Academic Programs for Project Management
While not limited to the IT industry, project management has become a sought-after proficiency among technology professionals. Simply put, project management is a systematic method of executing a multifaceted, multistage undertaking with particular constraints with regard to time and objectives. According to the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) “Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), Third edition,” it involves five basic processes: initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing.
Because it involves soft skills such as leadership and personal interaction, as well as aptitude in implementing initiatives, project management is a beneficial area of expertise in IT. Here are a few ways in which technology workers can familiarize themselves with this growing discipline and give themselves a competitive edge in the job market:
PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, which has more than 75,000 holders around the world, verifies candidates possess an understanding of the previously mentioned processes and other knowledge areas. The PMP certification requires successful completion of one multiple-choice exam, which measures the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques involved with project management. Participants also must meet the experiential and educational prerequisites required by PMI, which include at least 7,500 hours in a position of responsibility, leading and directing specific tasks, and 60 months or more of project management experience. Upon receiving the credential, PMP-certified professionals must comply with the provisions of PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements Program to maintain their status.
PMI also offers a sort of steppingstone to the PMP: the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) credential. The CAPM affirms basic project management knowledge and experience, and it demonstrates the ability to support projects using tools, techniques and concepts of the trade. As such, CAPM holders are considered valuable members of the project team who rely on experienced project management practitioners for guidance, direction and approval. CAPMs generally assist in assessing project control plans, suggest performance indicators and limits, support administrative and financial closure and contribute to fine-tuning in project requirements, assumptions and constraints. The CAPM also requires successful completion of a multiple-choice test and fulfillment of certain prerequisites such as 1,500 hours of work on a project team and 23 hours of formal education.
For more information, see http://www.pmi.org.
Another project management certification offering comes from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). The Project+ exam, which comprises 80 identification and multiple-choice questions, covers important project management concepts, including soft skills such as conflict resolution, negotiation, communication, team building/leadership, and setting and mapping expectations. Project+ is designed to show that certification holders possess the necessary skills to work with others to properly and efficiently complete projects. CompTIA recommends candidates possess at least a year of project management experience before undertaking this credential.
For more information, see http://www.comptia.org/certification/project/default.aspx.
Global Knowledge offers four certifications — in associate, professional, senior and executive tracks — for individuals and organizations seeking to verify project management skills and knowledge of concepts. The company’s training offerings include 25 business-based courses that address advanced topics such as quality and risk management, enterprise project management, establishing the project management office, business analysis, project portfolio management and IT project management. All the content has been developed internally, but to an extent it is aligned to the programs offered PMI offers.
For more information, see http://www.globalknowledge.com.
Various organizations and academic institutions offer an abundance of additional project management training programs and learning resources. Here are a few of the more well-known ones:
· 4PM : http://www.4pm.com.
· Gatlin Education Services: http://www.gatlineducation.com/projman.htm.
· projectmanagement.com: http://www.projectmanagement.com.
· The PMForum: http://www.pmforum.org.
· Association for Project Management: http://www.apm.org.uk.
· Project Manager Today: http://www.pmtoday.co.uk.
· Project Management Knowledge Base: http://projectmanagement.ittoolbox.com.
· Villanova University: http://www.villanovau.com/Content/ProjectManagement.html.
· Boston University: http://www.bu.edu/global/diploma/project_management.
· George Mason University: http://ocpe.gmu.edu/certificate_programs/proj_man.html.
· Stevens Institute of Technology: http://howe.stevens-tech.edu .
· Northwestern University: http://www.civil.northwestern.edu/mpm
· University of Maryland: http://www.pm.umd.edu.
· George Washington University: http://sbpm.gwu.edu/mspm/.