Thursday, February 6, 2020

Job Search: Does PMP Correlate with Being A Good Project Manager (PM)? (My Super Limited Personal View)

While I search for jobs, I often see that many project management jobs require or prefer people with a PM (Project Management) certification. This some times causes me to think of all the project managers that I have worked with in the past.

In summary, I really do not feel like there is any correlation with a good project manager and being a PMP (Project Management Professional). My opinion could be flawed in what qualifies as a good project manager, but I think some of the qualities of the project manager far outweighs certain biases.

For starters, a good project manager should be able to handle a project well (not necessarily to completion/deployment). I specifically want to avoid saying successful because there are too many external factors on why a project could "fail" that is out of the PM's control. If anything, I feel that a good project manager really shines when a project is failing.

I have probably worked with over 50+ project managers with about half PMP (an extremely rough estimate). Most do the bare minimum; some do a decent job; and, very few do a good job. Bare minimum to me is just to keep their job. I often have to follow up with these PM; they often "lose" emails, notes, etc. on a consistent basis. Decent job to me is doing what is needed when things are not ideal. They will help out a little or upon request, but not more. Good job is when they don't need to be told multiple times to do their job.

By doing their job, I mean that they tell resources when their project is going to be delivered, the status of their projects, things I think a PM should know. So, I suppose I fail to see how a PM certification helps identify good project managers. What is it that they do that is so difficult? I practically do at least half the job of poor performers. I don't have a PMP. Those with PMP is about the same distribution across each quality of project managers.

To me, a company really only needs one person with a PMP and that should be whoever is managing the PMs. The other PMs just follows directions because almost all companies have their own variations so it is nearly impossible to really transfer one company process with another. Those who are more pro-active are able to figure it out, and those who are less or non-active are able to figure out how to fly under the radar. Yet, the company continues which seems to me that PMP really is rather useless, waste of money, and time.

Does PMP title mean a good project manager? To me, easily a no. Is it worth getting one anyways? Yes. Why? Because companies think PMP title means a good project manager which means they are willing to pay for it, therefore PM certificate is of value (unless I am the hiring manager, which I am not, so you are safe).

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