Who values the PMP?

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Wish me luck
Image by _Pixelmaniac_ via Flickr

Guest post by Ian Bond

I’m confused.? As a job-seeker, I read posted job openings carefully, trying to figure out what they really want.? Repeatedly, I read that Project Managers need x-years of experience, certain technical skills, and a PM track record.

But buried at the bottom is the cryptic “PMP Certified” comment.? Half the time it’s not clear if it’s required or preferred…or if it’s just a cut & paste mistake.? Do they want it, need it, require it, or just fear it?

If they want it, I’ve got a shot.? I’m studying, and used PM skills and strategies right out of the PMBOK.? My results speak for themselves – running projects since the 90s that smoothly took our mid-sized company from Novell to NT to Windows to Active Directory without a hiccup.? So bring it on!

But what if they need it?? What if they’re contracting with a government or some other savvy source who knows the value of a PMP, but doesn’t have any on staff?? That’s a clever way to get top-notch results and pass the costs on to the poor contractor who didn’t see it coming.? If they need a PMP certified IT guy, then I need to let them know I’m working on it.? Is that enough?? Will I ever hear back from them to know for sure?

Then there’s the mixed blessing of a required PMP certification.? There at least I can know where I stand.? At that point, I can try to negotiate, but know that it’s a buttoned up company with high standards and sharp leadership.? Not much chance they’re going to lower their expectations for me.

So who would fear the PMP certification?? My old employer perhaps, who tried setting up a PMO with a strong leader, only to find that executives found her annoying and demanding.? They wanted to keep their 70’s style processes in place, protecting the cash cow and letting every deadline slide to keep the profit numbers high every quarter.? So if it’s fear keeping the PMP out of the meeting room, the company or org is sliding down, getting pummeled by the recession.? Or maybe it’s a government agency that just can’t be bothered with too much discipline.? In any case, it’s a black hole for projects, “doomed” as Dilbert says.

Trouble with the fearful managers, is that you can’t tell until you’re deep into the interviews.? I need a job, I’m good at it,? but there are hundreds of others like me, circling, fighting to get some attention.? Maybe the black hole isn’t so bad, if there’s a paycheck in it…

Meanwhile, I’m keeping on the PMP track.? It’s clearly the future.pmp