Project Management is like Venturing into Deep Water
Is the PM Body of Knowledge enough to build and sustain a rewarding career in project management? Over the past years, we have seen the increase in the number of Certified Project Management Professionals (PMP). Some source report that there are over 750,000 people who are now PMPs. Managers are calling project managers to handle larger projects. Companies refer to organizations as the “accidental profession” because in the past no one has set out in their early career choices to become project managers
Let me explain how getting into project management sometimes happens. Project Sponsors are asking professionals from marketing, finance, sales, and engineering to lead or manage a project. They have had no or very little formal training in project management. After working on a few projects they begin to learn more and more about the profession of project management.
Project Management Training
Learning about this field is very similar to learning how to swim. Those that are new to project management are like those that are learning how to swim for the first time. The new project manager can accomplish and manage new and small projects; they have to stay in the “shallow end” of the environment where they are applying project management. They learn to do and perform more as they practice the profession of project management. The new project manager applies the practices they learn and become skilled at project management. Company executives are calling project managers to handle larger and more complex projects. It takes more skill to swim in the deep end of the pool than in the shallow end. Likewise one needs more skill to manage a large project. Therefore you need more training, coaching, and experience to handle the larger projects.
The PMBOK Guide
The PMBOK Guide ® becomes the foundation of the body of knowledge that is needed to transform the new project manager to a more seasoned project manager that can take on the challenge of leading and guiding a team of people on an extensive project assignment.
The project manager uses this guide to go into the large complex and complicated environments. This is very much like preparing and learning how to swim in the “deep end” of the pool.
Note that as a swimmer, once you have been qualified to swim in the “deep end,” this does not mean that you can now go diving in the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean. Similarly, the PMP Certification will give you the foundation to handle and manage the larger projects successfully, but you need more training and skills to maintain and sustain success on future projects.