One of the most powerful tools that a Project Manager can use to
solve serious problems that arise during a project is a fun game. Seems
counter-intuitive, right? It’s not. In fact, games are finding lots
of uses in business. The best training classes use games, not only to
make learning fun, but also to help students retain key concepts that
they can take back to their organizations. Many companies also use simulation type games
to effect culture change and build trust among employees. Games can
also be used when your team gets stuck on a complex problem and needs to
get unstuck fast.
When a team is going around and around on a problem and cannot see any other solution then the (crappy) ones in front of them, one of my favorite games to have them try is something called "the Anti-Problem". This game only takes about 20 minutes to play, comes from a book called GameStorming, and goes like this:
More than 20,000 organizations worldwide have adopted the PRINCE2 methodology to manage their projects. The reason? PRINCE2 zeros in on the essentials for successfully managing projects. PRINCE2 defines a streamlined approach to effective Project Management and provides a set of basic rules to live by. It provides clear, focused guidance and equips Project Managers with essential tools throughout a project to drive successful results
While The PMBOK Guide’s 42 processes and more than 500 inputs, outputs, tools and techniques can be overwhelming and cause one to lose sight of what is really important on a project. PRINCE2 identifies 7 core principles, 7 themes, and 7 key processes to manage throughout the life of a project. If things start to go wrong on a project, a Project Manager can very easily go back to the basics and directly identify the root cause of the problem.
New Project Managers will find PRINCE2 to be a highly approachable framework for managing effective projects, and can obtain the certification with no prerequisites. Seasoned Project Managers (and existing PMPs seeking PDUs) will see value in its practical advice and strategic business focus. Organizations find PRINCE2 valuable as it gives them a consistent way to govern and manage projects.
This paper will illustrate three key concepts within the PRINCE2 methodology that nicely compliment and leverage the information contained in PMI’s PMBOK Guide.
View the entire white paper here
If you are brand new to project management and your long-term goal is to work as a Project Manager, my recommendation is to get your CAPM now and take the PMP when you have a few years of project management experience under your belt. The CAPM is a well-respected certification, and it is designed precisely for those individuals who want to demonstrate a level of knowledge, competence, and understanding of project management principles, but who may not yet have the required years of project management work experience required to sit for the PMP.
If, however, you have been working in a project management capacity (even though you may not have held the title of project manager), you may find that you have enough experience for the PMP. My recommendation is to talk with someone who is already a PMP and ask him or her to look at your resume. Discuss the kinds of roles you have had and see if they think your experience would qualify you to apply for the PMP. Our company offers this as a free service to students in our CAPM/PMP classes, as well as help with the PMI application process. Many times, when I talk with students about their experience, they realize that they have actually been working in the role of a Project Manager (and using many of PMI’s concepts from the PMBOK) without actually carrying “Project Manager” as a job title. Don’t let the lack of the PM title keep you from going after the PMP certification.
If you find that you are not yet ready for the PMP, there is still a lot of value in having your CAPM, as you will have demonstrated a familiarity with PMI’s Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). With that said, be aware that you may have to educate potential employers what CAPM stands for (Certified Associate in Project Management) and the value that it provides. This is a function of the fact that there are more than 300,000 PMPs in the world, and there are only about 3,000 CAPMs worldwide. In fact, heard a funny story from a colleague who had earned her CAPM and interviewed for a Project Coordinator position. She assumed they knew what the acronym stood for and mentioned receiving the CAPM credential. After she got the job, the hiring manager asked her why she mentioned getting her Captains License (she lives in San Diego, and they just assumed it was for sailing!).
To me, getting the CAPM or the PMP demonstrates a commitment to project management as a profession. It shows me that someone has taken the initiative to thoroughly understand project management concepts and has passed a difficult exam (no small feat). It also shows me that they understand Project Management “best practice” and are in it for the long haul.
What do you think? CAPM, PMP, or both? I would love to hear your thoughts.