The Iron Triangle is Now a Buckyball

Another day, another training organization explaining why you need project management certification.  This one was linked from a group on LinkedIn, which is why I saw it.  The provider proudly exclaimed that they would teach you to deliver projects “on task, on time and on budget.”


A Buckyball

Once upon a time, that was all that was required.  Now, it’s about delivering value, minimizing “time to market” or “time to value,” implementing Lean practices, being Agile, and all sorts of other improvements.  And then there’s quality management, risk management, stakeholder management, change management, and so on.  It’s been several years since I managed a project team spread across fewer than three time zones, and the average is probably between four and five.  Bottom line: the old “iron triangle” is now a Buckyball.

I’ve been managing projects for well over twenty years, and I’ve maintained my PMP for ten years.  I support credentialing, as a mid-career milestone.  I just disapprove of any credential being touted as a career entry point.  You can’t even buy a Subway franchise without spending some time working on the counter, building sandwiches.  Your dues have to be paid in full, in advance.

Note that this is not a diatribe against trainers.  I admire anyone who passes on the tribal knowledge, whether it’s in a formal classroom or just over coffee in an otherwise empty conference room.  I’ve spent a few years in classrooms, teaching, and much of the last decade or so, mentoring.  It is the marketers and the shills who annoy me.  God bless any PMP prep course that insists their students document the requisite experience to sit for the exam, before taking their money.  I just haven’t heard of one.

PMI Announces a New Professional Credential for Portfolio Managers

PMI has announced that they are developing a new professional credential: Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP).  As you might guess from the name, this certification is directed toward project portfolio managers. For more information on eligibility, check the PfMP Certification page on the PMI web site.

PMI says that the PfMP Exam Content Outline will be made available later this month, and they expect that the pilot test will be available late in 4Q13.  At a guess, the Standard for Portfolio Management, Third Edition will likely be a key resource.  However, I expect that PMI will list a number of other references.

Note that nearly four years after it was introduced, there are only 939 active holders of the Program Management Professional (PgMP) credential.  I don’t know how many portfolio managers PMI expects to attract with this credential, but I’ll bet the initial interest will come almost entirely from people who already hold two or more PMI certifications.  I’ll report on this again later in the year, as news becomes available.

Reminder: Last Date for PMP Test Before the Update

Blogger Geoff Crane reports that, after twenty years of managing projects, he’s finally decided to take the PMP exam.  This was at least partially prompted by the news that August 30 will be the last day you’ll be able to take the exam under the current formulation.  Beginning on August 31, there will be a new mix of questions, featuring ethics and responsibility more evenly distributed throughout the exam.  Of course, there are a few other people who had the same idea, so he only got a slot to take the exam before then when someone cancelled.  The next available slots are in September.

The exam is still based on the 4th edition of the PMBOK – only the mix of questions have changed.