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Topics: Career Development, Leadership, Talent Management
How would you explain the difference (in laymen's terms) the difference between a Project Manager ("PM") and a Project Management Professional ("PMP")?

Is one an occupation and the other a discipline?
Formal Training?
Ability to pay/study/pass specific criteria?
One is "an organized individual" and the other a "process expert"?
Do we need to make a distinguished?

Thanks friends!

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Nov 09, 2017 3:23 AM
Replying to Sante Vergini
PMP is a certified PM.
perfect one...

The PMP gives us a common denominator across holders. I can discuss risk management tools with a PMP, knowing she will understand.

I have been a project manager for more than two decades. And recently I became a PMP. The difference; I had been using some of tools & techniques which I learned during my PMP study with different names or through experience but definitely not all of them and not in all of my projects. After PMP managing stakeholders, communication, risk etc not only became important to me but well organized too.
As everyone else mentioned, being PMP doesn't guarantee success but having a PMP does mean that the individual is well versed with modern tools and best practices to handle projects in an organized way and add that to the experience (if he or she has) will improve chances of success.

As the name implies, PM can be anyone who is managing any kind of project in his respective domain (or descipline) knowledge area.

PMP is one who completely understands the project management knowledge areas and irresepective of domains (or desciplines).

Depending on the industry, the US Government comes to mind first, you cannot work as a PM unless you are certified as PMP!
So, in essence, the PM is the role, and the PMP is the certification that says the person has the knowledge of the processes and techniques needed for the role.
As said earlier, this is not necessarily a predictor of success, but it is at least a baseline for operational knowledge.

I think it is important to make a distinction since we have worked hard to earn the PMP certification. For me, the PMP, has demonstrated the combination of experience, leadership, and knowledge and is a subject matter expert. I love the organization and standardization of the PMBOK. The PM community has brought me so me answers, tools, examples, and real life experience. I've been managing projects for over 20 years but have never had as much support as I do now.
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