Is the PMP certification enough?
Maybe…and maybe not!
…a better question would be:
What’s Your Competitive Advantage?
Jack Welch, former Chairman of General Electric, said “If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.”
The question is, “How can you, as professional Project Manager, achieve competitive advantage in the marketplace?”
The answer often rests, in part on your certification credentials – like the PMP – as well as other important factors. Let’s take a look.
We live in an era of “incestuous specialization”. Organizations seek – and professionals provide – very narrowly defined skill sets. We must develop broad and deep skills, but at the same time must define ourselves explicitly for the job at hand!
The project management field is a very large and broadly defined. The fact is that project management applies to just about everything, so it is a great skill to have. That is why the PMP credential is so widespread and in such high demand. But even with the PMP, we need to further define and differentiate ourselves by such factors as industry or company experience, experience in a particular market, specific functional experience, technical expertise, domain expertise, and more!
Here is a small sampling of what I have heard others say to describe and differentiate themselves:
1. I have worked as a contractor in all 3 branches of the military.
2. I have managed Human Resources projects in many industries.
3. I have experience in human resources, marketing, and finance in the pharmaceutical industry.
4. I have run successful marketing campaigns in several insurance markets, including life, property, auto, and liability insurance.
5. I have lead teams of 5 to 25 professionals developing many different types of custom business applications.
The interesting thing is any one of these might matter in the right situation and at a particular point in time, but in time may cease to matter at all!
Our ongoing job is find markets for our services where we have a competitive advantage, and to continually enhance our skills and credentials to build our competitive advantage. Building skills and earning certifications provides a solution that can enable us to gracefully and rapidly position ourselves for the next step in our journey to our ultimate goal. Regardless of our goals and ambitions, it is imperative that we take strategic action in this fast moving and constantly changing marketplace.
John Reiling, PMP is a Project Manager, and has also earned an MBA, is a licensed Professional Engineer, has been a certified Application Developer, has had credentials in the environmental industry, and is a Six Sigma Green Belt. John’s web sites, Project Management Training Online (www.pmtrainingonline.com) and Tech Training Online (www.techtrainingonline.com) provide PMP, CAPM, ITIL, Six Sigma, PRINCE2, Program Management, Business Analysis, and IT certification online training to help busy professionals maintain a professional competitive advantage.