I have heard from many that projects can be managed by anyone. Others say that a degree is always better than a certification.
I beg to differ. First of all, yes anyone can manage a project, but how successful? The shockingly high number of failed projects shows that thinking you can manage a project does not automatically mean you will be successful.
Well lets start by defining what a failed project is:
If you fail to deliver a project in any of the 6 constraints, then you have failed. The 6 constraints are: Scope, Time, Budget, Quality, Risk and Resources.
But a project can also fail, if what you created is not taken up by the end users. So that software that is up and running, but no one uses it, is a failed project. Yes you achieved the technical objectives, but if no one uses it, it is still a failed project. Or that Police Post, that we were told about, that no one went to, because it was on the wrong side of the river and there was some taboo against going there. Yes it was a state of the art station, but again, no one used it.
Unfortunately there are many who are trying to ride on the project management wave and come up with degrees, certifications etc that are not based on any standards. Just because a course if being offered by a good University or a reputable institution, does not mean it teaches you international standards. That's why I always advise people that they should do some research on the course they want to take. Ask yourself some questions:
1. Which standards is the course being based on?
2. What certification, degree etc is being looked for internationally?
3. Which is being looked for in your particular sector?
4. How many people have been successful in their careers with this degree, certificate etc.
For example in Kenya all universities are offering project management courses, both undergraduate and post graduate. However not many universities are offering courses that are based on international standards.
Also in the international arena PMP® and PRINCE2® are the most widely recognized Project Management Certifications. Even more than most degrees and Masters. The Project Management Institute PMI® was the first professional institution to document an internationally recognized standard in project management. The Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK®) Guide documents the standard, which is revised regularly by practicing project managers. Prince® was developed in the UK government for IT projects.
The reason solid standards are necessary is the same, why the greatest artists, musicians etc all have a solid background in the basics of music. In order to create great art, you must have understood the basics structures. Any painting artist needs to understand the color wheel and the vanishing point and light and shade first before they can then start using this knowledge to achieve greatness. The greatest artists like Michel Angelo or Picasso spend years studying the same. In the musical world, all great composers did spend years studying the musical scales before they were able to play around them and compose timeless pieces. The same way any project manager needs to understand his tools and the building blocks of project management before he can do the customization his project needs.
Think carefully and do some research before you choose a project management course.
Feel free to contact us, we will advise you which course, certification etc is best suited for you and the kind of projects you manage.