As I stated in my last post, my priority #1 goal for 2017 is getting my Project Management Professional certification (PMP) through the Project Management Institute (PMI). This will help me with future employment and provide some additional verification that I am an experienced project manager.
Many people consider themselves, are labeled as or actually hold the title of Project Manager. Are you a project manager? Like me, are you considering getting the PMP certification, but are not sure if what you do qualifies as a project manager?
Project management comes in a variety of forms, functions, and industries, but there has to be a basic definition of what a project and a project manager is. My personal vision of a project manager is someone who coordinates, executes and oversees a team or a series of processes on a regular basis by applying previous knowledge and experience in order to achieve a specific positive outcome.
Since I work in the construction design industry and have for 30 years, project management for me involves overseeing design projects for commercial buildings be constructed. This has involved, architectural, mechanical and electrical design.
For the sake of simplicity and consistency and since this series is talking about PMI’s PMP certification, I am going to use PMI’s Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), 5th Edition (affiliate link) for definitions throughout these posts.
Rather than provide a “Project Manager” definition, the PMBOK Guide gives a definition on “Project Management”;
Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements. Project management is accomplished through the appropriate application and integration of the 47 logically group project management processes which are categorized into five process groups.
A simple summary of the process groups follows. There is a much more detailed definition and explanation in the PMBOK Guide mentioned above.
Initiating is the process group that is used to define a new project or a subsequent phase(s) of an ongoing project. This is where the scope is defined and finances are committed to the project, stakeholders are identified and the project manager is often assigned.
In this series of processes where the scope is better defined and refined, objectives are set and a course of action is developed.
This is where the work gets done on the plan – where the tasks are performed in order to meet the project objectives.
Monitoring and Controlling:
This is the process group that covers monitoring and tracking in order to review the progress of the project and its overall health. This monitoring is what identifies possible issues that may require changes or updates to the project plan.
This is the end of the project cycle. This is where a project is finalized reviewed to make sure that contractual obligations have been met.
These five process groups are important to understand if you are going to get your PMP certification. You will not only need to understand what each process means but how it related to your past projects when filling out the PMP certification testing application – which I will cover in the next post.
Do most or all of these processes sound like what you deal with in your daily job? If so, you may be a Project Manager!
If you are, are you certified? If not, are you considering it? If so, follow this journey over the next couple months and I will share the process from the point of view of someone that is going through it.
In the next post, I will dive into the actual steps required in order to get the certification.