Projects as a mechanism of change
Every organization, whether private or public, has a continuous need to launch projects that will improve the existing way of working, comply with legislation, implement new technology or build a facility. The goal of each such project is to achieve the desired changes and increase business value, Figure 1. Projects can achieve various measurable values, such as increasing profits or market share, but also immeasurable values such as market recognition, strategic alignment, reputation , etc.
Figure 1. Projects create change and increase business value
In such situations, everyone inevitably needs a good project manager who can be trusted to lead an important project and know that it will be successfully implemented within the set time, financial and qualitative frameworks.
In project management, the most important thing is the good organization of all activities, planning and supervision of people, their selection on the principle of “the right man in the right place”, expertise and interpersonal relationships. Of course, other resources and conditions in which the project takes place are also important, but if the processes and people on the project are well established, then the key preconditions for the successful completion of the project have been met.
Project management according to PMBoK
We are witnessing that there is an increasing need on the market to hire project managers, both for the purpose of permanent employment and for the purpose of temporary engagement in a current project. Very often, clients do not know what criteria to set when choosing a project manager or the basic criterion is the lowest price, which can ultimately result in inadequate engagement and unsuccessful project. In order to avoid such situations, guidelines for successful project management have been adopted at the international level and mechanisms for the certification of project managers have been established. One of the possible approaches it also provides PMI – Project Management Institute through its PMBoK Guide and PMP – Project Management Professional certification. It is recommended to follow some of the international guidelines to avoid failures in project implementation.
PMBoK provides guidance on how to use the tools, techniques and processes necessary for successful project management. It is also the basis for the preparation of project managers who want to be certified and gain the prestigious title of project management professional (PMP). PMBoK itself describes areas of knowledge as areas of project management for which processes, practices, inputs, tools and techniques are defined. Areas of knowledge according to PMBoK are:
- Project integration management: includes processes and activities related to identifying, defining, combining and coordinating different processes and activities within the grouping of project management processes
- Project scope management: includes the processes needed to ensure that only the work required for successful project implementation is included
- Project Time Management: Includes the processes required to manage the timely completion of a project
- Cost Management: Includes processes of budget planning, financial management and cost control so that the project can be implemented within the budget
- Quality Management: Includes processes for incorporating organizational quality policy into the project planning, management and oversight phases regarding product quality requirements, to meet stakeholder expectations
- Resource Management: Includes the processes of identifying, procuring and managing the resources needed for successful project implementation
- Project Communications Management: Includes the processes required to ensure timely and appropriate planning, collection, creation, distribution, storage, retrieval, management, control, monitoring and final disposal of project information
- Risk management: Includes risk management processes, identification, analysis, response planning, response implementation and project risk monitoring
- Project Procurement Management: Includes the procedures required to purchase or procure products or services required by the project and cannot be implemented by the project team
- Project Stakeholder Management: Includes the processes needed to identify people, groups, or organizations that could be affected by the project, to analyze stakeholder expectations and their impact on the project.
This systematic approach helps project managers to acquire the necessary knowledge, but also the skills necessary for successful project management. In addition to specialist knowledge, project managers need to be good organizers and planners, leaders, communicators and motivators, and interpersonal sensitive, in order to successfully deal with complex relationships among team members. Desirable characteristics are self-confidence, the ability to make decisions and take risks, as well as openness to the opinions of others and taking into account all relevant ideas.
Why PMP certification?
Good project managers are aware of the need to continuously work on their own improvement and acquisition of new knowledge and experience. They want to differentiate themselves and be recognized as successful project managers. A good way to achieve this goal is to self-certify and obtain a PMP title.
The basic advantage that companies can achieve by investing in the knowledge and certification of their project managers is the reduction of the risk of unsuccessful management of their own projects, and thus a greater number of successfully completed projects. It pays a lot more to invest in the certification of your employees than to rehabilitate failed projects. Only one failed project can have significant financial and non-financial consequences for the organization.
It should be noted that on January 2, 2021 the PMP exam changed, focusing on three domains: People, Processes, and the Business Environment. Also, there is a difference in the percentage of questions coming from individual domains. The largest number of questions (92%) comes from the domain People and Processes. The type of question is also changing, so that half of the questions can be expected from an agile / hybrid approach. The latest edition of the PMBoK provides guidelines for agile project management that are becoming more prevalent. The new exam consists of 180 questions and needs to be completed within 230 minutes. A total of two 10-minute breaks are possible. The questions are a combination of multiple choice, multiple answers, linking, hotspot questions and limited filling in the blanks.
Through its PM Academy, ZIH provides practical knowledge according to the latest version of PMBoK and based on many years of rich experience in managing various types of projects. The way of managing projects in a classic and agile approach was taken into account. Through practical exercises and work on project management, the students of the academy do all the work necessary in a particular field of knowledge and thus become ready to lead projects in their organizations and pass the PMP exam.