April 29, 2017

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Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

PMI Announcement for Certified Professionals – Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) Program Update

Project Management Professionals

PMI has announced changes in the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) Program from 1 Dec 2015. This is to answer the demands of the Profession based on the latest research findings in Pulse of the Profession and Project Management Talent Gap.

Employers need project practitioners with leadership and business intelligence skills to support strategic objectives that contribute to the bottom line.

The ideal skill set — the PMI Talent Triangle — is a combination of technical, leadership, and strategic and business management expertise. Aligning with this will ensure that you can develop your career in a more consistent, actionable and meaningful way.

Effective 1 December 2015 the CCR program will be aligned with the employer-identified skills depicted in the PMI Talent Triangle to ensure Project Management Professionals (PMP’s) are equipped to remain relevant in a continually changing business environment and to keep certification holders focused on the needs of the profession.

Please have a look at the Infographic below for a complete break-down of how Professional Development Units (PDU’s) will be maintained as per the update.

Also visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for an explanation of the reasons the CCR program is being updated, what the updates are, when the updates will go into effect, for which activities you can claim PDU’s and how you are impacted.

Update to CCR pogram

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Virtual Project Management Conference on-demand from IIL

This is a reminder that it’s the last week to watch the free presentations from the Virtual Project Management Conference hosted by International Institute for Learning (IIL) on International Project Management Day: Power of the Profession 2014 on 6 November.

The speakers cover topics like Leadership, PMO, Productivity, complex project management, Portfolio Management and many more.

It is highly recommended and existing PMP’s can use the opportunity to claim PDU’s.

Register and attend the on-demand sessions until 30 November 2014.

The on-demand period ends November 30. Pre-order the IPMDAY 2014 DVD for permanent access to standout presentations long after the event has closed.

Agile Project Management Certification

The purpose of this article is to look into what PMI-ACP means and to provide you with information outlining the exam requirements, the exam content, and what you need to do to maintain your PMI-ACP certificate once you pass the exam.

What does PMI-ACP stand for?

PMI-ACP-ExamPMI-ACP is the PMI® certification that “recognizes an individual’s expertise in using agile practices in their projects, while demonstrating their increased professional versatility through agile tools and techniques”. (Project Management Institute).

In other words, once you pass the PMI-ACP, you are then considered a PMI Agile Certified Practitioner.  Passing the PMI-ACP Exam indicates to employers and others both inside and outside the Agile Community that you have demonstrated  experience working on Agile projects, and knowledge of Agile practices, principles, tools, and techniques.

Secondly, how can you be sure if taking the PMI-ACP Exam is the right step for you? First you need to have the desire to become a PMI-ACP. Next you need to verify that you meet the PMI-ACP certification requirements in four areas:

  • educational background,
  • general project experience,
  • Agile project experience,
  • training in Agile practices.

Certification Requirements

For educational background you need to have a secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or global equivalent).

In the area of general project experience you need at least 2,000 hours (12 months) of general project experience within the past five years. In the area of Agile project experience you need to have at least 1,500 hours (8 months) of experience working on project teams that specifically used Agile methodologies within the past three years. Keep in mind that you cannot count the same hours or projects towards general project experience that you do for Agile project experience.

Finally, in the area of training in Agile practices you need to have at least 21 Contact Hours. A Contact Hour is considered one hour of formal education, in this case formal education in Agile practices.

Once you have all of your general project and Agile project hours documented, and you have obtained your 21 contact hours, you are then ready to start your application to sit for the PMI-ACP Exam. You can complete the application online at www.pmi.org, or download a PDF copy of the application, fill it out and then submit it by mail. If you select to apply online you will have 90 days to complete the application. If you have already earned your PMP® or PgMP® credential then PMI has already verified you have fulfilled the 2000 hours of general project experience requirements to take the PMI-ACP® Exam, and this requirement will be waived.

PMI-ACP Exam

Now that you know what PMI-ACP stands for and what the requirements are to take the exam, what should you expect when it comes to the exam? The PMI-ACP Exam consists of 120 multiple choice questions that need to be answered within three hours. There are two areas of questions on the PMI-ACP® Exam. Half of the exam questions cover Agile tools and techniques, and the other half cover Agile knowledge and skills. Additional information on what is specifically covered on the PMI-ACP Exam can be found in the most current copy of PMI-ACP® Examination Content Outline. An excellent resource for studying toward the PMI-ACP Exam is the Agile Prepcast.

Once you take and pass the PMI-ACP Exam, you will need to focus on maintaining your certification. This is accomplished by obtaining at least 30 professional development units (PDUs) during your certification cycle, which is three years and starts the day you pass the PMI-ACP Exam.

A PDU is earned for each hour spent conducting activities in one of two divisions; education or giving back to the profession. You can earn all 30 PDUs with educational activities, but are limited to 20 PDUs per cycle for the giving back to the profession category. All activities in either category must be within the specialized area of Agile project activities in order to be counted towards maintaining your PMI-ACP certification. If you are already a certified PMP® or PgMP® you can claim Agile project activity PDUs toward maintaining your PMP or PgMP credential. So you still only need to earn 60 PDUs in total in three years, not 90. And remember that all PDU hours you earn towards your PMI-ACP certification must be in the area of Agile project activities.

Obtaining your PMI-ACP certificate demonstrates to others your knowledge of Agile practices, tools, and techniques. Make sure you understand PMI’s most current requirements to qualify to sit for the exam prior to starting the exam application process.

5 Reasons To Become a Certified Project Manager

You may be an aspiring or existing project manager. If you are new to this profession you are perhaps considering certification to become a professional project manager. If you are an existing Project Management Professional (PMP), you may be in doubt about your on-going training requirements. This article should give you clarity about the purpose and motivation for becoming a certified project manager and the benefits for staying certified. In this context certification refers to the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.
Project Management Professional

To be Certified or not

Project management certifications matter. Especially given the current unpredictable market in which companies must operate and succeed.  Project management certification makes for better project managers and reduces risk of project failure in an organisation.

After the first best practice project management standard was founded, it became apparent that following best practice and hiring certified project managers are crucial to successful project management and, hence, business success.

5 Reasons to become a Certified Project Mangager

1.       Research is showing that today’s marketplace is demanding an increase in project management certification. Holding a certification and having the letters PMP, CAPM, PgMP, PMI-RMP or PMI-SP behind your name gives candidates access to greater job prospects and thereby places them in a higher salary bracket.

2.       Project management, however, still remains a business skill that is acquired through experience combined with an internationally recognised project management certification, such as Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute. (PMI). The PMI certification currently has the largest footprint and is represented in 238 countries.

3.       The Standish Group International, publisher of the CHAOS Report says that two-thirds of CIOs surveyed regard a PMI certification as valuable and the number of CIOs who require their project managers to be certified grew from 21% in 2005 to 31% by 2009.

4.       Certifications such as the PMP and Prince 2 help unify teams as each member speaks the same language and uses identical processes when executing projects.  This contributes to greater project performance.

5.       Project management certification is also important from a governance perspective as certified members sign a code of professional conduct.  This automatically provides the employer with confidence that the certified professional acts with integrity and executes tasks with soundness of judgment. This minimises risk within an organisation and enhances the chance of project success.

What comes after certification?

Project management certification is an on-going process and every three years certified professionals must recertify and maintain their professional status through on-going development and enhancing the project management profession by attending conferences, writing- and presenting papers, as well as transferring their skills. This on-going learning means that certified project managers stay informed about latest project, programme and portfolio management best practices earning professional development units (PDUs).

Project management professionals stay up-to-date, through the use of the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), which assists project managers globally to apply certain standards in project management in order to meet business goals and business intent.

PMBOK

The PMBOK Guide presents a set of standard terminology, guidelines and tools and techniques for project management. It is non-industry specific and provides project managers with a basis from which to work and can be tweaked to suit each project manager’s project. Now in its fourth edition, it was first published by the PMI in 1987 as a white paper to document and standardise generally accepted project management information and practices.

Conclusion

It is important to remember that although a certified professional has dedicated thousands of hours and numerous years to pass the exam, exceptional project managers are those who combine that knowledge with passion and strong leadership abilities. The real test for being an excellent project manager, is in the constant application and enhancement of this knowledge.

Resources to consider for aspiring and existing project managers:
Want to do the PMP exam and become certified, I recommend the PM Prepcast:

For an existing PMP who need PDU’s, I recommend the PDU Podcast, an affordable and convenient subscription to earn PDU’s in your own time:

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