In December last year, the Project Management Institute initiated a pilot program for their latest certification called Portfolio Management Professional or PfMP, completing the trinity in the world of project management with PMP (Project Management Professional), PgMP (Program Management Professional) and now PfMP (Portfolio Management Professional). For many, this is both a long waited certification that represents the pinnacle of the project management professional as well as a logical evolution of project management discipline as its awareness, acceptance, and adoption permeates through many if not most of the competitive organizations today.
So why should you consider PfMP? I discussed this with a number of my colleagues and project executives, and I believe these are the top three reasons:
- Competitive differentiator. By my estimation, there will be about 15 million project managers in the world today, and this is likely to grow to 20 or 25 million by Year 2020. That’s a lot of people. PMI’s Pulse of the Professional examined this and because globalization, technology, and other changes are not likely to decline, the project profession will continue to grow. Thus, if you want to stand out from the crowd, then PfMP should be in the forefront of your consideration.
- Retrenchment. Yes, retrenchment! Careers are rarely steady inclines toward greater responsibilities and titles and compensation. If you are like average Americans, then chance are you will change careers seven maybe ten times in your lifetime, and some of them are not by choice. So why PfMP? When the unfortunate happens, the question becomes how far you fall before you stop, and how fast you can start climbing up again? With certifications like PfMP, I believe you increase your resiliency so the fall is not as steep and your ability to climb is much enhanced.
- Growth. For up and coming project manager interested in greater responsibilities and influence, the shift from tactical execution to higher order strategic responsibilities of managing project investments and resource allocation are a part of natural evolution. Portfolio management, at least for now, is at the top of the project management trinity. With real and substantiated experience, the certification would further propel project management professionals with the credential to tackle the next level of challenges.
So is PfMP for you? Please share your thoughts.
Footnote: My estimation method is not particularly scientific. I googled it and did some extrapolation. PMI estimates that 15.7 new project management roles will be created between 2010 and 2020. Even if I am wrong on the specifics number, the actual figure is likely to be huge.