Shim has asked a question - a recurring question - about having a PMP. Since everyone is selling all the time - it's part of being human. There are those in the community that encourage a PMP. There are those who oppose the PMP on principles. There are those selling alternatives.
Here's my sales pitch for a PMP
- If you are willing to read a boring set of study guides, sit for a really boring test that may or may not be applicable to your domain, pay some money, and get a certificate that demonstrates you have “some” level of commitment to learning how to do your job from a broader set of practices — You’ve stated to everyone that you’re not a lone wolf, making things up, creating your own version of how to manage projects, redefining terms and processes and claiming they are applicable to “projects in general.”
- With that certificate, you’re now connected to a community of others like you. If you don’t like that community, or you disagree with how that community works, then don’t join. Standing on the side of the road being a Blustering Bully about how evil that organization is, or how that organization is somehow not doing it right, is pretty much consider “bitching” here in the US. Get over it and get back to work. Unless you of course are “selling the alternative,” and need to slam the competition as part of your sales strategy. Having an MBA, allows me to understand that is a bad sales tactic and makes you look naive and uninformed about the selling process.
- No one can connect certification with competency. I have personal experience with my mother-in-law and the misdiagnosis of a brain tumor from a renowned neurosurgeon here in Boulder County. Board certified, head of the department. He was fundamentally incompetent. We went back to Toronto and got a second opinion. She was born with that small mass in her head, get back to work. The symptoms had nothing to do with the mass. Certification does not mean competency in exactly the same way a PhD does not mean anything in the absence of tangible contributions to the professional referenced and acknowledged by peers. I know this from graduate work in Physics. Count the number citations of your thesis in the citation databases to see if anyone on the planet acknowledges your “thesis” (a hypothesis by the way) has been accepted or verified by others. This is the basis of the physics world and it likely the same in all research based PhD’s, including the soft-science domain of project management.
- Everyone is selling all the time. Test the message the seller is selling against the broader background of your own experience, the experience of trusted others, and the rationality of the message. “You can lose weight in 10 days, with my special diet,” “You can take 6 strokes off your golf game with my special utility wood,” “You can ride much faster on your bike if you only adopt my training program.” You don’t find many used women’s golf clubs in the “play it again” stores, because women know you can’t “buy a game,” so they rarely trade up. You can’t “buy” competency, but a certificate says you are at least trying to understand a few things about the “game.”
- In the end having more knowledge may not help, but it can't hurt. Being a member of a group with similar background let's you test the question every month - do I have sufficient experience to do my job?