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May 23, 2008
The Value of the PMP® Credential

Certification Magazine reported that 3 letters -- PMP -- can spell an extra $10,000 in salary for job seekers, and bigger promotions and more job security for jobholders.


PMPs are Certified Project Managers, and the designation is earned after logging a set number of hours managing projects and passing a rigorous test, among other requirements. Recruiters, hiring officers and federal and state government procurement officers often look for the PMP credential when viewing online resumes, so those three letters can make the difference between being in the running and being moved to the junk mail folder.

According to the Project Management Institute, the median salary in the U.S. for PMPs was $100,000 in 2007, while those lacking those extra three letters earned only $89,000. Add 10 years of experience, and PMPs might earn as much as $117,000. The good news for any one looking to beef up their credentials is that the credential is still growing and in its early stages. In the U.S., there were 135,309 credential holders by the end of 2007.

So, why is there a newfound focus on the PMP right now? Because when everyone in an organization is working from the same playbook, you’re more effective – saving money and time.

The rewards are also greater than money and efficiency. Many of our alumni report back to us that their certification increased their confidence and garnered greater respect from management and colleagues.

Getting the Benefits of Project Management to Work for You

Think about the exponential affect of the PMP certification. If you have a handful of people who are following the same project management standards, you might see some improvement. However, if you have PMPs throughout your organization that are all following the same procedures, then you have a finely tuned machine.

All companies are made up of processes and projects – whether they are global enterprises or nimble boutiques with ten employees. Processes are how you get work done on the day-to-day repetitive basis – those activities that you do to keep the organization operational. Projects are short-term efforts you do to meet your strategic objectives, implement changes and get things done.

Project management allows you to:

  • Create a systematic approach to managing projects
  • Create a way to generate consistent results when you undertake new initiatives.
  • Create a powerful business tool that allows you to measure success.

If Project Management is the way you win the war on efficiency, the PMPs are your soldiers in the fight to make your organization as effective as it can be.

Five Ways that PMPs Can Transform Organizations

  1. Develop Exponential Effectiveness: In most organizations, people work on cross-functional teams to complete projects. When PMPs from different departments know and understand a common Project Management process to get their work done, they can start to work together without having to design how they are going to do it.
  2. Empower Individuals and Team Leaders: A credential is often a confidence booster because the training behind it can offer a common, simple approach for Project Management. Simplification is a powerful bureaucracy buster.
  3. Creates Institutional Memory: PMPs learn industry standard Project Management practices that require a critical project closeout phase that collects lessons learned and gives your organization powerful historical knowledge from across the enterprise.
  4. Realizes Return on Innovation: When PMPs are armed with an easy-to-use Project Management methodology, they can be the ambassadors that give the organization a framework that makes it achievable for people to move from vision to action with a comprehensive project plan that supports their objectives.
  5. Turns Information into Insight: A good PMP knows how to capture best practices and can pinpoint what is and isn’t working in your organization, giving you a competitive advantage by turning information into insight.

An Opportunity to Innovate

The PMP gives people the skills to lead and the opportunity to become innovators in their fields. The three letters can spell respect, money, confidence and they often give professionals a new set of glasses to view and improve their world.

PMP is a registered trademark of the Project Management Institute.

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Michelle LaBrosse, PMP, is the founder of Cheetah Learning, and author of "Cheetah Negotiations and Cheetah Project Management." She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Owner President Managers (OPM) program and also holds engineering degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Dayton. Cheetah Learning is a virtual company and has 100 employees, contractors, and licensees worldwide. Her articles have appeared in over 100 publications from around the world. Her monthly column, the Know How Network, is carried by 400 publications, and her monthly newsletter subscription list includes more than 50,000 people.

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