Every project manager has heard ad nauseam that to be effective in what they do, they need to manage all but three things; scope, cost, and schedule. Whilst this is true, it is not the full picture; not by a long shot. In fact, there are ten things that need to be constantly and effectively managed for a project to be successful and for one to be a great project manager. These ten areas are identified in PMP – a project management certification by PMI, the Project Management Institute.
PMP stands for Project Management Professional as is the golden standard when it comes to project management certification. It essentially provides an internationally-recognized framework upon which one can manage projects of any size in any industry and achieve great results. PMP can vastly improve your project management skillset and ultimately effectiveness. Courses are available right now in a variety of formats including eLearning, virtual, and classroom from Knowledgehut including PMP Certification NYC.
How it works
PMP is the certification which is awarded by PMI – the Project Management Institute. The syllabus on which PMP is based is called PMBoK which stands for Project Management Body of Knowledge. The PMBoK is in its sixth edition which was released in 2017. This latest version includes approaches to Agile environments as well as updates on emerging trends and practices whilst emphasizing strategy and business knowledge.
Anyone can start studying for their PMP certification, however, to sit for the actual exam there are a number of criteria that need to be met. Essentially, there are 2 sets of criteria, each one with 3 specific criteria that need to be met in order to be eligible for the exam.
The first set of criteria requires the person sitting for the exam to hold a four-year degree along with three years of project management experience during which 4,500 hours of leading and directing projects should be completed. The second set of criteria requires a high-school diploma or equivalent instead of the four-year degree however this needs to be supplemented with five-years of project management experience during which 7,500 hours of leading and directing projects need to have been undertaken. Whether you apply for the exam under the first or the second criteria, 35 hours of project management training need to have been completed, which training is done during your attendance of the PMP course.
How does PMP benefit me?
Anyone who has had the pleasure of working or acting as a project manager can understand the challenges this role brings. From managing the requirements of different stakeholders to the technicalities of the project’s solution, managing projects are no walk in the park. Communication is perhaps what ties everything together and unless everyone is talking the same language, it is going to be very difficult to get everyone around the same table. If each person had a language of their own, it would be very difficult to get anything done and what PMP does is it provides a framework in which everything, including communication, takes place. It offers a way to deal with the different components that need to happen in order for a project to move forward and, as it is internationally recognized, gives the project manager weight in the execution of their job.
The project structure of PMP
PMP divides the project lifecycle into five phases which make up what is called the Project Management Framework. This framework is designed to take a project from initiation to completion by following a natural course that ensures everything is done in order. In turn, this ensures that all of the requirements are collected and executed in time thus ensuring no wastages and mismanagement of important resources.
The framework is executed as follows;
- Project Initiation
- Project Planning
- Project Execution
- Project Monitoring and Control
- Project Closure
By following this course, project managers can ensure that the project flows smoothly forward without missing on key activities and objectives along the process. This keeps all of the knowledge areas, which we will discuss next, in order and in check; fulfilling the requirements of each one in the natural order of a project lifecycle.
PMP Knowledge Areas
We mentioned earlier that PMP concerns itself with more than just scope, cost, and schedule. In PMP there are ten knowledge areas which aim to direct project managers through a holistic management process of the entire project and its stakeholders. The ten Knowledge Areas are classified as follows;
- Integration Management
- Scope Management
- Schedule Management
- Cost Management
- Quality Management
- Resource Management
- Communications Management
- Risk Management
- Procurement Management
- Stakeholder Management
Manage projects long enough and you will realize that all 10 Knowledge Areas carry enough importance that ignoring or overlooking any one of them can bring an entire project to a standstill or worse. It is a mistake of the gravest nature to ignore any of these areas and this is why PMP is so successful in what it does. By managing to design such a comprehensive framework for project managers, it ensures that those who undergo its certification are well equipped to deal with any project and the challenges that arise.
The Project Management Framework and the Knowledge Areas work together so that each phase of the project addresses the obligations and conditions laid out in the project charter. Several supplemental materials are also available that relies on PMBoK guidelines to help you manage effectively and decisively in a way that geta everyone on-board with the project and its different requirements.
Project management can be an exciting career; you get the meet and interact with many different people, learn about new things, and put your management, organization, and leadership skills through their paces every single day. It requires diligence, foresight, and attention; rewarded by the pleasure of seeing things come together under your direction. Soft-skills such as the ability to delegate, communication, understanding, and resourcefulness complement what you learn in PMP and will go a long way in helping you become a resounding success.