3 Popular Project Management Qualifications - A View

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dhaughey
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Having passed them all, this is my perspective on three popular project management qualifications:

1. Project Management Professional (PMP)
This is the most difficult of the three to obtain. Not only does it require a significant amount of project management experience, but it needs a good deal of study time. You should expect to spend anything up to three years to obtain this qualification. Unlike many lesser project management qualifications, it provides a very detailed approach to managing all aspects of a project.

In my experience it is undervalued by employers, and therefore may not provide much benefit over achieving a lesser qualification.

2. PRINCE2 Practitioner
This is a very popular qualification and sought after by employers in the UK. Not as detailed as the PMP, it provides a solid framework for managing projects. A popular myth is that PRINCE2 is only for IT projects, but in reality it works for any type of project. Product based planning is the fundamental core of the PRINCE2 approach, a method to identify the products that contribute to delivering the project.

In my experience it is often part of the qualifications needed for project management jobs, but perhaps because of a perceived value rather than a need.

3. Certified Scrum Master (CSM)
This is the easiest of the three to obtain. It can be achieved in a week and requires the attendance of a two day course and a 35 question multiple choice exam, needing 24 correct answers to pass. Scrum is an Agile framework used to develop products and organise work. It is based on short cycles of less than 30 days to create fast feedback and build in quality. Scrum is gaining traction in many industry sectors and is particularly suited to complex projects.

For study time spent against value gained this must be the best. A number of household names use Scrum, and there are still a relatively small number of practitioners (171,314 worldwide May 2012). It could be a nice differentiator on your CV.

I’m interested in hearing about other PM qualifications; please share your experiences here.

Thanks,
Duncan
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kwalford
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The above is a really good overview of the big question, what project management certs are there & what value do they add?

I am keen to know how Prince2 and Certified Scrum Master (CSM); please advise ? Do their methodolgies contradict themselves? How could they work in tandem? There is no point having both certs to then find that there are major differences in the two.

I am struggling to find a Certified Scrum Master article that defines the bases of the CSM methodology. With Prince2 clearly product based planning is the fundamental.
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dhaughey
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The Certified Scrum Master (CSM) is about the Scrum agile method of product development. PRINCE2 and Scrum are very different beasts and certainly don’t mix. PRINCE2 defines a framework in very much waterfall style, while Scrum is about working iteratively with your customer to reach the best possible outcome.

PRINCE2 talks about defining requirements and scope upfront before you start building, while Scrum works through short cycles of development (Sprints) refining the requirements as you go.

Both methods have their place and value. Having a good knowledge of traditional waterfall style project management (PRINCE2) and agile project management (Scrum) can be very useful and provide many opportunities for contract project managers.

Personally I’m working in a waterfall environment, but can see the value of agile for some projects where the requirements are vague, the “we’ll know it when we see it” customer response.

Here's a very good overview of Scrum. This is what you will learn if you do the Certified Scrum Master course: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XU0llRltyFM

Duncan
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kwalford
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Thanks Darren.

Does anyone have any feedback on the APMP for Prince2 Practitioners? I know it is a special slimmed down version of the PMBOK, but what is the exam like etc?
markprojectplanning
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These are really a great and a popular management qualifications! Hope I can attain this three to be put on my CV someday! ^_^

Thank you so much for sharing and hope for your next post there should be more than three PM qualifications! LOL :D
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