Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Going Green

Going Green: "Today’s society is prevalent with organizational and social campaigns to “go green”. This is for good reason. It is, after all, our social responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint, to reduce our dependency on non-renewable energies, and to recycle – not to mention the potential financial benefits associated with going green and green products. There are many things that Program and Project Managers of all industries can take to contribute to this worthy cause as part of following good program and project management processes and practices"

Saturday, March 17, 2007

March 16, 2007 - How to Really Fix a Failing Project

This is a great article for Project Managers. Read Thomas Cuttings review of "How to fix a Failing project."

read more digg story

Friday, February 23, 2007

PMP VS. Masters Degree

PMLC Member Question:

One of my friends is going for masters in project management from University of Calgary, Canada. Even though, the reputation of university is first-rate as it is one of the top universities in North America for Project Management. However, UofC is not among the accredited schools of PM from PMI perspective. What is your opinion about non-accredited schools of PMI? In addition, how do you see the graduates from UofC getting jobs in Canada & around the world? I would appreciate your valuable advice.


My response:

You pose an interesting set of questions. While I am not an expert in Canadian culture, economy, education or employment I will offer this:

PMP certification is certainly valuable in today's job market, and the fact that the University of Calgary is not currently listed as an accredited institution with PMI is not necessarily relevant.
A recent poll showed that 60% of employers no longer prefer PMP Certification, they require it. PMI is well positioned globally as the standard methodology to project management. For an experienced Project Manager the certification is probably a much quicker and easier path to walk. In addition, if you search any major job board and it should solidy for you that today's PM career requirements are certification and I believe your short-term educational decisions should be somewhat market driven. There are no on-thejob experience prerequisites for earning a Masters Degree where as for a PMP certification has requirements around experience. So the question becomes "How long can PMI sustain the value of the PMP certification?"

It can be submitted that a PMP and a Master's degree aren't even comparable. MBA programs are the foundation of business knowledge and they transcend job verticals (they are not PM specific). The PMP can be thought of as more of a short term goal while the MBA is a long term goal. The job market of today may require PMP certification, but the market will soon be saturated with PMP's. Today PMP Certification gets you through the door for an interview much the same as a bachelors degree used to. If we think about it critically, at the pace in which the certification mills are pumping out certified PMP's, it's not unreasonable to think that the playing field will level out soon. My point is, the PMP Certification is valuable today but that will liekly change over time. The industry educational requirements for top-level jobs will likely include both Certification and Masters degree. As a final thought on the value of a Masters Degree, you don't see the plethora of businesses peforming 3 and 4 day exam prep boot camp classes to help you pass your Masters Final exam... the longer term - more valuable credential from a business perspective is absolutely a Masters degree.

You can never go wrong with Both...As far the job market itself is concernd, professionals with both a degree and a certification, particulary the PMP, are positioned well to attain the best paying jobs. The ideal candidate for top level positions would hold both a masters and a PMP or equivalent certification. Employers look for things they need - not just credentials and certificates.

Your friend, if he meets the application requirements, should attain the PMP certification now and then pursue the Masters Degree, in my opinion. If an accredited institution is required, your friend should consider the University of Qu├ębec (Date PMI Accredited: December 2003)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Quick thought on leadership

One of the most important traits of a leader is "Confidence". Confidence is sometimes appearing as knowing what to do. Both Customers and project team members expect the Project Manager to have the answer. The team will come to the PM asking what to do in a given situation. Sometimes answer is easy, other times.... Someone once said to me: “People are coming to me with problems, but when I ask about possible solutions they often provide a well-thought out, reasonable solution which is usually a good resolution. However, they are hesitant to make decision on their own and wait for the PM to make it for them. Can this be thought of as "Risk Transfer"? Sure... Team members don’t want to make decisions, even when they’re rather safe decisions, they would rather transfer the risk of the decisions outcome to the PM. Makes sense right? I'm sure you've seen this before in a project you've lead. A good leader is one who knows what to do and looks confident with his decisions. When the PM appears as though he/she doesn’t know what to do, you can be sure the project team is even in worse condition.
When someone comes to me with a problem, I listen and then ask what they think is a good solution. I help them to make a decision. When the presented solution(s) is not acceptable, I try to get as much information as possible and try to suggest other trains of thought or even another solution. Usually the person bringing the problem is able to find a resonable solution during our discussion. The PM's role is to stimulate and motivate the team member, then to say “OK" to a reasonable solution and to look like they know it's the right solution (even when they are not sure).
You have a responsibility as a Project Manager to aid your teams and help them grow professionally. My simple piece of advice: Encourage and motivate your teams to find solutions to potential problems when they come to you for help.

Best Wishes,
Shawn T. Futterer, PMP

Friday, December 15, 2006

World-first, industry-based diploma for project managers

The Project Management Institute (PMI) has partnered with Charles Sturt University (CSU) to develop a world-first, industry-based, qualification for project managers.
The Graduate Diploma of Project Management includes the project management industry certification - PMI's Project Management Professional (PMP) - as an integral part of completing the course...

PMI Reaches Into India

In an effort to promote and professionalise project management culture, the Project Management Institute (PMI) is planning to partner with the Indian School of Business and the Andhra Pradesh state government. As part of the effort, the state government has agreed to redesign the curriculum by introducing two new subjects in project management and leadership development at the undergraduate, engineering and MCA levels by the next academic year...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Certification is becoming a good idea in today's job market

A piece of paper won't prove your competence, but it will buy you entry into a corporate world that demands such things
12/7/2006 10:20:00 AM
by Peter de Jager

...after recently completing a small study on the importance of the Project Management Professional certification (PMP) offered through Project Management Institute (PMI). When asked if having a PMP was a distinct asset when they got hired, 37 per cent of the 133 respondents answered yes. When asked if their current employer saw the PMP as a strong asset, that number jumped to 74 per cent. That suggests that either their initial estimation of the importance of their PMP was short of the mark, or that in the intervening time since they've been hired, the importance of the PMP certification has increased dramatically in their organization. If a certification has become, rightly or wrongly, the passport that allows entry into the corporate world, then resumes without the necessary seals of approval are discarded faster than spam from an inbox.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Studying For The PMP Exam?

There are many methods for you to prepare for the gruelling 4 hour PMP Exam. We’ve outlined a few of the most successful here:

1. PMP Exam Prep Classes or Boot Camps: These cram session courses are specifically designed to fill your mind with the knowledge required to pass the test. Typically a more expensive route, but very effective at helping you beat the PMP Exam. We recommend Exam Prep Classes through Pinnacle 3 Learning, as their classes are priced mid-range and provide project managers with more understanding of real life application than that of industry competitors. Most of these courses qualify for contact hours or PDU’s, which can be used on your application with PMI.

2. Self-Paced Study efforts: There are numerous books and materials out there to assist you in preparing for the PMP Exam. Most provide more in depth understanding of the PMBOK. Self-paced study happens on your schedule. Progress at your individual pace. Studies have shown that individualized programs enable the majority of people to complete the material more quickly. In addition, it also allows slower learners to set a pace commensurate with their learning speed. In a traditional training program, all participants are usually required to go through the material at the same time and pace. Self-paced Learning gives students a chance to speed up or slow down as necessary. Be sure which product you buy is PMBOK aligned. is a great place to start. The PMP Success Study Guide is PMBOK aligned, easy to comprehend and very exam focused. Great exam tips included.

3. Practice Exam (Simulation): Practicing against simulated PMP® Exam Questions is one of the absolute best ways to prepare for the actual exam. Completing multiple practice exams gives the learner an opportunity to better understand the exam layout, types of questions and pace of the exam. 200 questions over 4 hours equals roughly 1.2 minutes per question. You have to learn to gauge your exam pace. Many people use a predictor. To do this, make columns on a sheet, one for 90%, one for 50% and one for 25%. If you know the answer to a question with little or no doubt, put a mark under 90% column, if you think you know the answer to a question, but there may be an alternate correct answer, put a mark under the 50% column, if you have to guess at the answer, place a mark in the 25% column. At the end of the exam total up the 90% marks say you have 114 * .90 = 104. Similarly for 50% say 60 marks under the 50% column, 60* .50 = 30. Finally total number of marks under 25%, in this example 26 * .25 = 6.5. 104 + 30 + 6.5 = 140 (pass)

Read the full article at and get the study resources you need to be successful.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Kerzner International Project Manager Award

The International Institute of Learning (IIL) has announced a new award, the Kerzner International Project Manager of the Year Award, to recognize a project manager who has exemplified superior performance and outstanding project management methods, skills and techniques.

Candidates must be project management professionals (PMPs) certified by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), and may be associated with any industryThe process will involve three levels or stages of competition: Evaluation, Semi-Finals and Finals. Individuals are invited to nominate any project manager by writing a 500-word essay on why the person meets the criteria, with all nomination essays due to IIL by August 23, 2006.

From the initial list, 25 candidates will be selected to advance to the Semi-Final round, after which five (5) finalists will be flown to New York City. Finalists will each deliver a 10-minute PowerPoint presentation during an eConference on November 2, 2006 to several thousand participants around the world. One winner will be selected to receive the 2006 “Kerzner International Project Manager of the Year Award”, a commemorative plaque and various other prizes.

More information can be found at

Friday, November 03, 2006

International Project Manangement Day

International Project Manangement Day - Washington DC PMI Chapter (

The Washington DC Chapter of PMI hosted an International Program Management Day event today, Nov 2, 2006.

The half day seminar included a series of speakers from business and government executives regarding past or present project initiatives and the value project management is bringing to their organizations.

Speakers shared their stories of why they have endorsed the practices, certifications, training, etc. based on real successes and failures which reinforce why the profession is growing so dramatically. While all guest speakers were fantastic, the speakers of particular interest to me were:

Dan Smith, VP Program Management, Verizon Business
Dan shared his views on project managements value in the telecommunications industry and some personal views regarding certification. Amazingly enough, several years ago, admittedly, Dan did not see the value in the PMP Certification. Today Dan's program management office requires it! Dan agrees that their is a significant value in the application of the PMI methodolgy, but he expressed some concern around the manner in which people acquire their PMP Certification. From Dan's perspective, the PMP Prep courses pushing people through 2 and 3 day crash courses diminish the certification. I tend to agree. The value of the PMP Certification is in the application not in simply oroving you can pass the test. To some degree, simply voicing this concern, seems to indicate that PMI should revisit the criteria needed for organizations to become registered education providers. It will be interesting to see over time how PMI chooses to deal with this. From the PMI perspective, there is a great deal of value in the speed which the PMP Certification is gaining acceptance.

The other speaker of interest was David Frame (J. Davidson Frame), University of Management and Technology
Dr. Frame has been a major player in project management education and training since the late 1970s. He has written eight books and more than 30 scholarly articles on the subject. His Managing Projects in Organizations (2003) is a business best seller. His most recent book, Managing Risk in Organizations, was published in 2003. For more on Dr. David Frame, visit

Dr. Frame spoke about China's recent acceptance of project management principles. Interestingly, I learned that China accounts for over 40% of the consumption of all construction materials globally. Further, until recently, China depended mostly on engineering principles. China will become PMI's continued growth story. There are an estimated 500,000 project professionals in China, but only 10,000 with PMP Certification. Leading researchers believe the recent acceptance of the PMI Methodology will boost that number to over 30,000 over the next year or so. It was interesting to see that the United State accounted for over 60% of the PMP base while Asia Pacific was less the 20%.

So the United States is quickly becoming a saturated market for project management professionals? How hard does that make your competition next time you interview for a job? The PMP certification will no longer will the differentiator between you and the next person. Hiring managers and executives will likely focus some of the interview questions on topics such as:

What did you do to earn your PMP Cert?
How long did you study?
How long have you been applying the PMI methodology? and ask for specific examples.

These are just a few things to think about as you consider how to prepare for the PMP Certification.