Do “project management traders” lie or do not know what they are selling?

We do realize that some will object to what we write here – which fine with us. We do know professionals and those who truly believe in project management and its strategic value will likely agree with what we post here.

Those who maybe offended – if they care – we ask them to think twice about reacting and re-read what we write here; maybe they did not know what we present here. However, we know that a few (or some) do not care – since they are in project management training just for profit and who cares about their clients.

The three myths about project management training

There are three myths about project management learning and training, which are promoted by those who sell PMP certification training. These myths are often supported, or overlooked, or encouraged, by PMI and some of its chapters and vendors. These three myths are:The Three Myths of Project Management Training

Best or Common Practices

The first myth is “PMBOK and PMP covers the BEST practices of project management

The PMBOK® Guide clearly states that it covers COMMON practices, for most projects, most of the time. “The PMBOK® Guide identifies that subset of the project management body of knowledge that is generally recognized as good practice.[1]

In other words, unless someone changed the English Language, how come all of sudden those sales people make COMMON = BEST?

PMP Methodology

Those same people promote the “PMI Methodology” or “PMP Methodology” or “PMBOK Methodology

This is another myth since the PMBOK clearly states that it is NOT a methodology, it is a guide, a framework. Practitioners can use any methodology to supplement the PMBOK. “this standard is a guide rather than a specific methodology. One can use different methodologies and tools (e.g., agile, waterfall, PRINCE2) to implement the project management framework.[2]

PMBOK is not real world

The third myth, currently a hotly debated topic on LinkedIn, is that “the PMBOK is NOT real world” We know that the PMBOK is not enough to manage projects effectively and we wrote on this before. However, what we wrote is that we need the PMBOK processes and more information from other resources. On the other hands, those who claims that PMBOK is not real world, they think the PMBOK is too much!

Our opinion here, is per the following:

(a) PMBOK is not practically written as a procedure, methodology, etc. and it does not includes forms and templates … but provide the guidelines that allows practitioners to develop their internal custom-fit methodology.

(b) Most of those who says PMBOK is not real world – are most likely not managing projects properly. They are either leading technical tasks or managing portions of a project but not a full project.

We do not understand how; some “trainers” even say the above to their clients and participants. Do these people know how to manage projects or knows what it takes to deliver a successful project?

Closing Remarks

How to select a project management training provider?When these traders “sell” project management the way we mentioned above, it is one of two things (to be direct); they are either:

(1) lying to make their products sounds more appealing (better to sell best practices than common practices, do not you agree?) … or

(2) do not know what they are talking about …

I do not know which one is worst, lying or ignorance? You be the judge!


[1] PMBOK® Guide, 5th edition, chapter 1, page 2, 1st paragraph

[2] PMBOK® Guide, 5th edition, chapter 1, page 2, 3rd paragraph

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About Mounir Ajam

A Project Management thought leader, who believes that project management touches all people, in all aspects of life; personal and professional.Initiated and led the formation of SUKAD Corp to develop the Uruk PPM Platform.An advocate of real-world, practical and applied project management.Champion of adaptive project management, tailored methods, and organizational project management.Available anywhere in the world to advise executives and organizations on the strategic value of project management. Ready to help organizations build and sustain the Project Management Function and the capacity to lead projects successfully.