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Accept No Substitutes: PMI Project Management Certs Are All You Need

There are other places to look for project management certification. Realistically, however, the four credentials offered by PMI are the only ones to consider.

Project management is an increasingly vital IT skill.Project Management is one of the most prolific and most sought-after skills in IT today. Just a cursory glance at any job board will tell you that everyone is hiring a project manager and for all types of activities.


They can be called by many different names but project managers are becoming integral to how IT gets down. The ability to “run a project,” or at least have some project management skills, is going to be essential in IT, going forward.


So what skills should aspiring project managers focus on to build up their project management muscle? What are some of the credentials that we, as project managers, should seek to show both our current employer and the rest of the world that we are the cream of the crop?


The Project Management Professional (PMP) cert from the Project Management Institute is the first credential everyone thinks of. Yet is PMI the only way to go? Are there other credentials that a project manager can pursue to build or maintain credibility? And What is the best point of entry for an aspiring project manager?


Why Project Management Matters


It is important, for starters, to understand why project managers and project management is so important to modern organizations. What do project managers do that has them considered one of the most important components of any organization?


First, they define and organize the chaos. Let us face it: If you are doing anything in IT, there is chaos. If you do not have a little chaos, then your company probably has nothing going on. Project managers play a vital role in keeping things calm.


Time, although a man-made construct, is very important to keep track of, and project managers help everyone know and follow the schedule of every project. If you have a good project manager, they match up the schedules of the human resources who are working on the project.


Speaking of resources, the people who work on any project will need some degree of teamwork to accomplish anything. Project managers establish, promote and influence a cooperation and collaboration throughout their teams, and across the company as a whole.


Integration points and cross-division communication is another area where project managers should (and do) excel. If you need to plan and control a project that touches other divisions, or even other companies, then employing a project manager is your best bet.


Finally, every project comes with overriding financial considerations. Cost is always an issue with projects in general, but a good project manager will have enough business acumen and financial knowledge to keep costs on track or under budget.


Perhaps most importantly, project managers are important because the good ones will retain knowledge from, and build on the success of, a project long after that project is over. Want to know how you can spot a good project manager? They never repeat the mistakes of past projects.