Volume 1
Issue 2

   

Asia Pacific

Europe, Middle East
and Africa

Latin America

North America

Extra Credit
Earning the required Professional Development Units to maintain your Project Management Professional credential can be a natural educational fit instead of a chore.

Upward Trend
What’s behind the trend toward Project Management Professional certification, and why do companies like Procter & Gamble and Atrion put so much stock in its holders?

Faster Forward
Four global professionals give insight into how the PMP credential has furthered their careers.


Asia Pacific

Keeping Current

PMP Profile: Lee Nan Phin, PMP, Senior Advisor and Partner

Company: Asia ICT Project Management, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Quick Take: Thanks to his PMP, Mr. Lee has a working understanding of best practices to collaborate with his peers.

PMI's Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification is a benchmark of the profession, according to Lee Nan Phin, PMP. "My personal view is that PMP is the best way to validate your knowledge of project management," he says. In his view, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) provides the most effective common vocabulary and road map for project managers, and the credential is a testament to professional knowledge.

The skills and information Mr. Lee acquired while preparing for the PMP exam have helped him organize various projects. As council member of the Malaysian National Computer Confederation (MNCC) and the chairperson of the MNCC Open Source Special Interest Group, Mr. Lee started an open source training program that required cross-border collaboration. "This required different skills to manage community types of projects."

Over the next few years, Mr. Lee sees his role as educator. He has used his knowledge to start a PMP preparation program and pass along the advantages of certification. "Knowing the commitment and the difficulties one needs to put in his or her PMP exam, I have designed a short training program based on my personal experiences," he says. "I hope this program can assist other project managers who are interested in taking the PMP exam."

He also plans on using his credential to educate senior managers and business leaders on the merits of good project management practices and how it can help organizations implement their business strategies. "I have been on my own for a few years," he says. "PMP gives me the necessary credential to promote project management as a discipline to the rest."

Because PMPs must demonstrate an ongoing commitment to knowledge and skill development, Mr. Lee sees his credential as a competitive advantage—especially in the rapidly changing IT profession. He says this required experience, such as attending educational programs offered by certified providers and speaking at seminars or developing content for a seminar, and has provided him with the skills to manage stakeholder and project issues. "PMP is an identity for those who are a part of the project management global network and it helps to increase mobility, competitiveness and employability."

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PMP Profile: Petra Goltz, PMP, Senior Project Manager

Company: City of London Telecommunications (COLT), London, U.K.

Quick Take: The PMP credential boosted her profile, helping her to win a job.

Europe, Middle East and Africa

Ahead of the Pack

Two years ago, Petra Goltz, PMP, found herself one of two candidates short-listed for a contractual assignment with MasterCard's European regional headquarters in Waterloo, Belgium. The candidates—vying for a position as a technical project manager—were equally qualified, but Ms. Goltz was awarded the job.

Her line manager later told her having a Project Management Professional (PMP®) credential weighed heavily in her favor. "The PMP credential gave me added credibility as a project manager because it tells potential employers that you have profound knowledge of project management and a structured methodology, which can be readily applied in the workplace," she says. In the position, she managed a number of technology convergence projects that ran concurrently and her team included local employees as well as employees from the St. Louis, Mo., USA MasterCard offices.

Ms. Goltz received her credential in 2002 after two months of intense studying. "It was important to me to tie my project management experience into a qualification," she says. However, receiving PMP certification has not been the end of her educational journey. According to Ms. Goltz, it is important that PMPs continue to take advantage of opportunities that will help to advance their career. "You should consider volunteering for a position at your local PMI Chapter or a [Specific Interest Group] to help out with their efforts to reach out to project management professionals," she says. "Active involvement will enable you to participate in decision-making, and thus help shape the future of project management and the way the PMP credential is perceived. Sharing of experiences and ideas with fellow project managers and PMPs will teach you a lot along the way, and you will be able to grow your network—and gain PDUs to boot."

Today, Ms. Goltz says the PMP credential continues to gain momentum among European employers. "As PMP is the project management certification of choice for many multinational [companies], being certified helps you with obtaining or retaining job positions, especially in times when the market is volatile."

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PMP Profile: Ricardo Viana Vargas, PMP, Co-chair

Company: A&C Group, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Quick Take: Mr. Vargas uses his PMP credential to highlight his expertise with existing clients and open doors with future customers.

Latin America

Stand Out Success

In his job in the technology sector, Ricardo Viana Vargas, PMP, is responsible for more than 20 active projects across Brazil . He works with a team of more than 800 professionals who manage a portfolio of investments worth in excess of $5 billion (US).

Mr. Vargas received his Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification seven years ago to stand out among his colleagues and create market differentiation for himself and his company. "With the PMP, I can show that my work is more qualified than others," Mr. Vargas says. "The PMP is recognized worldwide. It is one of the most desired certifications and with it you have more opportunities in the project management field."

Mr. Vargas has used his PMP credential to open doors with new and existing clients. "They are much more willing to talk with someone who is qualified and prepared," he says. "For the certification preparation, I studied and was well-prepared. The clients felt this progress and became much more interested in my job proposals."

In fact, he says, many companies, such as A&C client Petrobras—the largest oil company in Brazil—are mandating that team members working on any of its contracts posses PMP certification. "The PMP credential shows that the certified professional has passed very serious processes that ensure they have the basic knowledge to apply project management for business results," Mr. Vargas says.

Mr. Vargas says after receiving PMP certification, it is important to spread the word in the business community. "I suggest that [PMPs] market the certification's value," he says. "We need to make sure that all clients know the PMP credential," he says. On a personal level, Mr. Vargas says his next step in career advancement is to invest in area-specific learning, such as earned value.

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PMP Profile: Jim Webster, PMP, President

Company: EXP Consulting Ltd., Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Quick Take: Preparing for the PMP credential gave Mr. Webster the credibility and advanced skills to train others.

North America

License to Train

As principal of EXP Consulting Ltd., Jim Webster, PMP, led major projects in Canada, Jamaica, China and Africa on behalf of the Canadian International Development Agency, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. After more than 10 years the company decided to go in a different direction—training and education.

To authenticate the company's project management services, Mr. Webster felt it was necessary for him to receive Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification. In 1996, after an eight-hour exam, Mr. Webster became the first person in Saskatchewan to receive his credential.

Mr. Webster's certification, followed by that of his partner, Brenda Comfort, helped the company gain recognition by PMI as a Charter Global Registered Education Provider. This accomplishment was reached by no other company in his province and by only 48 companies in the world.

Because of the credibility the credential offered him, Mr. Webster is eager to share the competitive advantage of the PMP certification with the project managers he now trains. "We are constantly telling our trainees and their executive officers that, whenever possible, earning a PMP certification is an essential achievement in preparation for a career in project management," he says.

However, Mr. Webster says it is what is done above and beyond PMP certification that places project managers in a strong career position. "A [PMP] wishing to be out front as a professional leader requires a strong knowledge base." Mr. Webster uses his PMP certification to get in contact with other project managers who have similar professional objectives and to grow his business. "This association is possibly the greatest ongoing factor in career development. A great number of important project developments spring from the networking which takes place at PMI Chapter meetings, professional development events and private meetings with other PMPs."

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