Project Management Guide

project management guide

Project Management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, techniques, processes, methods and experience to defined project activities to achieve project objectives and requirements. The field of project management is extremely large because it can be applied to any industry or sector anywhere in the world. The pursuit of project management certifications and the achievement of relevant qualifying experience is a desirable pathway that prospective Project Managers should strive to achieve.

In This Project Management Guide:

Read about project management principles, find out how project management is used, learn about the different international project management bodies and choose from a list of highly desirable project management credentials.

Project Management Principles

Project management is built upon the existence of a project and the steps that must be taken to effectively manage the project. A project is defined as a unique, temporary endeavour with a defined beginning and end, that is undertaken to accomplish a specific, singular goal. Although there are several project management schools of thought, each school is built on a number of processes which are used to take the project from beginning to end. The most popular project management associations are the United States based Project Management Institute and the United Kingdom based Association for Project Management. Project management can be extended to programme management, which is the management of related projects and portfolio management which is the management of projects and programmes.

How Project Management is Used

Project Management is a management discipline which coordinates resources to achieve project success. Projects are deemed successful if they meet project success criteria that was defined at the beginning of the project by the project sponsor and/or the sponsoring organisation. The various project management international bodies have separate models which determine the critical factors that should be considered when managing projects. But, there is a general consensus that when managing projects, special attention must be paid to scope, time and cost.

International Project Management Bodies

Professional project management bodies highlighted in this project management guide are recognised globally and offer a variety of project management certifications. What you will find is that in some geographic locations, specific project management designations are preferred over others. They are:

APMG International

APMG International is a global accreditation and examination institute which provides professional qualifications in project and programme management, information technology, change management and cyber security. Some of the qualifications associated with APMG are Agile Business Analysis, Agile Programme Management (AgilePgM), Agile Project Management (AgilePM), Management of Portfolios (MoP), Managing Successful Programmes (MSP), Project & Programme Support Offices (P3O), Project Management and Sustainable Development (PM4SD), Project Management for NGOs (PMD Pro), Project Planning & Control, Projects IN Controlled Environments (PRINCE2) and Prince2 Agile.

Association for Project Management

The Association for Project Management (APM) is a registered United Kingdom charity with over twenty thousand individual members and over five hundred corporate members. It aims to raise awareness and standards in project management in Europe through it APM Business Management System. The APM administers several project management qualifications such as the APM Project Fundamentals qualification, the APM Project Management qualification, the APM Practitioner qualification and Project Risk Management Single Subject Certificates.

International Association of Project and Program Management

The International Association of Project and Program Management is a global project organisation that aims to create and enhance value to its member and the project community. It represents members in over thirty countries and membership requires membership in the international association and a local chapter. It’s main qualification is the Certified Project Manager certification which is designed to complement other globally recognised project management certifications.

Project Management Institute

The Project Management Institute (PMI) is a professional membership body in the areas of project, program and portfolio management. The PMI provides standards, certifications, publications, networking and volunteer opportunities and supports almost three million professionals worldwide. Its highly sought after qualifications include the Project Management Professional, the Program Management Professional, Portfolio Management Professional, Certified Associate in Project Management, PMI Professional in Business Analysis, PMI Agile Certified Practitioner, PMI risk Management Professional and the PMI Scheduling Professional.

Project Management Credentials

Project management credentials range from entry level to professional level and usually consist of experience requirements, formal training and one examination. The spectrum of qualifications ranges from basic introductory courses to competency and knowledge based designations. The top credentials highlighted in our project management guide are:

Agile Programme Management (AgilePgM)

The Agile Programme Management (AgilePgM) certification provides programme managers with an agile approach to programme management. There are no prerequisites for the examination, which consists of 50 multiple choice questions to be completed in forty minutes. There are no re-certification fees or professional development units (PDUs) because the certification does not expire.

Agile Project Management (AgilePM)

The Agile Project Management (AgilePM) certification prepares project managers with the tools needed to use agile techniques to manage projects. There are two levels – foundation level and practitioner level. The foundation level exam consists of 4o multiple choice questions per paper and one hour duration and the practitioner level consists of 4 questions per paper and 2.5 hours duration. There are no re-certification fees or professional development units (PDUs) because the certification does not expire.

Associate Project Management Professional

The Associate Project Management Professional  qualification prepares candidates for all elements of project management. There are two examination routes for the qualification. One is a three hour paper in which candidates are required to answer ten of sixteen questions. The second is geared towards PRINCE2 registered practitioners. It consists of a two hour paper in which candidates must answer ten of sixteen questions.

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) requires the successful completion of a three hour examination consisting of one hundred and fifty multiple choice questions. Prerequisites include a secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or the global equivalent) and 1500 hours of project experience or a secondary diploma and 23 hours of approved project management education by the time you sit the examination. Exam fees range from USD $225 to USD $300 and re-certification fees range from USD $150 to USD $300. To maintain the CAPM certification, you must retake the examination every five years, however there are no PDUs.

Certified Project Manager (CPM)

The Certified Project Manager (CPM) certification is conferred after the successful completion of a one part, three hour examination that covers core project management areas such as Finance, Project Communications, Information Technology, Risk and Issue Management and Quality Management. Candidates are required to complete four  tracks in order to attain he credential. They are Academic/ Professional Background; Project Management Experience, Project Management Education and Training and the CPM examination.

Management of Portfolios (MOP)

The Management of Portfolios (MOP) designation confirms that an individual is competent to work as a portfolio management professional. The examination prepares portfolio managers managers with the tools needed to use manage a portfolio. There are two levels – foundation level and practitioner level. The foundation level exam consists of fifty multiple choice questions per paper and one hour duration and the practitioner level consists of four questions per paper and three hours duration. There are no re-certification fees or professional development units (PDUs) because the certification does not expire.

PRINCE2

PRINCE2 is a project management methodology with three levels of qualification – Foundation, Practitioner and Professional. The Foundation qualification confirms knowledge and understanding of PRINCE2 and the capability to work with a project management team. The Practitioner qualification confirms a candidate’s ability to apply the methodology to a real project. The Professional  qualification tests one’s ability to manage a non-complex PRINCE2 project. Each examination has a specific examination format.

Programme Management Professional (PgMP)

The Program Management Professional (PgMP) is a qualification that recognises capability and skill in the management of multiple, related projects with different functionalities, organisations, geographic locations and cultures. Applicants with a bachelor degree must possess a minimum of four years of project management and four years of program management within the last 15 years. Applicants who only possess a high school diploma, should have four years of project management and seven years of program management within the last 15 years. The examination consists of a panel review and four hour, 200 question multiple choice examination.

Project Management Professional (PMP)

The Project Management Professional is an internationally recognised project management certification that recognises an individual’s competence to be a project manager. Eligibility for the PMP examination includes professional education of 35 hours. Applicant who possess a Bachelor’s degree must have a minimum of 4,500 hours leading and directing projects within the last eight years. Applicants who possess a high school diploma must have a minimum of 7,500 hours leading and directing projects within the last eight years. The examination is four hours duration and consists of 200 multiple choice questions.

If you have found our Project Management Guide helpful, please let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. If you know someone who is interested in Project Management, send them a copy of our Project Management Guide and tell them about our website.

Not interested in Project Management? Read about our other qualifications, and find the one that’s right for you.