Is the PMP credential relevant to the construction industry?

I received a query from Brian Mascarenhas of Mubai, India. Brian is a manager in the construction industry.

I am a mechanical engineer by profession. I have been working for 3 years in a manufacturing company handling projects and maintenance. This year i have joined a city gas distribution firm in the project division.

I have been reading a bit on PMP certification. I am presently doing my post graduation in construction management.I was thinking of doing my PMP certification after my pg course.I wanted to know is whether this certification is relevant to my field and if yes what benefits does it hold for future growth as i want to pursue my career in the project management field.

Thank-you.
Brian


Brian,

Joining PMI, learning and taking advantage our standards and pursuing the PMP credential is definitely relevant to your field. In fact, the construction industry was one of the first to embrace our standards, particularly the PMBOK Guide. You might get the impression from the posts and articles on some of the I.T. related project management blogs and websites that the PMP credential has something to do with I.T. or that it’s an I.T. credential. The reason that it may seem that way is because these sites are websites for people in the I.T. domain. So they discuss the subset of project management that applies to that domain. Although the major adopters of the PMBOK Guide traditionally have been the government and the construction sectors, in recent years the I.T. community has jumped on the PMBOK/PMP “band wagon.” According to the latest statistics I have (which are already more than a year old) PM professionals from the I.T. world make up almost 50% of PMPs — but that’s still less than half.

Construction Project Manager

Construction Projects Use PMI Standards

Because of the construction industry’s long association with PMI and the PMBOK Guide, PMI has published an extension to the PMBOK Guide specifically targeted to the construction industry. (There is also an extension for the government sector, the other early adopter of PMI standards and the PMP credential.) In fact , the construction extension is already in its THIRD edition. In addition to the 9 PM Knowledge Areas described in the PMBOK Guide, the construction extension adds 4 additional Knowledge Areas: Project Safety Management, Project Environment Management, Project Financial Management and Project Claim Management.

So, yes, all of this is relevant to your field and, as a Project Manager in your field, pursuing the PMP credential would be relevant as well as beneficial to your career.

You say that you have “been working for 3 years in a manufacturing company handling projects and maintenace.” It sounds like your experience is a mix of both functional management and project management. While there is a big difference between operations (functional) management and project management, the subset of your time devoted to project management can definitely be applied to the requisite 3,500 hours and 36 (not neccessarily consecutive) calendar months required to apply for the credential. Also, I’m sure that some of the time you work in a gray area, performing tasks that could be categorized as both functional and project management. For one thing, Both projects and operations share common characteristics:
• Performed by people
• Constrained by limited resources
• Planned, executed, and controlled

So you should be well along in accumulating the PM experience that PMI requires before sitting for the exam component of the credential. Chances are that, by the time you’ve completed your exam preparation studies, you will have the 3 years you need under your belt.

Bottom line: the PMP is quite relevant for someone in your situation. In fact, since your new job touches on the government sector (municipal), you are now working in the two industries that were the earliest adopters of PMI standards and the sound, proven, project management best practices identified by PMI. As far as “future growth” is concerned, more and more employers are looking for PMI certified candidates when they hire employees or contact out for consultants. So you are on the right track!!

Good luck,
Jerry Bucknoff, PMP

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One Response to “Is the PMP credential relevant to the construction industry?”

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