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PMP or MSc in Project Management?

PMP or MSc in Project Management?

02/01/2016 0

Due to LinkedIn limitation of text responding to the Post ( ) herewith,

Good to hear Martyn. You probably know the answer as well. A little bit to add from down under.
As far as individuals are concerned to choose between wide variety of courses and credentials in project management field, one has to find out himself for where is he standing and what makes most sense to him. I most likely may not be best positioned to accurately recommend one or the other.
I think it depends on individual's target geographic location, industry, level of personal experience, personal aspirations and internal motivation to fulfil set goals (long term or short term) etc... One has to foresee and weigh his/her options for their value offerings as compared to investments (time, money & efforts).

However, if I read it right, your post is more about value offerings from the project management course/credential to the industry. Correct me if wrong but the university courses aim to train & certify professionals through a set curriculum. Different universities adopt different blend of frameworks that they claim unique value propositions towards professionals and industry. On the other end, institutes such as PMI, have put together frameworks that they claim to be good practices in given field. PMI for example just certifies professionals, though they have put together a set of mehanisms that helps professionals get certified.

Now as far as value offering and industry adoption of a specific framework goes, to my understanding most legitimate courses or credentials have specific and definitive offerings. They all try to standardize project management field through different frameworks. Idea is to move away from person based approach for process or system based approach so that wastes can be minimised, higher values can be generated and success can be ensured. For example, PMI's PMBOK framework is perceived to work without references to any specific situation, place or industry. Over and above just this framework, PMI has also put together Continuous Certification Requirements program, which is recently more aligned towards industry requirements. This program expects the Certified professionals to continuously learn and adapt.

As to why Tunnel approach as opposed to Need based approach, we first need to go deep into the micro levels as opposed to the movements at macro level. In recent times, industry leader organisations have established very sophisticated PMO / PMIS infrastructures and vertical streams of management awarenesss that aims to provide a unique environment for success of the project , programs and portfolios. This is where the Needs are analysed and based on which the frameworks are chosen and deployed. Smaller players don't have the level of facilities and may simply either go with available industry accepted frameworks or just follow the leaders. For example, Agile Methodology has been acceped for Software/Application Developments. It is interesting that some large well known organisations have come up with their own frameworks and have their own certifications. In most part however it is easier for decision making bodies to just adopt already established and popular framework. And what they can see or have experienced is what they can decide on.

At a macro level, there are complex movements and interactions between professionals, communities, universities and institutes. There is a cold war between major players for how far their framework can reach. How the project management course or credential program is put together plays major role too. PMI has taken more collaborative approach, where professionals can suggest and contribute to each iteration or revision. Then there are chapters, events, world conferences, seminars, membership activites and lot more. Which makes it more acceptable too. PMP is probably the fastest growing community with over 300 professionals getting PMP certified globally each week. Don't think that is the case from any other university or institute. Having said that, more and more companies these days ask for PMP / PRINCE2 while recruiting a project manager.

In summary, the rigour and competence required to accurately analyse the specific needs and choosing or coming up with a right framework is not easy to achieve for all organisations. Then there are good and well accepted frameworks out there so there is also a wisdom of "not reinventing the wheel". Most importantly, there is a sure benefit from moving away from person based approach and aim for process or system based approach. So going for a tunnel vision approach can be a good starting point, which will provide sufficient insights for what works and what not, based on which needs can be clearly understood and frameworks either modified for specific needs or right framework can be deployed.