Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Importance of Prince2 or PMI certification for Interim Managers

I have been working as a project and interim manager, in one shape or form for the last 27 years. But only recently have I worked for an organization that has adopted a fully mature Project Methodology throughout its organization. For example, if you are talking with a Finance Director and he asks you what stage your project is at, you can simply quote the relevant stage and he, or she, will immediately understand where you are.

When the methodology runs through the entire business, the structure enables a much better 360ยบ quality of decision making and helps ensure what the business required (via it BREQ’s or Business Requirements document) is actually delivered. Scope creep can be avoided (or at least controlled) and budgets can be followed extremely closely.

But what do you do, if your client (or employer) does not have an established Project Methodology? From an interim management perspective, unless your assignment is to introduce a project methodology, then all you can do is ensure that the assignment you are working on has a good structure and that you have a Project Charter, Scope Document, Road Map and other basic documentation that that can be easily shared and understood with everyone involved in the project – Including the company’s senior management team. (Some templates for these documents can be found on my website, they accompany my book, ‘Making a Difference’, due to be released in September 2007).

Prior to working in my present assignment, I took notice of potential candidates for the group practice, of which I am a Partner, ‘The Bayard Partnership’ ( but I did not consider it a must. In recent weeks my position is changing and I believe that the discipline that these certification programs try to establish, is far superior to the sloppiness by which many companies try to carry out their product and services development projects.

Thus, if you look at it logically, an interim or project manager, with the necessary intelligence, personal characteristics and a certification from Prince2 or PMI, is always going to be top of the list in the recruitment stakes and also in the top 10% of net worth income, for their field.

More information on Prince2 can be found here:
And PMI here:


B-Xavier said...

You are rigth Harley about Methodology. I had a lot of discussion with other practitioners about differencies and supeririorities of methodologies. But the basic begind Prince2, PMI, MSF and other RUP, it is to bring a common language and understanding. In consequence you have no better methodology.
Nevertheles you could have the non-appropriat Methodology. This is particularly true when you are confronting vision on a project with counter-part who has not the same background then you.
The easiest for a new comer in methodology is to learn at least one of the methodology as basement. Then, it will be easier for them to translate and to understand what your Couter-part means by re-phrasing what he has understand in it is own methodology. With the time, the tanslation will become obsoltete.

Chaos Theory said...

Dear Harley,
I personally agree with most of your article. However, may I make some remarks to complete it?

Firstly, those last month, I met some people who made their certification a sales argument. Talking a bit further with them, I was just wondering the certification worth. It seemed those people didn't understand the main goals of a methodology and weren't even aware of the good this could bring to their project. It was just... a value added argumment they were not intended to really use. By chance, such people are easy to discover while interviewing them.

The second category is what I personnally the Methodology Ayatollah... Indeed, those people seems to live, eat, sleep "methodology"...
As all integrists, we should really be carefull with those guys. A methodology is, like BX said a "base / universal language" allowing us to communicate with other parties in the company. It is also a really good way to handle a project, be sure not to forget anything, implicate all the people and getting all necessary sign offs at every stage.
But those Ayatollah will tell you all step MUST be applied, that your project is a really bad project if you do not comply with each single step... They often forget that a methodology should be adapted to the environment, to the project self.

A methodology is not there for itself but well for the good of the project and for the company who ordered it.

As a conclusion, yeps, usefull, but we should not forget
-those certification are sold, and sometime the commercial interest seems above the control of the certified person.
-a methodology is there to help, facilitate, guide, not to slowen the project or add unnecessary steps.

projectmanagement said...

Project Management Certification is very important for all professionals who are dealing in project management and want sure shot success in their projects , In India one of the best
Project Management Certification Training Provider is KnowledgeWoods Consulting

elizabeth thomas said...

PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential is the most important industry-recognized certification for project managers. Recently I went for a PMP prep course by the training provider you have mentioned, Instructer was too good and I passed with relative ease. Looking forwards to apply what I learned in PMP classes in my company