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Project Management Success Ratios

Posted: Thu 09 Sep 2010 4:03 pm
by satisfactionuk
Here is an observation:

In industry only 37 percent of projects are deemed to be an overall success, 60 percent of projects suffer from the iceberg effect over the next two to three years whereby there is a drift to the old status-quo.

When it comes to project management exams one could consider that the open book examination format reduces the effective candidate knowledge requirement by up to 50% and that the overall pass rate of 60 percent means that the candidate could only have to achieve an actual minimum of 30 percent knowledge of the course material requirement.

These two paragraphs raise a very serious issue for Professional Project Managers. Is the current exam structure devaluing the status of the profession and in doing so undervaluing the remuneration that should be afforded to 'Professional Project Managers’?

From an industry perspective, what effect does this knowledge have on the confidence of companies when recruiting newly qualified Project Managers?

From a Project Managers career perspective, does dumbing down the profession status of the qualification significantly reduce the earning capacity of the Project Management professionals?

You may say, “well its ok for you, you have your qualification already’. The answer to this is “I don’t”, but when I do qualify, I want to be part of a highly respected profession that can legitimately command respect and a very high salary, and I don’t mind working extremely hard to achieve it.

Re: Project Management Success Ratios

Posted: Fri 10 Sep 2010 4:10 pm
by dhaughey
The particular exam you are talking about can be seen as the first rung on the ladder. You cannot pass the exam after 5 days of study and declare yourself a fully fledged project manager. It’s a good first step and will give you a framework in which to work. From there you must gain experience and with that look to the PMP - a far harder qualification to obtain.

A good project manager is not one that has obtained his or her qualifications. A good project manager is one that has a firm understanding of the industry in which they are working, alongside their project management skills. Project management is about managing people. Understanding the pressures and issues people face in their daily job is what will help you manage them better.

Must project managers be technically savvy? For me yes, but not everyone agrees if the comments about this article are anything to go by:

You don’t need to be able to design and develop a technical solution yourself, but you do need to understand and appreciate it to a level where you’re able to have a credible technical discussion.


Re: Project Management Success Ratios

Posted: Sat 11 Sep 2010 1:45 am
by satisfactionuk
Duncan, I totally agree with you. However, numerous people speaking on the subject are under the impression that passing the exam alone automatically makes them a Project Manager. Many firms believe that by sending one of their managers on to do the practitioner course and a few of their staff doing the basic course will produce a successful project and this is not the case.

There are 2 definite solutions to the problem, either have the relevant education and experience before doing the course or be prepared to gain the same after completing the course. If one chooses the second option then one must be prepared to take a training position or positions that equates to their relevant level of skill.

As a newbie to 'official' Project Management, but not to the world of business as a whole, where I have a few decades of experience in a wide variety of trades, industries and roles, I would still be looking for a position that is mentored by an experienced and qualified project or portfolio manager. However, I must admit that I am very selfishly learning project management for a very specific and specialised area of business that does not necessarily need a qualification, but will require an extremely high technical competency ratio in Prince 2 or other project management system. Hence my ambition for a pass rate in the upper 95 percentile. I also know this is not shown on the certificate and will take me much, much longer to achieve, but I only intend to take the examination once so the groundwork must be flawless.