Microsoft to Release New Certification

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At the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Congress event in Seattle this week, attendees will have the opportunity to take a look at Microsoft’s soon-to-be-released Office Project 2007 software. They’ll also have a chance to hear about some new project management-oriented credentials coming out of Redmond, Wash., next year.


“At the PMI conference next week, we’re announcing three new Microsoft certifications around (Office) Project and project management,” Rob Linsky, Microsoft senior production manager for certification. “Two of those certifications are product/technology-focused, and they’ll fall in the technology spectrum, and then one of them will be a professional-series certification that will exist at that pro level.”


Linsky said the first technology-focused certification will deal with using Microsoft Office Project 2007 for desktop client-managed projects, while the second will cover using Office Project Server 2007 to manage multiple complex projects. The third credential is designed for project managers and program managers, who handle multiple complex projects in a large-enterprise environment.


Additionally, the new certifications will align to PMI’s Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) standard.


“We’re basically taking their framework and methodology and intertwining that with our tool,” Linsky said. “What (PMI) has done is defined how their framework can be applied with project management tools like Office Project. They’ve set up a framework that we’re plugging into. Other project management tools providers are free to do that, as well.”


Microsoft’s new project management certifications don’t have official titles yet (expect an announcement on that sometime next month), but the company has given a lot of consideration to the concepts behind them thus far.


“Microsoft Learning has thought about this for a long time because in most cases, project management issues are one of the key barriers to success and efficiency with our technologies in the marketplace,” Linsky said. “We’ve been prodded by our internal partners, product groups and service organizations to come up with something. We’ve been doing quite a bit of research and investigation on this in the past several months. It was important to have some things nailed down for this event, and the fact that we’re moving forward with it shows that some of those decisions have been made.”


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