View Full Version : Project Managers - Opinions On Formal PM Training?
01-12-2009, 10:13 AM
I have been working for a company for 12+ years and the last five as Director of Process Development. I relocated to California some time ago, but I was not suited to California and left. My company kept me on as a full-time consultant still performing the duties of Director of Process Development for the last two years.
Recently, I was informed that my contract would be allowed to expire, and I now have six months to find work elsewhere.
Since much of my job has been related to Project Management, it has occurred to me that any new company that may be interested in my skills may want to see some formal credentials for Project Management, and I have time to take some online courses for this.
I do not have any advanced education other than a couple of years at a college for music (a very long time ago).
A web search turned up various remote learning courses, but the Project Management Institute (here (http://www.pmi.org/Pages/default.aspx)) seems to be pretty comprehensive and dedicated to Project Management.
Are there any Project Managers out there, have you heard of PMI, do you have opinions, good or bad, about PMI, and do you have other suggestions or comments?
01-12-2009, 10:21 AM
When I was working as a PM, PMI was the gold standard.
01-12-2009, 10:32 AM
The PMP certification is the industry standard, and having it can only help you. In fact, you may find some companies using resume keyword software and discarding those resumes that don't have it.
01-12-2009, 10:58 AM
I was a PM for a long time and I agree that PMP is the best. If you're going to be responsible for multiple projects where you need to coordinate resources and schedules across different project teams you might want to take the risk and scheduling ones too when you're done with the first one.
01-12-2009, 02:24 PM
Thanks for the replies, folks. This is good information.
01-12-2009, 03:27 PM
RMI is considered to be one of the better training companies. They do a 32 hour (meetings requirements) web based training course for something around $1,000 that is pretty well regarded.
01-12-2009, 03:39 PM
Well, like any certification, I suppose it couldn't hurt. I'm not particularly impressed with some of the people who I have worked with who had PMP certifications.
One woman at my last job was hired to be a sort of Project Manager. Basically to help apply her project management PMP experience to the technical work we did. Problem was she didn't understand the technology and mostly just used her "training" to plug the PMI and her credential as a Professional Project Manager. Eventually she was let go because we really didn't have any use for her.
Actually the only thing I didn't like was that she was so arrogant and condescending about her credential. To the point where after having her assist me as I planned and organized a training program for our team, she had the gall to send me an email "...I hope you were able to learn something about project management." Right, dumbass. You certainly tought me lot that I never learned from my degree in civil engineering (which includes entire courses dedicated to project management), my MBA, and my ten years working in management and technology consulting where I managed multiple project teams over the years. But yes, I learned a lot watching you call up the vendors I specified and scheduling them to send representatives to teach on the dates I specified.
I don't know how typical she was, but I guess my point is that IMHO, there is a lot more to running a project than learning 200 multiple choice questions about "gannt charts", "critical path" and "estimated time to completion". For the OP who has indicated that he does not have a lot of formal credentials on his resume, I think given the time and cost of getting a PMP certification, there is no downside. But I would not rely on it as the be-all end-all of management training.
01-12-2009, 07:14 PM
Some of the best project managers that ever worked for me had no formal training but they just got it. They were by nature organized and pragmatic people who had enough of a programming background to understand what needed to get done but without enough attachment to the technical end to get in the way of the software designers and programmers. There were internal PM standards in every place that I worked and they were able to get the feel for it without getting lost in the mechanics of the project phases. Some of the worst that ever worked for me had lots of formal training and no common sense. I don't think that the training is required to be good, but it may be necessary to convince some HR department that you are.
01-12-2009, 08:06 PM
I don't think that the training is required to be good, but it may be necessary to convince some HR department that you are.
And that's that what I'm facing.
I also do understand the comments from msmith537 and ultrafilter - thanks.
I already know that I can perform well and have done so for many years, but I need to convince the "gatekeepers" - the HR departments. I must get my foot in the door and I need the "admission ticket."
01-13-2009, 02:10 AM
I concur with the comments about the PMP certification. It's a handy door opener and a good orientation for newbies, but nothing in there will make you a good PM. In my experience you either have the personality for it or you don't.
Another resource you might look at is the Project Definition Readiness Index from the Construction Industry Institute (https://www.construction-institute.org/source/Orders/index.cfm?section=orders&task=3&CATEGORY=KA01&PRODUCT_TYPE=SALES&SKU=TAL39_35&DESCRIPTION=&FindSpec=1.01&&continue=1&SEARCH_TYPE=FIND&FindIn=4). Basically this is a giant checklist of stuff to consider when starting a project. You dig through it, and it spits out a number that tells you if the project should even begin, and what the show stoppers are. It's based on post mortem interviews with thousands of experienced project managers from different industries around the country. A lot of it measures how well management is willing to support the project. I learned stuff from it even after a decade in the biz, and my employer adopted it as the basis for their pre project planning process. I don't know how many doors it will open for you, but that binder earned itself a spot on the bookshelf near my desk. And the online training is only $200.
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