The Secret to Certification: Intrinsic Motivation

Following 20 years at a large Canadian telecommunications firm, Bruce established the project management consulting firm Solutions Management Inc (SMI). Since 1999, he has provided contract project/program management services, been a source for project management support personnel and created/delivered courses to over 7,000 participants in Canada, the United States and England.

In my previous article titled The First Two Steps in Your Certification Journey, I wrote about the two primary issues that are needed to commit to obtaining a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® or Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification:

  1. Recognize the value, which compares the relatively small financial investment involved in completing the certification process versus the nearly guaranteed short- and long-term financial benefit that comes with certification. In short, the return on investment (ROI) is beyond when compared to traditional investments.
  2. Set a deadline. Few things drive completion more than a firm commitment to a schedule. Lay out a plan, like any good project manager does, and meet the milestones (including a celebration of obtaining certification!).

These two simple steps will very likely lead to certification success. They are commonly referred to as “if/then rewards”: If you commit to the business-minded thinking of knowing there is a reward (more money) at the end of the process, then you will commit to completing the process.

A laser-focused destination works well for many. Does one approach work for all? No! An issue that wasn’t addressed was the intrinsic issue of motivation. Even when the external drivers outlined above are recognized, there is still the issue of addressing oneself and …

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