Sunday, 15 January 2017

Which Project Management Certification should you complete?

For years together we have read multiple articles on Project Management so let us try to revisit what has changed in the Information Technology Project Management and what is still constant.

When we talk of Project Management, though it is applicable to all sectors and industries, the term is typically used more in IT industry and Projects are also often referred to as IT or Software projects. Project Management fundamentals have never changed though the methodology has changed over years and the changes in this field are not very frequent.

Waterfall PM: PMI's PMP using Waterfall methodology is still a certification many Project managers are doing in IT industry and what has changed is some additional knowledge areas have got added with more parameters but the core remains same. Waterfall methodology still has it's own importance and for some long duration complex projects, Waterfall is still used, though everyone has understood that in such cases also, Agile methodology can be used.

Agile PM: Agile became more popular and after ignoring it for few years, everyone started talking about Agile and Scrum. Even PMI started separate certification on Agile project management as PMI's Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP). The current scene as observed by myself is most teams are still struggling to decide on whether to use Waterfall or Agile methodology for a new project. Some companies are firm on using Agile but most are moving away from Waterfall model at least on paper! Why I am saying on paper is because the teams agree to use Agile / Scrum for a new project but when they actually start the work, if they are used to Waterfall methodology for a long time, they keep mixing the two often and the project gets completed as a mix of both methodologies. Considering the importance of Agile, the number of managers doing the CSM certification is growing against PMP. The other important factor for doing CSM is that it's very easy and less expensive compared to PMP.

Hybrid PM: Some companies also derived their own methodology which is basically a combination of both waterfall and Agile where the Waterfall is used for overall Project and Agile is used for internal sub-projects or releases.

Practicing real Agile is what is important than the CSM certification. Similarly what all knowledge areas you learned and what all you practice while managing the Project is equally important for PMP certification holders. Someone will even go ahead and do PRINCE2 certification mainly for European clients but having a long list of certifications may not help a lot in actual project management. Putting all the theory learned into practice is most important.

Last but not the least, having leadership skills help the Project managers a lot to successfully complete a project with a lot of hurdles. Overall, the Agile Project Management seems more versatile and can be used in multiple Industries and for Projects from different countries, but the choice is yours!

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