Professional Development: Focus on PgMP Credential

 

Introduction

PMI’s Program Management Professional (PgMP®)credential recognizes the advanced experience and skill of program managers. Globally recognized and demanded, the PgMP®demonstrates your proven competency to oversee multiple, related projects and their resources to achieve strategic business goals.

PgMP® credential holders oversee the success of a program, grouping related projects together to realize organizational benefits not available if they were managed separately. It’s the perfect fit if you define projects, assign project managers and oversee programs.

As project managers advance in their careers, the experience they gain in managing multiple, related projects and making decisions that advance strategic and business objectives demonstrate this competence. As employers demand program managers who can support the strategic objectives of the organization, PgMP® credential holders will gain a distinct advantage in employment and promotional opportunities over their peers.

Program manager role delineation

Under minimal supervision, program managers are responsible and accountable for the coordinated management of multiple, related projects directed towards strategic business and organizational objectives. These programs contain complex activities that may span functions, organisations, geographic region and cultures. Program managers build credibility, establish rapport and maintain communication with stakeholders at multiple levels, including those external to the organization.

Program managers defined and initiate projects and assign project managers to manage cost, schedule and performance of component projects, while working to ensure the ultimate success and acceptance of the program. Program managers maintain continuous alignment of program scope with strategic business objectives, and make recommendations to modify the program to enhance effectiveness toward the business result or strategic intent. Program managers are responsible for determining and coordinating the sharing of resources among their constituent projects to the overall benefit of the program.

Program managers possess the knowledge and skills needed to be effective in the project, business and/or government environments, and to make decisions that accomplish strategic objectives. In addition, the program manager should have advanced skills in finance, cross-cultural awareness, leadership, communication, influence, negotiation and conflict resolution.

PgMP® owner’s feedback

PMI Belgium is proud to count a large number of credential owners within our member base. Most members are holding a PMP® Credential, but few members do also have other credentials like PgMP® or PMI-ACP…

This gives us the opportunity to receive a real live feedback about the PgMP® Credential Value on the Belgian Market with a very interesting testimonial - Stuart Thorp Founder of Stance consulting and working as Program manager in the Automotive Sector has accepted to share his own professional experience.

 

Stuart Thorp – Working as program manager since year 2000

Stuart is a senior Project and Program leader with Board level experience in different sectors like Environmental, Automotive, Pharmaceuticals, Oil & Gas, Telecommunications, Space, Aviation, Chemicals, Financial, Public and Defence sectors.

He is passionate about Project & Program management (PMI PgMP accredited), Fund-raising, Organisational Development, Team recruitment, leadership and motivation, Change programme delivery and Performance Improvement.

He is regularly helping corporations to deliver complex value-adding programs. He is also supporting ‘start-ups’ to transform ideas into business reality.

http://be.linkedin.com/pub/stuart-thorp/0/b63/34

Stuart Thorp 

 

 Stuart Thorp testimonial on becoming a PgMP®

1. Why did I choose to gain the PgMP® credential?

I had worked for over 12 years for an international consultancy leading a range of projects and programs for many global companies.  End 2010 I decided to develop my career as a free-lance consultant, specialising in program management, within Belgium as my home market.

In preparing for this career change, I spoke with many former clients. They commented that they would be pleased to recommend me but would find it difficult to appoint a ‘free-lance’ consultant to lead complex programs – preferring to appoint such work to a major known consultancy ‘brand’ as a way of justifying their decision to their stakeholders.

I needed a way quickly to associate myself with a trusted brand – but didn’t want to lose my independence. PMI was the obvious choice. I wondered about PMP® (I had previously taken training but never completed the credential). I realised this was quite a widespread credential but my real goal was to lead complex programs.

I checked up on the statistics of the PgMP® credential in Europe and discovered there were only 2 PgMPs in Belgium and only a ‘handful’ throughout Benelux.  My decision was made – PgMP® would not only associate me with the PMI brand but also distinguish me as one of the very few PgMPs in my chosen market.

2. What is the added value of PgMP® credential; from a knowledge point of view but also from a professional daily life added value?

To be honest I don’t think I learned a lot in gaining the credential, but becoming more familiar with the PMI frameworks provided a common ‘vocabulary’ for engaging with clients, suppliers and peers.

Now that I have the credential, it brings me confidence of being able to stand up to members of supplier organisations (some of the largest in the world) knowing that despite the strength of their organisations behind them, they do not have the same recognition in leading programs that I have. Thus I feel empowered to challenge some of the biggest industry brands on behalf of my clients. This is clearly a value-adding proposition for me as an independent consultant.

3. What are the main challenges for gaining the PgMP® credential?

Having browsed the latest PgMP® Handbook, I realise the process has become much more straightforward since I gained the credential in October 2011.  Documenting my experiences over the previous 15 years, gaining support from previous client ‘sponsors’, organising the multi-rater assessment and then preparing for the exam was like managing a personal project!

For me the key to passing the test was practice with relevant questions. There is quite some technique involved in answering the questions efficiently but with the support of good published material, as well as some personal analysis – I was pleased to pass the test first time.

4. My personal conclusion

For me the key is that PgMP® is a demanding credential. Not many people can document at least 12000 hours of Project and Program management experience, with client testament to the value added.

For those who have this level of proven experience, and who want to demonstrate this against a recognised industry benchmark, PgMP® is a demanding but highly valuable credential.

 

References

http://www.pmi.org/en/Certification/Program-Management-Professional-PgMP.aspx