Voices on Project Management

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Voices on Project Management offers insights, tips, advice and personal stories from project managers in different regions and industries. The goal is to get you thinking, and spark a discussion. So, if you read something that you agree with - or even disagree with - leave a comment.

About this Blog


Recent Posts

Fair's Fair

Give Your Project a Home

A Hollywood-Style Move From PM to Scrum Master

To Have and To Hold

Leading With Integrity

What's the Story Behind Your PMP Certification?

Long-time Voices on Project Management blogger Conrado Morlan, PMP, PgMP shares how attaining a PMP certification helped his career.

Project management practitioners like me, with more than 20 years of experience, learned about PMI and the PMP® certification in ways much different from today. 

My first exposure to PMI, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) and PMP certification was in the late 1990s. It was during a training program to attain PMP certification -- and in Spanish, no less -- at the company I worked for in Puebla, Mexico. 

My colleagues and I questioned the benefits of this certification, which at the time was not well known in Mexico. In addition, the written exam was in English. That did not make the PMP more attractive. 

I left the company before taking the exam. Yet in my new job, I discovered that the knowledge I acquired in the training program was very helpful. Without prompting, I used some of the best practices in the PMBOK® Guide, especially those related to risk and project integration.

As I progressed professionally, I moved to the United States and learned more about PMI chapters and global congresses. I became a member and a regular at chapter meetings. 

By this point -- even with eight years of practical experience in project management and applying best practices in my work -- I realized I needed to take it to the next level: earning PMP certification. Sure, professional experience and on-the-job-training are important -- but I was only recognized for that at my company. Attaining the PMP meant that the world's largest association for the profession would validate my professional experience. 

In the lead-up to my exam, I was traveling intensively for my job, and the PMBOK® Guide became my travel companion. While abroad, I visited local PMI chapters and learned about running projects in different settings. The interaction with members of PMI chapters in other countries helped me tweak my project plan. The combination of studying and exchanging ideas with practitioners internationally were fundamental for my PMP exam preparation.

In December 2005, I attained my PMP -- and I have never regretted it. Achieving the certification brought me immediate benefits. After I notified my manager, he awarded me an incentive bonus. A week later, I was selected to lead one of the most challenging projects of the portfolio. 

Over the years, I also became more involved in my community, volunteering at events such as PMI item-writing sessions. In 2011, I was honored with the 2011 PMI Distinguished Contribution Award. I'm not saying that getting my PMP awarded me recognition and experience overnight, but I needed it to get to the next stage in my career.

I still find project professionals who think the same as my colleagues and I did in the late 1990s. The most frequent questions I hear are: Why should I earn a certification or a credential, if I am a senior project manager with many years of experience? How does a certification or credential make me different? 

To these, I respond with a question (Why not step out of your comfort zone?) and a thought (What made you successful in the past will not make you successful today).

The truth is that, just like doctors, project professionals need to update their knowledge to face the challenges in today's project world. PMP certification and PMI membership give you access to share and acquire project management knowledge, stay up to speed on new trends, and join a group of global volunteers contributing toward the advancement of the profession. Most importantly, certification helps you reach the next step in your professional life. At least that is what it has done for me.

How did getting a PMP help your career? Are you still considering getting one, and why?

Posted by Conrado Morlan on: January 15, 2013 10:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

Help Celebrate Project Management Achievements

Categories: PMI

There are some stunning stories of success out there  -- too many of which go unheralded. Here's your chance to change that with the 2012 PMI Professional Awards.

You've got plenty of options -- from project and individual awards to research and literature awards.

Consider that peer you've seen contributing to the advancement of the project management profession or PMI. Now's the time to acknowledge all that hard work by nominating him or her for the PMI Distinguished Contribution Award. Nominee(s) don't have to be a PMI member and may work in any field.

Doing well should give project professionals more than just that "warm and fuzzy" feeling. Shine the spotlight on projects that improve the wellbeing of a community, or achievements that apply project management principles to the pro bono delivery of goods and services. The PMI Community Advancement Through Project Management Award is offered in Individual, Organizational and PMI Chapter categories.

Nominations for both awards must be submitted by 1 April 2012.

All awards are presented among your peers at the PMI Awards Ceremony, which is held in conjunction with PMI® Global Congress 2012 -- North America (20-23 October in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada).

No one knows excellence in project management like you and your peers. So nominate a deserving colleague today.

Learn more, download applications, and watch videos of past award winners and nominees. 

Read more about PMI awards.

Posted by cyndee miller on: March 09, 2012 12:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

In Search of Project Management Stars

Categories: PMI

Every project professional knows the massive effort that goes into a project delivered on time, on budget and in sync with organizational strategy. Now's the time to put the spotlight on all that hard work.

Established in 1989, the PMI Project of the Year Award recognizes the accomplishments of a project and project team for performance and exemplary execution of project management using processes and approaches consistent with A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) -- Fourth Edition.

PMI encourages nominations for projects from around the world, regardless of size, industry or location. Anyone can nominate a project or be nominated for a project; PMI affiliation is not required. The winner will be announced in October at PMI® Global Congress 2012 -- North America in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

But you have to act quickly. Nominations for the 2012 PMI Project of the Year Award must be received by Thursday, 1 March 2012.

Winning such a coveted professional award reaps many benefits for both organizations and individuals. These may include a boost in sales, attracting and retaining top talent, and gaining media exposure. It's also an excellent way to celebrate a project team's successes while affirming an organization's commitment to sound project management. For individuals, a professional award can enhance your résumé or CV and your career prospects.

Last year's project entries represented a diverse array. The Prairie Waters Project, aimed at preventing water shortages in Colorado, USA, took top honors. The finalists included the EMAL Smelter Complex in Al Taweelah, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and the Oak Grove Steam Electric Station in Franklin, Texas, USA.

Learn more about the 2012 Project of the Year, download nomination guidelines and watch videos of 2011 award winners and nominees.

Have you submitted your nomination yet?

Posted by cyndee miller on: February 03, 2012 11:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Contribute Your Knowledge to Help Update PMI Global Standards

Categories: PMI

Looking to contribute to the development of a standard? Here's your opportunity.

Through mid-March, project, program and portfolio professionals along with the interested public can share their expertise and experience to improve and comment on PMI's portfolio and program standards, as well as A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide).

The Standard for Portfolio Management -- Third Edition Draft Standard will be available for public review until 14 January 2012.

The Standard for Program Management -- Third Edition will be available from 6 February - 6 March 2012 and the PMBOK® Guide -- Fifth Edition will be available from 17 February - 20 March 2012.

Here's your link to log in to PMI.org and access the exposure draft that's available. Review and submit your comments.

You can also visit and bookmark the "PMBOK® Guide and Standards" section of www.PMI.org to reach exposure drafts and learn about current PMI standards projects.

Your voice matters. Provide your comments -- and make a difference in PMI standards.

Posted by cyndee miller on: December 19, 2011 11:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Know a Project Management Superstar?

Categories: PMI

There's a lot of talk about the importance of acknowledgment. But many project managers in the trenches go unnoticed.

Here's your chance to change that by nominating a peer for the PMI Linn Stuckenbruck Person of the Year Award.

Named after Linn C. Stuckenbruck, PhD, this award recognizes a PMI member for outstanding contributions to the development and advancement of the profession, and his or her contribution to PMI during the previous calendar year.

Each nominee's contribution must:

1. Help recognize PMI as the world's leader in project management through activities completed in the previous calendar year (2010 for the 2011 award)

2. Expand and advance the knowledge, use and application of project management

3. Demonstrate broad, far-reaching implications for the profession

Nominees may work in any field, including but not limited to business and academia.

For the complete list of eligibility requirements and biographical information on Dr. Stuckenbruck, please download the nomination guidelines.

Nominations for the 2011 PMI Linn Stuckenbruck Person of the Year must be received at the PMI Global Operations Center by Friday, 1 April 2011.

Talk to your project team and PMI chapter colleagues about nominating a PMI member: four to six members must join together to nominate a candidate for this award.  

No one knows excellence in project management like you and your peers. Nominate a deserving colleague today.
Posted by cyndee miller on: March 02, 2011 11:07 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Bad artists copy. Good artists steal."

- Pablo Picasso