Project Management

Is Maintaining Your PMP® Designation Important?

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 a recent article, I explored the relevance of earning the PMP® designation. I compared the conflicting perspectives that practical experience and working-level knowledge of tools has more value than having demonstrably proven an understanding of the theory associated with an internationally recognized delivery framework.

I went on to say that being approved through the application process and then passing the exam was clear proof of project management expertise. From the perspective of 25+ years of managing projects and leading teams of project managers, I concluded that obtaining the PMP designation provides a clear separation from those that have not achieved it.

The feedback was interesting to read. As expected, opinions were split. Some readers—also speaking from a position of experience—found that obtaining their designation did not open the doors of opportunity they had hoped. Others were delighted that the article reached the conclusion that it did. One provoking comment stated, “A more interesting discussion would be whether it’s worth it to keep it up, since the tools and processes have already been imparted.”

Some quick online research shows there are now more than one million PMPs, distributed among over 200 countries around the world. That number is proof of the explosive growth of the designation and, likely, the …

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Solutions are not the answer.

- Richard M. Nixon