Open Letter to a Project Management Professional (PMP )Memo: Open letter to you as a Project Management Professional®.
Topic: Are you a Project Management Professional®
by certification, or profession?
When you obtained your PMP® - did you truly commit to advancing our profession, or are you "certified" and going along for the ride? How are you advancing the profession, exactly? When last did you tell people about the benefits of applying project management principles in terms of the business value delivered?
I challenge all practitioners of the profession to determine the value of the service we provide, and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our service. Higher efficiency will reduce the cost and in turn increase the value of the service to our clients and business sponsors.
Here are my challenges to you, as ways that you demonstrate your commitment to this profession of project management.
1. Articulate the profession in terms of business results, not reports. How do you articulate the value of the profession? Do you use business terms such as "I deliver business results" or do you talk in terms of your activity ("I create status reports")? Project management is not about creating a paper-pushing empire, as bureaucrats who have fallen into the profession claim. It is about using project management principles to deliver better business results. I challenge you to review how you describe your contribution when you meet new people.
2. Take a look in the mirror. How efficient are your project management processes? How do you know they are efficient? Are you managing projects to "improve business efficiency" while your own project management processes are archaic, tedious and expensive to execute? How many days does it take to create your weekly status report? It is incumbent on professionals to operate at least as efficiently as they are helping others to do.
3. I challenge you to advance your own learning and development. How can you measure your professional growth and increased value over the coming twelve months? How will you be smarter, faster, cheaper and more valuable in a year's time? If you can't answer me, then why should I pay you a higher salary next year, when you are one year older and no wiser?
4. How can you advance the profession to help IT project managers today and in the future? I challenge you to give back to the profession so that those who follow in our footsteps have a stronger body of knowledge and better foundation to build their careers on. I challenge you to get involved and take a leadership position in PMI® to demonstrate your support of advancing the profession in tangible ways and "Put your money where your mouth is."
5. Successful project require accurate estimates. They also require many other professional skills. How are you improving estimating capabilities to help PM's, or any other capability? I challenge you to get deeply involved in at least one aspect of the profession, study it and become the thought leader. I am working on growing the body of work around social psychology for project managers. What are you doing?
6. How are you managing your time? What example do you set? Are you the person who comes late to your own meetings? I challenge you to set the example in areas that naturally relate to project management such as time management, leadership of matrix teams and clear communication.
As a proud holder of the Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification, I assume that ever other PMP® is passionate about our profession. Project management is not a job nor a certification. It is a profession, in fact it is the profession, in my not-so-humble opinion.
Therefore, I challenge you to continue your own education and advance your professional skills. Don't default to just accept what you learned in a project management training courses when you prepared for the exam. Learn more to earn more, and advance the profession for those that come after us. Leave a legacy that is worth leaving.