PMI and IPMA certifications

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This is rather old news, but given that more and more people understand the importance of being certified by either the PMI or the IPMA, this should still be mentioned. In 2008 already, the Project Management Institute and the International Project Management Association signed an agreement that they will join forces in order to boost the project management profession. As a consequence, the PMI certification Project Management Professional and the IPMA certification Level C will be accepted by both parties as being equivalent. This is a huge step, given that both organisations were perceived as being two different religions that were not compatible to each other, despite the fact that some project managers have certifications from both.

Furthermore, the Project Management Institute and the International Project Management Association will work together building university programs and doing research. The agreement has been signed for three years so that we should see the outcome soon.

At the end of the day, there is no alternative than working together for the two big organisations. The project management profession is still very young, and too often project management is done by people who may have experience but lack a professional education. Compare this to the dentist profession: centuries ago, the barber was also the dentist. Obviously, there was not too much education available so that most barbers relied on experience which must not have been a bad thing in all cases. There was no alternative. Project Management in the early days was done by the “barbers”, and while more and more professional project managers are available, too many projects are still being managed by “barbers” because businesses have not seen the importance of professional project management by now; project management seems to be doable by everyone who has enough experience in another profession. The blame must not be put on these businesses: The PMI and the IPMA have failed to prove the value of professional project management by now, and they MUST work together in order to make sure project management is perceived as the art of improving the bottom line.

And while the barber comparison may sound odd: Centuries ago, a tooth was just pulled out by the barber, there was no way to save a tooth from being extracted. At the same time, teeth did not have the aesthetic value as they have today. Compared to today, often enough there is no alternative to loosing money due to unprofessional project management, and people believe that this may just be the way it is. It is not. It is time the attitude towards project management is changed. And this is the challenge the PMI and the IPMA must face together.

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7 thoughts on “PMI and IPMA certifications

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    I am system analyst and looking forward to pursue Project management training and certification. I know Microsoft’s Project 2007 certification for enterprise project management. I have gone through Microsoft.com/project for Project 2007 certification details. Can you tell what is PMI and IPMA certification? Is it different from Microsoft Project 2007 Certification? Please share your view on the same.

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    As a PMP with over 15 years of Project Management experience, I totally agree with your analysis.

    A friend of mine has said, “the strongest human drive is to edit the writing of someone else.” I was very pleased with your Barber and Dentist metaphor — I could not resist some editing in U.S. style English. Here it is, I hope you can use it.

    Also, some years ago my wife and I traveled through Hamburg — a lovely city.

    This is a comparison of the recent history of professional Project Management to the long history of professional Dentistry. Centuries ago, the barber was also the Dentist. Obviously, there was minimal education available, most barbers relied on word of mouth and simple experience, which in some cases may not have been all bad. Unfortunately for the patients, there was no alternative.

    In the early days Project Management was practiced by non-professional “barbers.” Nowadays while more and more professional Project Managers are available, too many projects are still being managed by “barbers.” How could this be? Many businesses have not seen the importance of professional Project Management. Why? Frequently Project Management is viewed as “doable” by everyone who has enough experience in another profession. The blame for this misperception must not be put solely on businesses. Much of the responsibility rests with the two leading professional Project Management organizations – PMI and the IPMA. Organization, which until very recently have failed to cooperate in demonstrating, measuring, and publicizing the value added by professional Project Management. We know from professional Dental services to the initial costs repay themselves many times over the life of the patient. Now, in order to assure professional Project Management is accurately perceived as the art of improving the bottom line, these two organizations MUST work together.

    While the barber metaphor may sound odd, centuries ago, a tooth was simply pulled by the barber. There was no way to save a tooth from being extracted. At the same time, teeth did not have the aesthetic value as they have today. Today, often there is no recognized alternative to loosing money due to unprofessional Project Management. Many people believe that this is “just the way it is.” This fatalistic and almost cultural belief is frequently supported by hard headed arguments, which are not supported by facts. Now is time for old attitude toward professional Project Management to be changed by facts. Creating this change is the challenge, which together PMI and the IPMA must face.

    Best Regards,
    – Lee Cash

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    I copied this from one of the definitions on this site. I think some grammar/spell checks are needed. How do you implement information? How do you have an “entity of activity Parameters”?
    The idea of the site is terrific but I’m questioning the content.

    “This information is them implemented for the purposes of calculating and demonstrating an estimate for the entity of activity parameters. One valuable aspect of parametric estimating is the higher levels of accuracy that can be built into it depending on how sophisticated the original data that was built into the estimate turns out to have been.”

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    This was a good post and I couldn’t agree more. It is like two political opponents from the same party…if they spend time knocking each other vs standing for the parties core beliefs, then the whole party is hurt. These two orgs need to combine their resources, efforts, and strategic initiatives to further the discipline of project management…in the end, all are winners.

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    Great post!

    I have recently written a post on this “No, a patent does not make your engineer a Project Manager!” think this is a bi problem facing our industry.

    Companies would never let general accountants or attorneys handle major mergers and acquisitions…they go to the Big 4. Project Management should be that way as well.

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    Thanks for the comment, John. Not all authors that have worked on this site have delivered the same quality, and your comment will help us to understand which articles need further work. Thank you!

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