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Is A PMP® A Better PM Than A Non-PMP?

Posted on | August 1, 2007 | Comments Off on Is A PMP® A Better PM Than A Non-PMP?

The answer to this question, “is a PMP® a better PM than a non-PMP?” is not going to be one everybody likes: it depends. This writing leaves out other important attributes and skills an individual may posses that influence a more definite answer to this question, such as personality, work habits, etc, to concentrate only on the issue of PMP® certification.

I have seen a lot of good and bad non-PMPs and as many good and bad PMP®s. The real question is what knowledge and experiences do they bring to the table and whether they are able to apply the project management principles regardless of their certification, or lack thereof.

Granted, a PMP® certification indicates, at the very minimum, that the individual has gone through a rigorous exercise that involves not only managing projects for a number of years but taking preparation courses and everything else that is required to take the exam. This in itself should give a PMP® the advantage of being a better PM; but… we all know it doesn’t happen that way for a number of reasons. For example, a PMP® may work at an organization where project management best practices are not followed, worse yet, it is avoided. The PMP® soon forgets all he or she learned so hard.

A non-PMP on the other hand doesn’t need to be certified to be “better”. He or she only needs to apply and follow project management best practices that may have been learned on their own. One of the reasons it took me so long to become certified is that I had the opportunity (and luck) to work for some organizations that valued, promoted and strictly followed best practices. These organizations are willing to bring in a non-PMP with demonstrated work experience.

Now, this is not to say that I discourage certification, all the contrary. I am convinced that it helps further your career development and shows commitment to the profession. Being a PMP® widens the door of opportunities and you automatically have a competitive advantage over a non-PMP. It has helped me.

All said, is a PMP® a better PM than a non-PMP? It depends. Don’t you think so…? Well, I do.


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