arm_wrestling.gifProject management continues to shift its focus; it is no longer just an execution model, it is also a strategic business model.  Out of the organizations that already appreciate the value of project managment in completing tasks, many have also begun to realize project managment’s critical contribution, from delivering completed projects to being strategic owners who deliver business value.  So, what does it take to deliver on both?

Many organizations who embrace project management will only seek project management professionals who hold a Project Management Professional (PMP) credential.  According to The Project Managment Institute (PMI), individuals who hold PMI’s PMP credential “demonstrates a proficient level of project management leadership skills”.  There is no debate that those who hold a PMP are well-informed of project management principles and meet specific eligibility PMI guidelines measuring experience, education and professional knowledge.

However, there are many project managers who are equally experienced without the PMP credential.  They hold a GID – they Get It Done.  They are equally versed in project managmenet principles, have keen leadership skills and hold successful track records when managing projects.  They are typically subject matter experts who are smart, know how to navigate an organization, are highly organized and are proficient at relationship management.

Are organizations missing opportunities by not considering BOTH PMPs and GIDs when screening for project manager professionals?  As more and more organizations shift to strategic project managment models, should more and more companies consider both types of candidates to meet all the demands and challenges needed to establish, manage and successfully execute their portfolio of projects?

Know what you really need in your candidates before you begin the search.

Lisa DiTullio

Lisa DiTullio & Associates


4 thoughts on “PMP vs. GID”

  1. User Avatar

    I am all for ongoing learning! When we all stop learning, the world stops. However, many hard-working, dedicated learners and successful leaders may not come with all the formal credentials – Bill Gates, for example. Be clear on what you are looking for in a candidate before you hire-always look beyond the label before you buy!

  2. User Avatar

    I’ve earned a certificate in project and program management from a university, and I’ve taught in that program for the past 6 years. I am a lifelong learner, but I decided NOT to get a PMP when, during the PMP exam prep class I took, the instructor said “Don’t answer what you know is right, answer what the PMBOK says you should answer.”

    That kind of divergence between what I know works from 20 years of experience and from what a professional body professes to be “the truth” flies in the face of my integrity, my #1 value as a human being.

    I’ve also been an ISO 9000 auditor for a Fortune 500 firm and I can tell you all about how having ISO certification doesn’t guarantee business processes are sensible and effective. Sometime over a beer . . .

    – Kimberly Wiefling, Author, Scrappy Project Management – The 12 Predictable and Avoidable Pitfalls Every Project Faces

  3. User Avatar

    Hi Lisa,

    I agree with you that GID can be as important as a credential like the PMP. Josh is also correct in saying that taking the time to get a credential says something positive about the PM.

    The industry is moving quickly towards making PMP mandatory for the best jobs.

    Having said all that, I’ve seen quite a few PMP project managers who are less qualified and experienced than the GID PMs you speak about in your post.

    I would encourage anyone to get the PMP and also to continue to improve in whatever way possible. It seems to me that the PMP may open some doors. It is up to you to show that your clients were correct in letting you in the building.

    Alec Satin, PMP

  4. User Avatar

    This is how I look at it. Even if someone has decades of experience in any profession, I’m more impressed if they’ve gone through the work to earn the prominent industry certifications. Someone who thinks it is not worth their time may have stopped learning. If you think there is nothing to learn by earning a certification, then you are probably correct; there’s nothing you will learn.

    I want to hire a life-long learner, not someone who thinks they know it all.

    That is why I’m studying for my PMP now. I am learning much more from the tools I’m using than just how to pass the exam. The primary tool I’m using is an audio podcast that really helps me internalize the concepts and my work has improved as a result of my PMP study.

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