Showing posts with label PMP certification. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PMP certification. Show all posts

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Which project management certification is best for you?

 By Sarah Morgan

Many top level management job openings are now requiring and actively seeking certified project managers. This comes as little surprise with many studies suggesting certified professionals exhibit improved management of workloads, budgets, time, risks and people. These skills translate to a higher project success rate. With a report from PWC, citing 80% of successful projects are run by a certified project manager.

These factors have fuelled huge demand for project management certifications, with a wide range available, meaning it can often be confusing deciding which one best meets your needs. Each offers a unique set of skills. In this post, we breakdown what each one offers and the situation it is most applicable to.

PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner Certification

Created by the UK’s Office of Government Commerce, it has become the national standard project management framework, with influences across Europe and Australia. It has also flourished into the most popular project management certification, with over 1 million PRINCE2 certified professionals worldwide.

The PRINCE2 methodology covers product-oriented planning, with emphasis on splitting a project into stages and increasing your control and flexibility. It also focuses on defined organisational structure, eliminating any uncertainty or miscommunication. This standardised approach is designed to be applicable to almost any project. 

PRINCE2 is split into two separate levels, the Foundation and Practitioner. Firebrand is the only training provider in the world to offer both levels of the PRINCE2 certification in just three days.

PRINCE2 Agile Certification

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at
PRINCE2 Agile combines the standardised and effective methodology of PRINCE2, with the responsiveness of Agile. Adding Agile skills to your project management arsenal will make each step of the process more efficient. This means you’ll be able to finish the project quicker, allowing you to meet a higher percentage of your deadlines.

This makes the PRINCE2 Agile certification particularly useful to you if your projects are often affected by time constraints. For example, if you work in a fast-paced environment that requires high turnover of smaller projects. Or, if you often manage large projects with crucial deadlines.

Lean Six Sigma Certifications

Lean Six Sigma skills focus on reducing the amount of errors and minimising waste and variability in your projects. This means improving the processes throughout, making it as efficient as possible. This is done by establishing defined infrastructure at each stage of the project and using quality management to monitor them. The processes are then given quantified financial targets to measure success.

Lean Six Sigma skills can help you
meet your targets.
Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at
Lean Six Sigma certifications are most useful to managers who work on projects measured by efficiency and financial success. The skills these certifications focus on are geared towards improving statistical success rates and overall efficiency.

There are a variety of levels within Lean Six Sigma. The Yellow Belt is the entry level Lean Six Sigma certification. It teaches you Lean fundamentals and the basic waste management tools needed to start implementing Lean Six Sigma thinking in your projects.

The Green Belt will teach you to apply Lean Six Sigma methodologies and behaviours in your role. If you have over 18 months project management experience, it’s possible to go straight onto the Green Belt.

The Black Belt is aimed at advanced project managers and will help you make lasting improvements to your project management processes. It will help you in areas like cost control, customer satisfaction and performance processing. You’ll learn to directly address the speed and quality of your projects.

PMP Certification

Another of the heavyweights in project management certification is PMI’s PMP. Developed and dominant in the US, this certification teaches you PMP’s  globally accepted project management standard. You’ll learn techniques to evaluate and improve your projects under the direction of the PMBoK (Project Management Body of Knowledge), which covers a huge range of project management aspects.

This is another certification that is applicable to a huge range of projects. However, you’re required to have at least five years project management experience to be able to attempt the PMP due to its high level. It is best suited to advanced project managers looking to polish their skills and elevate themselves to the top of their field.

CAPM Certification

An entry-level alternative from PMI, is the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM). This covers a range of project management topics similar to that of the PMP. This allows you start your project management career with awareness of the full range of skills needed to be a successful manager, for the long term. PMI’s CAPM is a fantastic option for inexperienced managers.

PSM Certification

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at’s Professional Scrum Master certification is all about teaching you to remove obstacles and difficulties for your team. It covers managing behavioural shifts, the unique dynamics within teams and coaching your team. The end goal of the Professional Scrum Master certification is to allow you to boost the productivity and efficiency of your team, improving the overall success rates of your projects.

Due to the personable and interactive nature of the Professional Scrum Master, it is best suited to managers responsible for large or fast-moving teams. It is also worth noting that learning for the Scrum Master course is often done through highly interactive exercises and environments, making the skills easily transferable to the workplace.

About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

PMP exam 2015 update - here are your new tasks

By Sarah Morgan

On 1 November 2015 your PMP exam will be changing to align with the current status of the project management profession.

If you’re taking your exam after November 1, you’ll need to prepare for 8 entirely new tasks found across domains 1-to-4. To save you from searching the PMP Examination Content Outline, here they are…

Domain 1 – Initiating the Project

  • Task 2
    • Identify key deliverables based on the business requirements, in order to manage customer expectations and direct the achievement of project goals.
  • Task 7
    • Conduct benefit analysis with stakeholders (including sponsor, customer, subject matter experts), in order to validate project alignment with organisational strategy and expected business value.
  • Task 8
    • Inform stakeholders of the approved project charter, in order to ensure common understanding of the key deliverables, milestones, and their roles and responsibilities.

Domain 2 – Planning the Project

  • Task 13
    • Develop the stakeholder management plan by analysing needs, interests, and potential impact, in order to effectively manage stakeholders' expectations and engage them in project decisions.

Domain 3 – Executing the Project

  • Task 6
    • Manage the flow of information by following the communications plan, in order to keep stakeholders engaged and informed.
  • Task 7
    • Maintain stakeholder relationships by following the stakeholder management plan, in order to receive continued support and manage expectations.

Domain 4 – Monitoring and Controlling the Project

  • Task 6
    • Capture, analyse, and manage lessons learned using lessons learned management techniques, in order to enable continuous improvement.
  • Task 7
    • Monitor procurement activities according to the procurement plan, in order to verify compliance with project objectives.

Domain 5 – Closing the Project

There are no new tasks in Domain 5.

Please note: this is not the finalised version of the PMP examination content outline. The proportion of questions from each domain that will appear on the exam has not as yet been determined.

The knowledge and skills associated with these domains and tasks will be forthcoming. PMI state that this information will be available no later than 15 June 2015.

For more information on the 2015 PMP update, and for frequently asked questions, take a look at this blog.

Related articles:

About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Your PMP exam is changing in 2015

By Sarah Morgan

The PMP certification proves you’ve got up-to-date project management skills and gets you on track for a massive £55,000 salary (ITJobsWatch).

Owing to these reasons, and many more, the PMP® is one of the most important certifications for project managers. And in order to stay relevant alongside the changing demands of project management professionals the PMP must continually evolve. On 1 November 2015 your PMP exam will be changing.

How is the PMP exam changing?

The five domains of practice for the PMP are staying the same. However, new tasks are being introduced and current tasks modified or removed. As of 1 November 2015, the current exam will be retired and only the new version of the PMP exam will be administered.

See the below table for a brief look at the new tasks added across the domains. Or for a more detailed overview of what the new tasks are, take a look at this blog.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why is the PMP exam changing?

A. PMI are updating the PMP certification to reflect the current status of the project management profession.

A recently completed Role Delineation Study (RDS) – a method used to identify and prioritise crucial tasks of a job or profession – has provided a new description for the role of PMP professionals.

Q. What major differences in the role of project management professionals were identified by the RDS study?

A. PMI’s most recent RDS has shown that the role of the PMP has remained largely consistent over the past few years. However PMI do acknowledge that some aspects of the role have changed over time. These include:

  • Inclusion of benefits analysis and realisation
  • Looking at risk management in terms of opportunity
  • Placing more emphasis on stakeholder management plans and communications
  • Additional focus on lessons learned

Q. This exam update is only affecting the tasks, but to what extent?

A. Some tasks have been slightly modified whereas others have been changed or deleted entirely. In addition to this, there are also 8 entirely new tasks. Take a look at this blog post for more details on the relevant tasks.

Q. Will I need to take a different preparation course now that the exam is being updated?

A. PMI Chapters and R.E.P.s have been informed of this change and should be updating their courses accordingly.

Firebrand will be ready to deliver the new PMP content on our accelerated four day course, when the current exam is retired in November 2015.

Q. I’m studying for the PMP, how will this affect me as a candidate?

A. If you take your PMP exam after the 1 November date, be aware that you will be taking the new exam. Get caught out and you risk revising out-of-date content.

However, the PMP application and testing process remains the same.

Q. I don’t want to test under the new version of the content – what can I do?

A. If you don’t want to be tested on the new version of the PMP exam, you must test on or before 1 November 2015. After this date all PMP exams (this includes retakes and language aids) will reflect the new exam content outline.

Q. Will the exam report change?

A. No – the PMP exam report will remain the same. For computer based tests (CBT), you will continue to receive an exam report immediately after testing.

More to come from PMI...

It is important to note that this is not the finalised version of the content outline (at the time of publication). Currently, the proportion of questions from each domain that will appear on the final exam has not yet been determined. This information will be available by 15 June 2015.

For more information, take a look at the official PMI PMP FAQ.

Related articles:

About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.