Which is the better PM or PMP training?

Introduction

At SUKAD we challenge a famous motto that says: “The client is always right” and we replace it with: “An aware client is always right”. This subtle change is important, especially in relation to this specific situation: PMP[1] Training. There are quite a few common misunderstandings about project management and project management certifications. As a result we often get requests for PMP training but when we explore the objectives with the client, we discover that the actual need is for project management (PM)[2] training – not PMP[3].

There is a good chance that everything we share with you through this document and other documents on the project management knowledge portal you might already know, in that case you can ignore our communication. However, if there is a small chance, that there is indeed some misunderstanding; or you are not fully aware of the differences and requirements for PM, PMP, PMI … then we urge you to go through this document and another document that we will post here as well under the title “General Information about PMI – PMP – Certification”.

Objective of this message

Please note that our objective is to provide YOU the best, most appropriate service that has direct impact on your team and organizational performance. We want to avoid providing training that is not in line with your business objectives. You trust us and to build on this trust we must communicate with clarity and transparency.

If the client is aware of the requirements and understands the full situation … and … the client wants PMP training, we will provide what is requested. If the PMP is not an objective but the client wants their personnel to apply project management effectively on the job, we can provide what is appropriate; an alternate.

What is project management?Why are we doing this?

Over the last few years, many clients have been requesting PMP training from us.

  1. In some of the situations, the request is for the candidates to achieve the PMP certification AND the candidates have the required experience. This is appropriate and PMP training would be the right option.
  2. In other situations the request is for the candidates to achieve the PMP certification but we discover that the candidates do not have project management experience; therefore, they do not meet PMI requirements to sit for the exam. In this case, the training will be beneficial but there is a gap since the training focus is on helping people on passing an exam … an exam they cannot take. The ultimate result, the training is not optimized and the benefits are significantly reduced or marginal.
  3. In some cases the request is for general project management training (the client needs project management awareness) but mistakenly the request is for PMP training. In this case, a two-day or three-day awareness or methodology workshop would be adequate and such a workshop will focus on applying project management.

Other Resources

Please refer to other document on this portal:

  1. General Information about PMI – PMP – Certification
  2. Guide on How to Select a Training Provider

Remember the client is NOT always right …An aware client is always right”


[1] PMP®: Project Management Professional, a certification granted by Project Management Institute (PMI)

[2] PM refers to Project Management in general; which is different from the PMP

[3] The PMP is one out of possibly 50 project management professional certifications

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  • This comment is By Galal Abdelmessih, P. ENg., PMP on LinkedIn:

    I like this thread of thoughts very much and thanks Monir for putting the subject on for discussion. “Which is better PM or PMP Training? ” the answer depends on the provider’s marketing strategy. In my opinion a conscious provider should assess the degree of experience and knowledge of client’s participants and the client’s desired outcomes and then may tailor or select a course or program that will deliver required results. The other issues (client experience, PMI screening process, competency of training providers, ..) are too broad to cover and they are crossing many jurisdictions. As David mentioned the other issues are not unique to the PMI certification they are universal to almost all professions including even the medical profession. Sad to say but it is the reality of our current unstable and profit hungry ruthless world.

  • This comment is By David Donaldson, PMP, CTDP on LinkedIn:

    OK, back to the original question: “Which is better PM or PMP Training?” – reading only the title my answer whichever the customer needs, emphasis on “needs”. Then I read the accompanying article, as a trainer for 20+ years, 3+ in the PM world it has been my experience that this is not a problem unique to PM vs PMP. I like your approach of an aware client. We have to help our clients understand what it is that they truly need. There are way too many classes (PM and others) being delivered because a client asked and someone was willing to take their money. This undermines the entire training profession, across all industries and disciplines! That is the truly worrisome result!

    A wise old horseman once told me, you can tell how good a trip a horse had by how well he loads onto the trailer next time. The same can be said for training. If the client had a good experience (AKA return on investment) then they will be willing to spend money on the next training opportunity. I was at a symposium in Calgary on Friday and one of the sessions was a case study of training success in the mining industry. At their last AGM, they announced $250Million in operational cuts, but the training budgets were saved, why? Because of the results they were generating. It can be a tough conversation to have with a client, but if you do you will have a better quality long term client, not a one-off.

  • This comment is By Mark Moore, PMP on LinkedIn:

    Mounir – I read the article and the differentiation you make is very good.

    Even when I teach PMP preparation (and I’ve done that many times) I see it as my obligation to move the learner toward better PM practices as a part of that exchange. Just passing the exam (and we’ve beaten that to death on other threads, right?) isn’t enough. In order to function outside of the textbook/theoretical world of a body of knowledge, one has to understand the application of concepts and the nuances of organizations.

    The certifications continue to be little more than a baseline qualifier for a resume to be looked at (and I’m really speaking of only the core certs rather than the “designer add-ons”). Experience, practical connection to a community, and the ability to adapt are far more important in the real world of managing projects.

  • This comment is By Paul Tiffany:

    Repeating what has been explored in several other threads in LinkedIn, PMP is just one of several approaches to providing some basic training for PMs. What we should be interested in is: What education, training and experience leads to success in project management? In fact, how do we define success? I will forever be amazed how little this is discussed in reference to PM issues.

    Having been involved in the customer service industries, both B2C and B2B, that old saw about the “customer always being right” serves some wry humor. Of course, reality tells all of us that the customer is not always right. In fact in the consulting business, most consultants learn that the customer is often wrong.

    BUT…
    We how serve customers in a variety of capacities must always keep in mind whom we’re serving and why. That does provide an important reason to give the customers some deference.

    Back to the specific issue of how to create a great Project Manager, I am generally more impressed with the results of engineering, business and military colleges with respect to more robust project management curricula as preparation for the real world than the variety of sources in information technology that incessently babble about the latest-greatest whiz-bang SDLC and PMLC methodologies and “quality” initiatives (ISO 900X, CMM, Six Sigma Green and Black Belt, ITIL, …), ignoring a century of best practices learned in more general project management not limited to IT.