What is the Value of a PMP?

Many people believe the PMP certification indicates someone is an expert in project management. However, that is not necessarily the case.

  1. Since the passing score on the exam is 60%, that is a D or F grade in nearly every school. For project managers, it indicates the best? How?
  2. Since the exam is multiple choice, with four choices per question, that means if the test taker knew no answers, they would get a score of 25%. This means, to get a passing grade, they really need to know only 35% of the answers.
  3. To qualify for the exam, you could have had experience as a project coordinator or project expeditor and never made a meaningful project management decision in your life.
  4. The examination is based upon PMBOK standards which are unsatisfactory. My reason is this, the most important issues in project management are not understood. PMBOK describes only a portion of how to develop a budget and only a portion of how to develop a schedule. If you rely on the information they provide your project will fail. Risk management doesn’t consider the time value of risk. Capacity planning is unknown to them (adjusting budgets for non worked and non productive time – which can be over sixty percent of time). There are many other deficiencies such as monitoring. You cannot successfully monitor with statistics because everything that makes up the budget must be monitored and PMI only describes hours worked on the WBS that most project managers don’t even use.

What is the answer?

It means PMI needs to rethink it’s game. For strategic planning to work, project management must actually determine a successful budget and schedule and be monitored effectively (no – definitely NOT with red, green and yellow stoplights) which are based upon absolutely nothing but gut feelings.

PMI needs to vastly enhance it’s body of knowledge so one truly can generate successful budgets and schedules and be able to monitor with meaningful metrics. They need to introduce strategic planning because it’s so integrated by necessity.

PMI needs to raise the passing score level to eighty or 90.

I believe the PMP has some value. It certainly shows people that meet a low standard and separates them from the zero standards which is the alternative.

It’s time for a new title. In my book, “Stop Strategic Planning Your Organization into the Abyss”, I describe the need to be a Strategic Project Expert. This way you don’t have to grandfather in people with the PMP and have any confusion about their quality.