Answers to the most frequently asked questions related to Project Management and the certifications related to the field.
Do you ever have any questions concerning the project management field or the certifications related to the profession and want down to earth answers in laymen’s terms? Below, you will find a list of the most commonly asked questions answered by Nathan J. Kerr, MS, PMP of the training company PMCertDC – PMP Training Experts.
What is Project Management?
Project management is the profession of directing and leading projects for all types of organizations.
What is a Project Manager?
A project manager is a person assigned to lead and direct a project for any type of organization. A project manager may be assigned as a full-time project manager, contracted as a project manager for a specific project, or may be detailed temporarily as a project manager.
Sometimes, an employee or contractor may be performing the role of a project manager and not realize it. For instance, a human resource manager may be tasked with implementing a new learning development system in a company which can be a major project. Read “Am I a Project Manager Already and Don’t Even Realize It?”
What Are the Most Recognized (or most popular) Certifications for Project Managers?
By far, the most recognized certifications for project managers (and most popular) are those certifications issued through the Project Management Institute or PMI. These include the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) for entry to mid career project managers, the Project Management Professional (PMP) for more senior level project managers, and the Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) for Project Managers working mostly in an Agile environment.
Read more about these certifications here!
What Are the Costs to Certification?
To answer this, I am going to state up front that the cost I mention are for sitting for the examination. Cost to attend the training is largely dependent on the training provider you choose. It is our estimation that CAPM/PMP training should cost between $899 – $1,499 (Read “How Much Should PMP or CAPM Training Cost”).
To sit for any examination offered by PMI, there are two prices. PMI members get a discount for certification testing.
CAPM Test Cost
For PMI members, the cost of CAPM testing is $225 USD and for non-members, the cost is $300.
PMP Test Cost
For PMI members, the cost of PMP testing is $405USD and for non-members, the cost is $505. Hint– a year long membership to PMI is $139 USD for most. Yet the savings is $150!
PMI-ACP Test Cost
For PMI members, the cost of PMI-ACP testing is $435 USD and for non-members, the cost is $495.
Will the G.I. Bill pay for My PMI certification?
While the G.I. Bill will not pay for the “boot camp”, the G.I. Bill will reimburse you for the cost of taking the examination (assuming you have entitlements left). For more information, please visit the Veterans Affairs informational site here.
What is Waterfall Project Management?
I tell my students, when they hear “Waterfall” they should think old-school or predictive project management. In a Waterfall project, all of the planning is planned in detail immediately after initiating a project. Once scope, schedule and cost baselines are established, the plan can only be changed through an integrated change control process.
What is Agile Project Management?
When one thinks of Agile, they may be thinking of all different types of methodologies. Agile in and of itself is not a methodology, rather a way of thinking based on the Manifesto for Agile Software Development written in 2001. All of these methodologies are in someway related to Lean but include such methodologies as Scrum, Kan Ban, ScrumBan, Design for X etc.
Agile or adaptive project management is different than Waterfall project management in that instead of planning everything up front at the beginning of a project, planning and execution is performed in phases through incremental “sprints”. This is great for projects with many unknowns such as developing novel software or a new pharmaceutical.
Although the new 6th edition of the PMBOK focuses more on Agile than ever before, a PMP or CAPM may wish to further their certifications by earning the PMI’s Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) certification.
What Type of Training is Best to Prepare for the PMP, CAPM, or PMI-ACP Examination?
Even if you have attended college level courses in project management, a PMP, CAPM, or PMI-ACP prep course (usually referred to as a “boot camp”) is best. When taking a course, the most optimal way of learning is in-class with other boot camp students. This is due to the ability to interact live with other students including reading body language etc.
The second most optimal way of taking a prep boot camp is live online.
Try to avoid taking pre-recorded courses. These types of courses are a money making ploy of national and international training companies as they pay an instructor once to record lessons and students rarely learn well in this manner. The material is just to technical and tough to learn without student-instructor interaction.
What Should I Look For When Choosing a PMP Certification Provider
In general, you should choose a local reputable provider. There are many advantages to this including customer service, price (lower overhead = lower price to student), and the ability to hold the school accountable. Read “8 Red Flags to Avoid When Choosing a PMP Provider”
Nathan J. Kerr, MS, PMP is the co-owner and founder of PMCertDC – Washington D.C.’s metro area premier project management boot camp provider. With our primary location in Tysons, VA, we hold classes throughout the Washington D.C. metro area and anywhere online.
We are a proud Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business with a huge impact on the project management world. Visit us at https://pmcertdc.com
Read why PMCertDC is awesome here!