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I’ve heard both of these:

·         PMP is not very useful to agile project management or agile organizations.

·         Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) is at least equivalent prestige as PMP. Salary data seems to confirm this (link).

 

Are these true?

 

I’m asking because I am investigating project management certification options. I’m in an organization that is becoming open to agile methodologies. I realize that PMP probably isn’t antithetical to agile and Scrum, but it seems like there’s a tension between the camps, with PMP focused on traditional project management techniques.

 

What do you think?

 

Aren Cambre, '99, '03
Team Lead, Web Technologies Team
Office of Information Technology
Southern Methodist University

 

 

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

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Comments

My personal experience has been that the PMP gives you the foundation for Project Management. After receiving that, you can better understand the different methodologies available and use what works best for your organization. Agile, Scrum, Prince2, Waterfall, Method 123 or strictly PMBOK; the project management profession has evolved so much over the years and expect it to continue evolving as organizations determine what better fits their needs.

I have been reviewing the Scrum Master and Agile Certified Practitioner certifications myself to expand my knowledge. Is one more prevalent than the other? Any recommendations?

Paula Brossard, PMP
UITS Project Manager
UW–Milwaukee -
UITS EMS EB72
Office: (414)229-2831
Cell: (414)416-7807
E-mail: brossard@uwm.edu


From: "Aren Cambre" <acambre@MAIL.SMU.EDU>
To: PROJECT@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 10:11:27 PM
Subject: [PROJECT] PMP vs. Certified ScrumMaster

I’ve heard both of these:

·         PMP is not very useful to agile project management or agile organizations.

·         Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) is at least equivalent prestige as PMP. Salary data seems to confirm this (link).

 

Are these true?

 

I’m asking because I am investigating project management certification options. I’m in an organization that is becoming open to agile methodologies. I realize that PMP probably isn’t antithetical to agile and Scrum, but it seems like there’s a tension between the camps, with PMP focused on traditional project management techniques.

 

What do you think?

 

Aren Cambre, '99, '03
Team Lead, Web Technologies Team
Office of Information Technology
Southern Methodist University

 

 

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Aren,

                I have seen this question often between several certifications, PMP vs. Six Sigma vs. ITIL vs. SCRUM, etc. The answers can vary depending on what you want to do with the certification. Myself I have my PMP and then went forwarded and received my Black Belt in Six Sigma. The foundation from my PMP helped me with my Six Sigma training since each event was a project. I have found that PMP certification gives you a good basis for project management, but in order to apply it you will need to determine what works best at your institution. I have also known some really good project managers that do not have their PMP and some really poor one that do. Certification means that someone has studies to pass a test. The true test comes with how it is applied on the job and what they take from the training.

 

Randall Alberts, PMP

Assistant Director, Project Management

Institutional Technology

Ringling College of Art and Design
2700 North Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, Florida 34234
office:  941-893-2054
fax:  941-359-7615
web: www.ringling.edu

Ringling College - Changing the Way the World Thinks about Art and Design

 

Message from malterre@tc.edu

Hi Aren,

Interesting question, I'll give it a shot.

The comparison is not completely fair because the PMP requires demonstrating professional experience in project management, whereas you can obtain the CSM after taking a class and an exam. A better comparison would probably be with the CSP (Certified Scrum Professional), which also requires hands-on Scrum experience. But it's true that the PMP and CSM tend to be the most visible PM certifications on the job market. In any case, your first consideration should be whether you have enough project management experience already to take the PMP or other PMI certifications (CAPM: requires less experience than PMP / PMI-ACP: agile certification requiring both "general" and agile PM experience). See below for links to the requirements for each certification.

With that said, if you're looking at it purely from a salary and "bang for the buck" perspective, then the CSM is probably a better deal than any PMI certification since it's a smaller investment of time and potentially money. I would caution you to look at job postings for the types of jobs and organizations you're interested in, though, as I find that some industries (based on your job I assume you're not tied to the world of education) seem to be heavily biased towards certifications from PMI.

Also, looking at your job title, I think you may reap more immediate benefits from Scrum as it was mainly developed in the software world and you will find tons of free and excellent information about using Scrum in a context similar to yours; whereas PMI has a broader scope and most likely a majority of PMPs do not work in software, so the PMI body of knowledge is not tailored for software teams.

I would also like to say that, if certification is not your primary goal and you're more interested in acquiring skills you can use in your job, there is no reason to restrict yourself to Scrum. You may want to look at other agile methodologies as well (e.g. Extreme Programming, Lean) and find a better match for your particular context.

Finally, one more factor to consider: While Scrum definitely requires discipline to be applied successfully, I believe it would be mentally difficult to first work with Scrum or other agile methods and then move back to the all-encompassing and more rigidly structured world of PMI. Think of Scrum as a subset of the larger body of knowledge that PMI expects you to master. Actually, a Scrum course earns you certification credits with PMI (the so-called PDUs), so I'd say it's fair to call it a subset.


So here's my plan for you:
- If certification is not a goal, then try out different agile methodologies and save yourself some money.
- If you're interested in certification, and you're looking for a set of practical project management skills immediately applicable to your current job, adopt some basic Scrum principles in your work first. Then, if you enjoy using Scrum, go for the CSM certification. If it turns out you don't like Scrum, look into the broader PMI-ACP agile certification (and by then you may have gained the experience required to apply).
- If you're making a long-term investment for a career in project management, potentially even branching out outside of software at some point, try to resist the temptation to go agile first (unless you disagree with me on the mental hurdle I mentioned above), start working on the PMI body of knowledge, then after a while add on Scrum skills and take the CSM to gain some of the training credits you need in order to apply for the PMP or the PMI-ACP. You will come out of it with a well-rounded set of PM skills, and in the end you will hold both the PMI and CSM certifications.

For reference, certification requirements:
- CSM: http://www.scrumalliance.org/pages/CSM
- CSP: http://www.scrumalliance.org/pages/certified_scrum_professional
- CAPM: http://www.pmi.org/Certification/Certified-Associate-in-Project-Management-CAPM.aspx
- PMP: http://www.pmi.org/Certification/Project-Management-Professional-PMP.aspx
- PMI-ACP: http://www.pmi.org/en/Certification/New-PMI-Agile-Certification.aspx


I hope this helps. I'm interested in hearing everyone else's take on this question.


David Malterre
Process Improvement Manager
Computing & Information Services
Teachers College - Columbia University
david.malterre@tc.edu
(212) 678-4161


My belief is that all of these are somewhat complementary for IT project managers and where you focus your certification efforts depends entirely on what kinds of projects you work on. ITIL and SixSigma are process and service delivery focused whereas Scrum and Agile are mostly focused on software development. Agile methodologies seem to be making their way into other types of projects, but at it was originally conceived, it was focused on software development.

As others have said already, the PMP is a very good grounding in the full breadth of project management discipline and practice. If you're a full time project manager I would recommend starting with the PMP and branching out from there, depending on what types of projects you'll be working on (or have a preference for). 

Also, as has been mentioned, certifications can be somewhat irrelevant (good PMs that aren't certified and bad ones that are) - unless you're in the job market. If you are in the job market then they could make the difference between an interview and crickets….

Earl Lewis, PMP
Senior Project Manager
University of Utah
Project and Portfolio Office
585 Komas Drive
Salt Lake City, UT  84108

801-581-3635 (office)
801-554-3596 (mobile)
Aren,

I have both PMP and CSM certifications.  In my mind they are complimentary, not in conflict.  PMP certification focuses on project management techniques and deliverables.  It is the "what" you should do on a project.  CSM applies to IT application development or the "how"you should create software.  The skill-sets in each case are very different, yet both of value to an IT organization.  That is why you see equivalent salaries for these competencies.  At my institution we employ PMP principles to initiate and plan what will be executed in the Scrum.  Application development is carried out over two week sprints and progress is tracked like any other project.  Monitoring and controlling of scope, risk, cost, etc and closing-out the project is of course managed using PMP principles.  So to summarize, project management discipline provides the structure or framework that allows the application development (Scrum) process can operate.

Michael Valdez, PMP
Enterprise Project Manager
909-621-8996
Information Technology Services
Pomona College pricinples

From: "Cambre, Aren" <acambre@MAIL.SMU.EDU>
Reply-To: The EDUCAUSE Project Management Constituent Group <PROJECT@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2011 20:11:27 -0800
To: "PROJECT@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU" <PROJECT@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Subject: [PROJECT] PMP vs. Certified ScrumMaster

I’ve heard both of these:

·         PMP is not very useful to agile project management or agile organizations.

·         Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) is at least equivalent prestige as PMP. Salary data seems to confirm this (link).

 

Are these true?

 

I’m asking because I am investigating project management certification options. I’m in an organization that is becoming open to agile methodologies. I realize that PMP probably isn’t antithetical to agile and Scrum, but it seems like there’s a tension between the camps, with PMP focused on traditional project management techniques.

 

What do you think?

 

Aren Cambre, '99, '03
Team Lead, Web Technologies Team
Office of Information Technology
Southern Methodist University

 

 

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

------------------------------------------------------------- This message has been scanned by Postini anti-virus software. ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Aren, I wholeheartedly agree with Randall. And from an Agile perspective, I would be more interested in how a job candidate fostered Agile principles in a variety of practices, than in any specific certification she/he may have. I have gone to, and sent staff to, training on various project management methodologies, however the goal was not to become a practitioner of a particular process (indeed I do not think there is a process for Agile), but rather to build a foundation and ensure a common vernacular around project/portfolio management, product development, budgeting, resources, etc. As a hiring manager interested in fostering Agile methods, I would not--and have not, hired anyone based on a certification alone. Examples of practice, that highlight values/principles, are much more interesting. I am more impressed by those who have pursued certifications in order to extend understanding and practice, rather than to highlight their qualifications. Indeed a candidate for an role in an Agile shop who is knowledgeable in other approaches (PMI, Six Sigma, ITIL, etc.) or even other Agile methods (Scrum, XP, AgileUP, Feature/Test Driven, etc.) would be more desirable than one who had certifications as a Scrum Master, Scrum Product Owner, etc. alone. I think it is great you are reflective enough to pursue this, Patrick P.S. I do not know if PMP is antithetical to Agile (I tend to think they are contradictory, and to be fair, vise versa), but at the risk of sounding like a purest and a hypocrite, Agile is actually a software development methodology, while the PMI and other organizations have developed broader project management practices for initiatives beyond software. (That is the purest part, now for the hypocritical statements.) I do think the values and principles of Agile Software Development can be applied more broadly to not only project/portfolio management but larger organizational decision-making and governance. || |||| ||| || | | || ||| || ||| || | | ||| || ||| || Patrick Masson Chief Technology Officer, UMassOnline The University of Massachusetts, Office of the President 333 South St., Suite 400, Shrewsbury, MA 01545 (774) 455-7615: Office (774) 455-7620: Fax (970) 4MASSON: GoogleVoice UMOLPatMasson: AIM massonpj: Skype Web Site: http://www.umassonline.net Blog: http://www.umassonlineblog.com ________________________________________
I agree that there are bad PMs that are certified, but as stated there are good reasons to obtain a certification. In addition getting your foot in the door, another positive aspect of obtaining a certificate is the work it takes to obtain and maintain the certificate. In my mind this act shows some level of dedication to the profession. To maintain your PMP one needs to collect PDUs by various means (attending training sessions, conferences, speaking on project management topics, etc.). This tends to foster continued professional development and while you only get what you put into it, the need to collect PDUs provides encouragement to continue to learn and grow professionally. Thanks, Dan

Everyone,

 

Thanks so much for your takes on this. They were valuable and informative.

 

Aren

 

Greetings,

 

I have both certifications. Here are my thoughts:

 

  1. PMP tends to be very detail oriented and creates lots of documentation. Many documentations are useful for large projects, but can be over killed for small projects.
  2. Agile is very effective for small projects and I believe it can work for large projects as well. However, it requires strong management support. My organization has functional structure. Project managers don't have authority to decide project loads for his/her team member. The project can fail easily when the functional managers aren't committed to the project.
  3. I tend to use both traditional and agile PM methods for my projects especially large ones. Here are my reasons:
    1. Many documentations such as project charter and communication plan that are required by tradition PM are very important especially for large projects.
    2. Agile requires me to have regular communication with my clients and project teams. It requires my clients to take ownership for their project decisions and it requires my team members to take ownership for the tasks they take on.  
    3. My clients tend to understand requirements better when I use Agile language because it is written from their point of view. It also helps my development team to understand why some requirements are important to my clients.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Ching-tzu Chien, PMP
University Information Technology Services
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Phone: 414-229-2748
E-mail: chingtzu@uwm.edu


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