Project Management Professional (PMP) is the first and most important internationally accredited certificate in project management. It is issued by Project Management Institute (PMI) in the United States. The institute is the only internationally accredited association in providing standards, guidance and certification for projects and project management. Projects and project management are crucial for the businesses and personal lives. Whatever around us represents projects. This website that you are reading now is part of Management with Merits (MANWIM) Channel, which is an electronic project. YouTube, the primary platform for our channel, is an electronic project. Launched in 2005, its idea of allowing people to share their personal videos emerged in 2004 (Fig 1 below). The electronic device that you are using now to read this post is a result of a manufacturing project. Besides, our lives are a collection of different projects, such as education, careers, marriage, traveling, purchases etc. Thus, projects and project management are key factors for the prosperity and welfare of our lives. For business and organizations in general, the matter gets more serious. The modern business environment is characterized with hostility and instability. Therefore, agility and fast reaction and adaptation are crucial for competition and survival. The matrix organizational structure, which relies on projects and working within teams, is an optimal solution that businesses adopt nowadays (Fig 2 below). Therefore, obtaining internationally accredited training and certification in projects and project management have become one of the first targets for business and managers. Only PMI issues such certification (Fig 3 below). It also offers a special category of certification called (Agile Certification) as per figure 4 below. The best and first qualification of PMI for projects and project management is the Project Management Professional (PMP) Certificate. Thus, this session from our channel, which comes within the (Vlogs) Service, is made to fulfill the request of some of our great friends who suggested this topic last session (Introduction to Fundamentals to Financial Management 2019 Book). These friends agreed on the importance and global demand for any content related to this certificate (Fig 4 below). Thus, the channel firstly would like to express its sincere thanks and appreciation to these friends. Second, because the topic of PMP is quite big, we decided to divide it into two sessions. The first is this session that discusses projects and project management in general, as well as PMI and its certification, including the PMP. The second session will be the next one (Vlogs Service), which will discuss further details about the certificate, such as its nature and the way of obtaining it. To access our related sessions, kindly go the video at our YouTube Channel and click on the required links in the description section below the video.
Projects and Project Management
Project Management Institute defined the term (project) as “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result”. Also, PMI defined (project management) as “the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements”. The below shape demonstrates the concept of projects.
This wide concept of projects prove that any effort that results in a unique outcome is a project. Therefore, projects have been running since the start of humankind. A simple visit to any historical place, structure or museum reveals the outcomes of magnificent projects that our ancestors have performed, as per the below picture.
Currently, billions of different projects are taking places worldwide. Perhaps one of the most important currently running projects is the project of creating new vaccines and drugs for Novel Corona Virus to save the world from this horrible nightmare. We discussed this topic as part of our discussion of the 3rd book (Organizational Theory, Design and Change 2013) in the 1st Year of the channel’s books’ program. The video of the session is embedded below.
PMI : The Issuing Body of Project Management Professional (PMP) Certificate
PMI is the only globally certified agency for project management standards and certification. Consequently, it is the issuing body of Project Management Professional (PMP) Certificate. The Institute was launched in the United States in 1969. It was a normal outcome of a growing perspective that started in the mid of the 20th century, which called for transferring projects and project management from amateur practices to professionally standardized concepts and techniques. That perspective was due to the industrial revolution of the 1st half of the 20th century, which required development and enhancement in the businesses and lives of people in general. The institute aim was to to establish global standardized concepts, practices, training and certification for projects and project management. It utilized the worldwide efforts of knowledgeable and experienced volunteers, such as leaders, managers, professors, researchers and so forth. The diligent and fruitful efforts of the institute resulted in producing the primary and basic project management standard in 1987, namely the document of “Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® )”. This standard served as the primary regulating content for the all the operations and services of the institute. The below figure explains this accomplishment.
A Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® ) Book
This book represents the most important standard and reference for PMI, as well as for project management globally. Thus, reading and understanding this book is compulsory for obtaining Project Management Professional (PMP) Certificate. The first edition of the book (1996) was a progression for the document of Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®), as per the above paragraph. Various additions and amendments were made to the document in order to issue and publish PMBOK® in the form of an official and well-established book. The result was the 1st edition of the “Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge”, which got official certification from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as the primary global standard for project management in 1999. Besides, PMI got recognized from ANSI as the only official global agency responsible for standardization, training and certification for project management. For more information, kindly check this article from the official website of PMI, and refer to the 1st below figure. Currently, the most recent edition of the book is the 6th edition (2017). The institute is working towards publishing the next 7th edition in 2021, as per the 2nd below figure.
Definitely, this book is not enough as an individual standard for project management in our modern era. Factors like globalization, complex business environment and advanced technology require huge development, variety and adaptability for projects and project management. Therefore, Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge Book was extended to include the main book and three other extension books (1st figure below). The 3rd and most recent extension book is the “Agile Practice Guide” in Sep 2017, which was produced by PMI in collaboration with Agile Alliance® (2nd figure below). This collaboration and addition to PMBOK® emphasizes the importance of agility and adaptability for businesses and projects due to the dominance of instability and hostility of current modern business environment. Another issues that demonstrates the importance of agility is allocating a special category of PMI certification for agility, as shown in the intro of this post. PMI explains agility as tailoring the way of working (WoW).
Standards and Guides of PMI
Despite the enhancement of the Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge Book, it can’t be sufficient as the only standard the covers project management and PMBOK® globally. That’s why PMI divides PMBOK® and project management in general to two sections: Standards and Guides (1st figure below). Standards are documents and texts that have gone through rigorous and extensive review and consensus from wide range of PMI’s participants and volunteers. They set internationally recognized and agreed-upon principles and practices for project management. On the other hand, Guides provide supporting information and instructions to apply standards. However, with more effort, consensus and agreement, PMI might transform any guide and make it a standard.
Standards are divided into two types: Foundational Standards and Practice Standards & Frameworks. Foundational Standards set globally recognized concepts and strategies, while Practice Standards and Frameworks further explain the tools or techniques within foundational standards. Guide for Project management Body of Knowledge Book and two of its extensions are foundational standards. The third addition or extension (Agile Practice Guide), which was explained before, is not a standard but a guide. The below figure shows all the standards of PMI.
Other than standards, the institute provides Practice Guides, which contain supporting information and instructions to apply standards. The institute also published the most recent edition (Sep, 2017) of “PMI Lexicon of Project Management Terms”, Version 3.2. It defines and explains about 200 frequently used terms for projects and project management. The below figure shows all PMI’s guides, including the Lexicon.
In spite of this taxonomy and variance of the PMI’s publications, the Guide of Project Management Body of Knowledge remains the primary standard and basis for project management and the operations of the institute in general. The below model, which is exclusive to Management with Merits (MANWIM) Channel, shows a representation of project management in general and PMBOK®, based on the recent edition of PMBOK® Guide Book (6th, 2017).
Caution: PMI’s Standards and Guides Don’t Guarantee Success
This is also true for Project Management Professional (PMP) Certificate. Obtaining it doesn’t guarantee success in projects or makes its holders error free. Besides, PMI doesn’t hold any obligation towards PMP holders or any managers or businesses that follow their standards and guides should their projects fail. PMI is not liable for any problems, losses or damages caused by following their standards or guides, as per the extract below from the recent edition of PMBOK® Guide Book (6th, 2017). Thus, Businesses and project managers shouldn’t blindly follow the standards and guidance of the institute. Instead, they have to pay attention to the unique nature of their projects, businesses and environments in order to tactfully adapt the standards and guidance of PMI to their own projects and businesses. This holds true not only for project management, but for management and leadership in general. In our discussion of management and leadership concepts, within the 1st book (1st Year) in the channel (Management 2015), we emphasized that there is no one universal rule or application for management and leadership that apply to all conditions.
Project Management Professional (PMP) Certificate
As explained in the introduction of this post, PMI offers variety of globally recognized certification of project management. However, Project Management Professional (PMP) is the most enhancing, inclusive and important certificate within this collection. These certificates in general, and PMP in specific, give their holders global recognition, knowledge and expertise in project management. That’s why obtaining such certification, especially PMP, is not easy. There are plenty of requirements and conditions for that. Next session (Vlogs Service), we will explain these issues and other matters related to Project Management Professional (PMP) Certificate.
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