Do Project Management Certifications like PMP/PRINCE2 help you in your job?

"PM-Tools: Does Project Management Certifications like PMP/PRINCE2 help you in your job?"

Was a question we recently saw on LinkedIn.

As with all jobs there are two sides to it.

  • Getting it
  • Keeping it

A certification can certainly help in getting a job. in North-America the PMP certification is the most sought after by both PM's and HR managers alike.
In Europe Prince2 is well known and sought after.

Keeping a job has all to do with how well you perform. End this is where a certification alone will not be enough. It will certainly (but on a limited basis) help you to understand what is required to do a job. Being able to do the job is something completely different. That's where competence is required. Competence is a combination of skills, knowledge, expertiece, experience and attitude.

None of the certifciations mentioned provide that. Currently the only certification that is competency based is the IPMA certification (see ASAPM in the USA and PMAC-AMPC in Canada for IPMA based certifcations)

Although PMI has begun to increase the experience requirements to become a PMP certified PM one can still get that designation without ever having managed a full project from start to end. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Prince2 is a very solid project management methodlogy that can certainly help in managing projects. I got my first practioner certification in 1997 and haved used (elements of) Prince2 in a lot of my projects. But Prince2 is just that, a best practice (now in a new refreshed 2009 version) methodolgy that does not tell you how to act as a PM, or how to apply certain PM techniques, or how to communicate, or how to deal with difficult situations.

As I always say: "A fool with a tool is still a tool, worse, a dangerous fool"

See also PMP Certification is irrelevant!, Which Project Management Diploma have you chosen ? (PRINCE2 ? IPMA ? CAPM ? PMP ? and Why) and So you want to become a real Project Manager?