What makes a GREAT project manager? The text book definition is anyone who can deliver the stakeholder’s requirements within scope, time, and cost, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. The reality to this situation is that a GREAT project manager must first get their foot in the door of a company to ever get a change to showcase their great skills. So then, you might ask, how can I get my foot in the door? First, it’s all about networking…who you know. Getting pulled into the organization by a sponsor is by far the best way to get that chance. But what happens if you don’t have a sponsor? Then we are forced to obtain the credentials needed to get your resume from a very tall stack of other resumes to a short stack, then to the top of their short list.
The way this is done, is first obtain a college degree, I recommend either business management or project management but other options can be just as good. Many people say that a degree doesn’t demonstrate that you can do your job better than anyone else, but it does show your commitment to not only start and finish something, but also that you are willing to learn various skills that are both within and outside your core discipline. Second, be the best manager at whatever position you have and continue to look for advancement opportunities inside or outside your organization, this means that you may have to bounce around from company to company to get to where you want to be but think of it this way, good project managers have VERY long resumes because they actually delivered their project to their stakeholders and not dragged out their tasks to suit their needs. Lastly, get your certification in your core discipline. Since this article is about project managers, there is one that clearly stands out…your Project Management Professional, or PMP®, sponsored by the Project Management Institute (PMI®).
The PMP is the most common and most regarded project management certification on the planet, with over 750,000 active PMPs in the world*. So why do people get this certification? Because according to PMI’s Earning Power Salary Survey conducted in 2015, those with a PMP certification obtained more pay than those without. How much? About 20% on average**. So what do you need to do to complete this certification? First, you need to qualify, and to see if you qualify, checkout the PMP handbook published by PMI (click here to review). Second, once you know you are qualified, make the time to apply to take the test. These is no need to start studying until this step is complete as this process can be a little tricky. Lastly, study. Well, that one is easier said than done because identifying what exactly should you study is not clearly spelled out because the test is based on the entire body of knowledge and not just that found in the A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, published by the Project Management Institute, Inc. That is where I come in. I have been teaching this stuff on a full time basis for over 7 years and I can steer you in the right direction, thus saving you money and time. Let’s not waste anymore time, contact me to get you or your project to next level.
Juan Martinez, PMP
* This is according to the PMI fact file published this year (click here to review).
** Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey Ninth Edition (click here to review)
PMP, PMI and R.E.P. are registered trademarks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.