On Considering PMP Certified Project Managers

As you might imagine, we’ve screened dozens upon dozens of Project Management (PM) candidates to augment our team. Fortunately, our vetting process has resulted in identifying a number of highly qualified resources who are available to engage with our clients.

When sourcing PM’s there are many factors we are looking for in a candidate’s profile, including, but not limited to:

  • Ability to work well with and through other people
  • More than a decade of PM experience. PMP certification “can” be a plus (more on that shortly).
  • Excellent communication skills (written and oral)
  • Self-starter who is highly organized, efficient and has complete mastery of the common tools
  • As applicable, specific domain experience (e.g., medical device manufacturing, a specific software application, post acquisition whole-company integration, international, etc.)
  • Etc., etc.

As alluded to above, PMP Certification “can” carry some weight. However, I’ve learned to proceed with caution here…Why do I say this?

Well, quite simply, it is important to explore how the candidate leverages the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge). That is, do they merely have the head knowledge or do they actually have the scars of PM experience?

In addition, it is important to confirm that they do NOT levy the weight of the entire PMBOK on every single project, regardless of scope, cost, complexity, risk and duration? I’ve observed too many who do. And, that is entirely inappropriate!

For example, leveraging the entire PMBOK on some projects would be like using a pile driver to push a tack into a cork board. While the pile driver would be complete overkill in this scenario, a lesser application of similar principles would work just fine.

We look to confirm that the candidate has mastery of PM principles and tools (PMBOK or otherwise) and judiciously leverages the appropriate components, as necessary, to fit the unique profile of each project.

To be clear, if we had 2 candidates side-by-side, with all things being equal, and one is PMP certified, we’d go with the PMP certified candidate. However, we would NOT do this without first fully exploring their practical application of PM principles and tools to ensure prudent use of each. And, more importantly, to confirm that they have the deep scars of experience to prove it!

In closing, we have a number of PM candidates, some of whom are PMP certified, others who are not. Regardless, these folks can be parachuted into pretty much ANY business project situation and bring the team safely home / across the finish line!

Just ask our clients…

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