put the project management best practices to work for the project’s advantage. Certifications are just the low lying fruits of the training programs. It is the application of the knowledge in real projects which makes the real difference between the credential and competency.

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Congratulations Mr. Suraj Sambasivam PMP

Congratulations to Mr.Suraj Sambasivam PMP for achieving the PMP credential. Suraj prepared for his PMP credential with the PMdistilled Project Management Professional training conducted by PMRI. It gives us immense confidence when he says he did not use any other reference material except the PMdistilled Guide, Online on demand modules, quizzes, exam practice and the one 2 one meetings with the Instructor. Now we have added mandatory weekend instructor led classes as well, with the hope of speeding up the preparation. When people attend in groups, that will definitely create healthy peer pressure to complete the exam on time. Suraj has given us some inputs to improve the course effectiveness further. We will do that as fast as possible. Once again thank you Suraj for trusting us to be your Project Management Professional Certification coach and mentor.

Project Management Professional
PMP Successs story – Suraj Sambashivam PMP

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Click here for the most frequently asked questions about PMP certification and our PMdistilled PMP certification preparation program

New format of the PMdistilled PMP Program

Now the PMdistilled PMP programs have mandatory weekend online instructor led classes, attended by all participants. This improves experience sharing, and also will improve positive peer pressure to complete the course along with others.

Here is a comparison of the older version of the PMdistilled PMP program and the New PMdistilled PMP Program;

Comparison

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Construction extension to the Project Management Body Of Knowledge

The Project Management Body Of Knowledge (PMBOK) comprises of the globally accepted project management best practices applicable to most of the projects, most of the time. The Construction Extension to the Project Management Body of Knowledge provides best practices relevant for construction projects. PMBOK construction extension is updated whenever a new version of the PMBOK is released. As you might already know, the new PMBOK is principle based and covers predictive, agile and hybrid project management. Construction extension (latest) is fully aligned to these approaches and at the same time have additional knowledge areas relevant for construction projects.

Comparison of Knowledge Areas

PMBOK (General) PMBOK (Construction)
Integration Management Integration Management
Scope Management Scope Management
Schedule Management Schedule Management
Cost Management Cost Management
Quality Management Quality Management
Resource Management Resource Management
Communications management Communications Management
Risk ManagementRisk Management
Procurement ManagementProcurement Management
Stakeholder Management Stakeholder Management
Project Health, Safety, Security & Environment (HSSE) Management
Project financial management

Though there is one to one mapping, the content within each knowledge area is more specific to construction projects in the construction extension to PMBOK Guide.

Finalizing the project management approach

Should we go with agile or waterfall or hybrid is the major decision one should make before getting into detailed planning. There are construction projects which got great benefits by following agile during the engineering phases, which facilitated concurrent engineering by distributed teams. While that is the case with project management strategies / approach, project execution strategies are also equally important. For example, I know a construction project which could meet their tight deadline because they decided to go with pre-fabricated components in the project. Project strategies can also revolve around make or buy decisions, various contracting types, technologies used etc…

While the factors to be considered for developing the project’s strategy / approach are multidimensional , the rest of this article will discuss about the various project management strategies that can be adopted for successful execution of projects.

When to go with predictive or waterfall?

  • If the scope is very clear (Construction projects)
  • If the technology is well known
  • If the engineering discipline do not allow for change
  • If the contract type is fixed price, fixed duration

When to go with Agile?

  • If the scope is evolving
  • If the technology is new to the team
  • If the engineering discipline allows for change (Information technology, Engineering phase)

When to go with Hybrid?

  • When the team is moving from Waterfall to Agile
  • When some phases are ideal for agile and some phases are ideal for waterfall, within the same project some phases can follow agile where as some phases will follow waterfall (predictive) style. For example, in a construction project, the architecture, approvals, engineering, procurement, snags, punch lists are potential candidates for agile where as the actual construction phase will benefit by following predictive approaches.
  • Even in a predominantly predictive project management approach, adopting some of the agile ceremonies like daily meetings, short term planning, burn down charts etc can improve productivity.

Good project approaches / strategy will play a major role in meeting the timelines within cost with quality.