Phillip Hubbell en beBee in English Project Manager 28/11/2016 · 2 min de lectura · +600

The Professional's Professional

The Professional's Professional

I was having a conversation the other day with the owner of a recruiting company. We were discussing PMP certification for Project Managers. I don’t have such a certification. It never really came up in all my years of being a Professional Project Manager. When I started, there wasn’t any college classes or companies that provided direction on how to be a proper project manager. I was forced to simply be one sans anyone’s approval except the people I worked with and for. It has been brought to my attention that current project management opportunities in many cases are reserved for those who have the official stamp of approval. I am working on mine.

During this conversation, it was suggested that I might want to look into getting certified in “risk management” to round out my soon to be official ability to manage projects. I was a little taken aback by the very idea that, associated with Project Management, there was also a separate thing for managing risk. I thought that managing risk was paramount to being a project manager. I worry that “they” will add a separate certification for project team selection, scope management and all the other segments for managing a project. I am curious…if a project manager also has a scope manager, a risk manager and a team selection manager, what then do these newly minted project managers do with all the extra free time they would have?

To me, the purpose of having a project manager is to manage the things you don’t want your subject matter experts spending their time doing. The project manager keeps the books, provides the schedule, informs the sponsors and the end users, monitors the risk, manages the scope, facilitates the discussions, keeps the process mapping on track, insures the requirements have been gathered and vetted, holds the SMEs feet to the fire, adheres to the rules, policies and aims of the company, ensures the quality of the output, testing and delivery and makes sure that once the project deliverables are delivered, that the affected business segment is stabilized before leaving. If the team is on the road, the project manager also keeps the people on track, the expenses down and works with the customer to provide a decent working environment. I throw in change management as well. Since the PM has his or her hands in all the moving parts, who better to educate the recipient of what the change looks like?

In my mind, the Project Manager is one of the last vestiges of the generalist. Cost alone should demand it. Efficiency requires it. What use is a team to manage a project? Are we going to have project management managers, with meetings, plans and scopes? Will they need risk managers? It’s as if building a bureaucracy is the new paradigm. When I first started as a PM, I worked alone on the road. It was my job to be the face of my company with the client. They would meet the salesperson and me. I would deliver setup, training, infrastructure, knowhow, risk and scope management, cost control, support and stabilization. I did that using all the skills that now have multiple specialization certifications.

Without those certifications, it is assumed by many companies that I cannot deliver a project. So, I’m going to get me one. One has to spend money to make money. I have to wonder how the keepers of the certifications became relevant. Who certified them? It seems like an opportunity to create a certifier’s certification company that offers a course, conducts a test and charges a fee. I’m pretty sure I could construct a certifier’s test. I could even write the official certifier’s textbook. Then they could have an official plaque as a BCC or Business Certification Certifier. There could be a NBCC and an IBCC for domestic and international. They could add the letters to their resumes.


Phillip J Hubbell, U.P.M. is an uncertified project manager and writer living in the American Midwest.


David B. Grinberg 29/11/2016 · #5

Nice buzz, Phil. I've shared in three hives, including "Project Managers." Keep buzzing!

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Jared 🐝 Wiese 28/11/2016 · #4

Phillip, great post! I'm know it well, being a BA without any certifications - but with many happy clients.

Sharing in Project Managers and Business Analysis.

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Kevin Pashuk 28/11/2016 · #3

I work in an industry where there are more certifications than one can shake a stick at, and for most of them, the stick has more value. The PMP designation is one that I do give some credibility to based on the level of demonstrated experience and rigor in achieving the certification.

For someone like you who has been doing the role for year, you are in that unfortunate hell of the HR systems... they look for the buzzwords, and unfortunately they can't filter out valid project management experience without some credentials.

Unlike 'engineers' (at least here in my province) and 'doctors', anyone can refer to themselves as a 'project manager', a 'consultant' or even a 'writer'.

The one benefit to the PMP designation is that they are usually administered through a local chapter of the Project Management Institute - which in my experience is an affinity group of professionals that not only put on monthly development sessions, but also track PM work in the region.

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Phil Friedman 28/11/2016 · #2

Phillip > "I have to wonder how the keepers of the certifications became relevant. Who certified them?"

Nobody did. Such organizations, like the classification societies in the marine industry, are private, for-profit companies or at most private non-profit corporations (not to be confused with charitable organizations). They started themselves up. Bartered with some companies some bootstrapping in terms of credibility, and proceded to market themselves. Sort of like a prototype for establishing oneself as an expert or guru or leader on social media. Cheers!

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Deb 🐝 Helfrich 28/11/2016 · #1

In all honesty, you might just be better off bringing that BCC program into existence. It happened in my software, I had 10 years experience before the certifiers got around to seeing a niche to exploit. All of a sudden recruiters would be on these quests for the holy grail, people having been certified for 10 years. Huh? For the most part, being a good communicator I could point out the fallacy and get the veteran recruiters to see that I was someone willing to have a difficult conversation...which is basically the single greatest indicator of a successful consultant or project manager.

If you can have difficult conversations all day long, with people who have no reason to do what you ask of them, and the project keeps moving along; you are a success - certificates be damned. Book knowledge never met a single deliverable.

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