Is PMP only for IT Projects?

-- Vivek Prakash

Project Management in different sectors

For some time now we were discussing about usages of MS Project and have covered some of the critical aspects like balancing triple constraints, scope, time, cost & resource. We are at logical juncture and I would like to take a shift on project management beyond MS Project.

Let’s talk about project management and its implementation. Whenever we announce Project Management Workshop for PMP Certification, I invariably get queries from several people asking if this is applicable in their fields as well. The people asking this question are working in infrastructure, manufacturing, automobile, Oil and Gas, Research etc.

High adoptability of Project Management in IT sector (we can debate how religiously they are implemented) has divided the industries into two part, IT and Non-IT from the project management point of view.

Most of the IT companies have their customers in US and European countries and because Project Management principles specially PMI’s PMP also come from US, project management and PMP have become popular in IT companies and created a perception that project management is all about managing IT projects.

It is important to burst this myth that PMP or Project Management is all about IT.  Project Management principles are equally applicable to all types of projects either it is constructing a highway , launching a new product in a food processing or automobile unit,  building a new power plant, constructing a new residential building or taking up a research project for new derivatives of a chemical.

Project Management principles advice a manager in charge to define a well thought scope of the work to remove or minimize possibilities of scope creep later. Understand and assign dependencies so that a task later is not held up because one of the dependency is not met. Prepare a schedule that can ensure delivery …

…of the final product of the project in specific time, give early warning  if this time line is threatened due to delay in one of the critical tasks. Identify critical tasks that need to be monitored closely. Prepare a times phased budget and track it through out the project life cycle so that overrun can be avoided. Managing stakeholder expectations. Controlling the quality of the project processes and final product. Identifying risks and mitigating them to make deliveries as committed. What we need to understand is that Project Management is all about managing scope, time, cost, resources,  communication, quality, procurements of material and risks in an integrated and synchronous manner from Initiation to closure of the projects to deliver a quality product on time, within budget  and achieve customer satisfaction.

These processes are required by every projects irrespective which industry you work. If you are leading a project that in simple terms means you are leading efforts to meet certain objectives within limited time period, you must know project management principles and implement them religiously to get required returns on your investments.

PMI and FICCI jointly recently did a survey of 6 sectors in India on project management adoption in these sectors. (See figure)  Survey clearly state that better the adoption of project management, higher the delivery performance

Project Implementation Status Report of Central Sector Project published by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation also state that most of the projects are marred with cost overrun and huge schedule overrun.  These projects are in all areas like Energy, Aviation, IT, Mining,, Roads , Petroleum etc.

PMP Certification is an endorsement of your knowledge and skills in project management. Before you apply for PMP Certification, you must have minimum 3 years of experience in project management activities and have undergone 35 hours for formal training. Though PMP Certification does not ensure that one will be successful but it gives a kind of assurance that the person understand  project management principles and have required experience to execute project decently.

As the awareness about PMP is increasing in non-IT sectors and companies are seeing the benefits, more and more companies are looking for PMP certified managers to handle their projects.

Going for PMP Certification helps in managing project better and improve career prospects in all industries. So PMP or project management are not just for IT but equally applicable to all projects in other sectors