19 October 2010

Does certification change the way you operate?

Yes, Another #pmp #cbap certification post!

To get a PMP or CBAP you have to have a couple of years practical experience managing projects. By then many practices and techniques are entrenched as habits almost. ANd to get to the point where you are eligible for the certification you have probably learned that project management works for you as a career choice.

So here is my question: Does studying for and passing the PMP certification change the way you do business? Does it improve your performance?

Anyone got any stories of substantial changes?


  1. I can talk to CBAP, not PMP, but studying for my cert did change the way I work as an analyst and I had 7 years of experience prior to seeking certification. The biggest way it changed me was in how I spoke about analysis activities. I became considerably more precise in how I define activities, tasks and terms. For example, the way I define and link Business drivers to Business requirements to User requirements to Functional requirements, and the difference between each type, now has a defined structure in my mind. Prior to studying for my cert, the definitions were a lot more fluid and grey.

  2. Does studying for and passing the PMP certification change the way you do business? That all depends on your motivation for getting the PMP credential. As one of my motivators prior to the exam, I was trying to better myself and provide greater value to my customers. Even if you do not agree with the PMBOK as a whole, it does have some good stuff. You can learn from it. Preparing for the exam certainly did expand my scope of knowledge. Counter to that, if you're just trying to get some extra letters after your name, studying to pass the exam is not going to help you.

    I'm talking about mastery-based learning, as outlined in Daniel Pink's book "Drive". Some are pursuing the mastery of performance-based objectives versus learning-based objectives (ie. getting a passing score on an exam versus being a good manager or leader)

    Does it improve your performance? In my case it did. I merely look at it as a tool in my toolbox. If a PMP approach is what my customer wants, I can deliver on that. If an Agile or Scrum approach is what my customer wants, the PMP will not help. But, I can deliver on that as well. The goal, for me, is continue pursuing master my craft. I'll never master it. But that's not the point.

  3. On a related note Scott Ambler is currently running a survey on motivations and benefits of scrum certifications


  4. Derek

    My sentiments lay in the same place as yours.

    If you pursue excellence the money follows naturally. Pursuing a certificate is a pathway to mediocrity.

    Certifications are a marker on a journey, nothing more.

  5. Does studying for and passing the PMP certification change the way you do business? Does it improve your performance?

    For me achieving the PMP certification was a result of a realization that the employment / recruitment market is swaying towards a PMP biased view. As a self employed project manager obtaining the certification was therefor a means to an end.

    Having said that, in my opinion, the pursue of any knowledge, even in areas that do not necessarily interface directly with project management, can result in a positive impact on the ability to perform that discipline.

    Over the years I've come across PM's who have come from diverse disciplines and experiences. They all had that special flavor which shone through the way they approached the various aspects of project management.

    So certainly, studying and passing the PMP Certification has made an impact on me, but not just because it was PMP but also due to the fact that increased knowledge and analytical capabilities result in better performance across the board.