Thursday, September 22, 2011

PMP Certification News

Good day all
This would be a very short article and specific to those who are interested in PMP certifications. For those not familiar with ‘PMP” this refers to the Project Management Professional certification, one of the Project Management Institute (PMI) certifications.

The following data is PMI officially published data (all data is up to the end of August 2011)
  1. The number of those holding the PMP Certification in the world is: 466,163
  2. The number of PMP earning their certification between 1 July 2010 and 30 June 2011 (12 months’ period) is: 48,273
  3. The average number of new PMP in the 12 months period in previous note is: 4,023
  4. The number of PMP in July 2011 jumped from the average of 4,023 to 13,869
  5. The number of PMP in August 2011 (last month) also jumped from the average of 4,023 to 14,295
  6. In summary, in two months we have had close to 30,000 PMP about 60% of the full year before!

Why the Change
Obviously no one knows the exact answer. However, what we know is:
  1. The PMP exam changed at the end of August 2011
  2. Historically we know where there is an exam change the number of PMP candidates jump
  3. Usually the reason for the jump is that people and professionals who has been considering or studying for the PMP and delaying the exam, they make the push before the change since a change brings uncertainty.

Is this good or bad?
You be the judge!
Until next article – wish you success in all your endeavors!

Mounir Ajam
from West Asia
21 September 2011


My Impressions..
10 years ago, both PMI and PMP certification were not known among many practitioners, apart from the IT professionals. I remember how the numbers were in 2003, as hardly 47,000 were PMPs, while PMI had set a target to achieve 100,000 members by 2004.
Earlier; almost no one could pass the “horrific” exam from the 1st try..! This is when PMI had started “enterprising” the certification; which had been reflected in amazing revenues and consequential activities. Exam was made easier, Educators were encouraged everywhere, and HR specialists had some way or another realized the assumed value of certification..
This is what the numbers tell about multiplying the members by almost 7 times and the PMPs by almost 10 times.. People are not getting further smart or have more study time.. Observation tells that true value is not in certification but in sustainable membership.. Also, membership numbers should be logically higher than the certification’s..
Is there any added value or true professional interest..?  
Simply, what is the rate of obtaining PDUs and renewal of membership or certification..?
I guess if we have fresh numbers of demographics and geographies about membership and certification; we shall visualize the true status.. !!





  1. Hammad Tahir, PMP, CCE
    Optimistically speaking, the certified PMP numbers are increasing exponentially due to increase in the value of PMP & the knowledge it delivers to the aspirants specially the enthusiastic young professionals. Nevertheless, PMI also make occasional changes to the PMP exam to attract and encourage more professionals. In all cases, we should emphasize the PMPs to practically apply the Project Management Techniques to really make a difference !

  2. Mounir A. Ajam
    The numbers are stunning (good or bad?) Hammad - if you are argument is correct than the number of PMP from month to month would not vary much. There is an upward trend year to year but it would not jump 350% in one month. Adil - if the there is value in PMI than you would argument is spot on - there should be more members than there are PMP. Usually a flow would be for someone to join a professional society to benefit from its services than they might seek certifications. Obviously the situation here is that people (most - vast majority) are joining the association to become certified. So they see value in certification but not in membership ... interesting ... why? That is the question!

  3. Mounir A. Ajam
    Further on the value of PMP. I was meeting with a client today and during the discussion he said they have a few PMP on the staff (he called them "technical PMPs") but they are not yet trusted to manage projects. What i heard today we hear often. So is the PMP becoming easier? Are people becoming smarter? Is the availability of numerous training programs a factor? Is it a commodity? Are there enough validation of experience? Too many questions that we will try to answer in future articles!

  4. I'm sorry my dear friend; but it is quit fair to call PMP Certification as a "fashion" not a tool towards excellence, as it should.. Experienced employers start to withdrew their interest, as those “PMPs” are adding almost nothing but confusion to both processing and operations.. This is the fact we all face on a daily basis..!! Certainly, geographies are shuffled now.. I remember years ago that North America, Europe and Far East were in total more than 75% of members and certified.. Now, I believe, the Middle East alone is more than 50% of the certified.. I still think that "Renewals" of Certification and membership are the critical answers..

  5. Mounir A. Ajam
    Actually i think as late as the early 2000's 89% of the PMP were in North America. At that time the ratio of PMP to PMI members were about 40 or 45% ... which means what i posted earlier: people join PMI and some consider certification other do not. Today PMP to Member ration is about 120% to 125%, which means people join PMI to get the certification so they become members first since it is cheaper. Now how are the PMP distributed globally - PMI refuse to share that info - why the secrecy? No one knows. What percent passing is - another secret. How many people pass on the first try - yet another secret.

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  8. PMP is more than a Certification, but a credential that PM needs. Experience and people skills are the keys to a successful PM. Like other degrees, you can have a PhD and without out people skills and real life experiences, you are just a "laboratory mouse".

  9. I have the certification, and to me PMI handles a double standard.
    Is common the lack of knowledge about PM best practices that Senior management and companies in general have. Therefore, situations in which Project Managers are forced to go against those practices are also common. The typical example is the one of forcing a PM to manage a project with a clearly non viable schedule.
    Nowadays, companies want the 'branding' benefits of having PMP professionals (proposals look very attractive when PMPs are listed at the resources section), but most of them are not willing to honor those 'practices' (at least the critical ones).
    From my experience I think PMI has made a great job to convince companies to ask for vendors with certified professionals, and therefore, vendors see that as a market requirement.
    The task in which PMI has been doing almost nothing is in convincing companies that they have to provide evidence that:
    They as a company, are aware of the critical PM best practices
    They are committed to make those practices a living thing at all levels related to project management into the organization.
    With its Professional and Social Responsability stuff, PMI is mandating PMPs to do the dirty job they are mostly suposed to do.
    In an analogy with chess, PMI is the King and the PMPs are the pawns.
    When submitting your exam request, the PM experience detailed has to be at inner companies, and if audited, those companies have to provide confirmation of such experience.
    In other words, PMI requests that the very same ones that have no clue about the PM best practices have to confirm that you have such experience.
    There are thousands of PMPs, but what the PMBoK says is not precisly what it's being practiced when managing projects at inner companies.

  10. To stop making avoidable mistakes in project management one can also try attending good PMP classes conducted by any of the PMI registered REP's for gainig expertise best processes of project management. Any good PMP prep course will provide students with lots of actionable insights in project management along with preparing them for PMP certification.

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