An In-depth Look into PMP Certification and why it Matters?

A publication from Project Management Institution alludes to a study by Economist Intelligence Report shows that at least 80% of global executives and professionals believe that having project management as a core competency helps them to remain competitive during recession.

In another report by McKinsey, nearly 60% of senior executives reveal that a strong project management discipline is one of the top-three priorities for their companies in the future.

The relentless need for efficient and streamlined project management isn’t surprising. Companies of all sizes, across industries, have been steadily embracing project management. Efficient project management helps control their budgets, get work done efficiently, streamline business processes with scientific granularity, reduce risks, and enhance their success rates.

Project managers with established credibility – such as experience, and PMP certification – lend themselves invaluable to organizations looking to succeed with projects they take up. They help reduce the incidence of failed projects and lead business processes with confidence. That brings us to the certification process itself.

Let’s do a deep dive into PMP certification and why it matters:

PMP certification gets you prepped up

The whole world of business now grows one project at a time.

Project managers with professional certification such as PMP certification are introduced to the challenging world of managing projects locally and globally. The pathway to gain PMP certification is a first look for managers looking to gain competency in project management. PMP, for instance, is a PMI certification that’s globally recognized, in-demand, and highly-valued.

According to PMI Project Management Salary survey, a PMP certification is one of those deal making trump cards leading to faster growth and better salaries.

The PMI certification course demands intellect, experience, education, and competency. It helps project managers take on real-world problems hands on.

PMI takes a lot and hence gives a lot

To apply for a PMP certification, you’ll need a secondary degree such as a high school diploma or an associate’s degree. A global equivalent of such a degree also holds valid.

Further, you’ll need at least 5 years of project management experience racking up 7,500 hours of leading and directing projects to success. You’ll also need at least 35 hours of pure project management education.

Alternatively, a 4-year bachelor’s degree with 4,500 hours of real experience on managing projects along with the mandatory 35 years of project management education.

The Project Management Institute also publishes a PMP Handbook that you’d do well to download and refer to.

Application for the PMP certification exam is also subjected to an audit that you’ll agree as a condition. You receive PMP credentials after passing the examination but the certification itself isn’t a one-time shot, though. Successful PMP certificate benefactors have to earn 60 PDUs (professional Development Units) every three years as a part of PMI’s continuing certification requirements program.

PMP is just one certification. If you want to attain more than PMP certification such as a PgMP credential, you very well do so if you are eligible.

With PMP You Become an Insider, Jargon and all

Armed with a PMP certification, you get to take on clients directly. You’ll be able to manage teams with clarity, focus, and with workflows designed to fetch results.

Achieving a PMP certificate is also testimony to the fact that you’d pick up jargon that resonates well with other project managers, colleagues, and senior executives.

For a change, everyone stays on the same page and talks the same language. You’d still be able to manage projects without a certification but it’s just that a PMP certificate gives you a lot more credibility when you start taking initiative, engage in communication, and lead projects.

It’s a certification that lets people take notice. Give you the ear when you speak, follow when you give instructions, and respect your decisions.

PMP is a cash maker

We noted earlier in a post on PMP certificate that by the end of 2011, there are about 466,000 registered, PMP certified project managers.  There’s a reason so many aspiring managers work towards PHP certification: it makes money.

An Anderson economic group report reveals that an average of about 1.2 million project management positions will surface each year, all the way through 2016, owing to a shift in demographics in countries like the U.S and Europe and also due to a spurt in overall growth in projects globally.

Further, a Computer World Survey lists Project management at number two and also cites that 40% of recruiters plan to hire for Project Management Skill in the next 12 months.  Leadership and execution, of course, are of primary importance apart from background, experience, education, and certification.

PMP gets you the edge

It’s the trust economy we are in and qualifications and credentials such as certification courses are in big demand because they are trust tools.

While these courses and certifications certainly teach you a lot and take you deep into the subject along with practical application, they are designed to give you an edge. All things being equal, a PMP certificate helps you to score against a non-PMP. If you wish to get into consulting, it’s almost a pre-requisite when you go looking for clients or to win their trust to have you manage their projects for them.

If it’s not mandatory for the job you are applying to or for the company you are working with, PMP is a matter of choice.

In education and credibility, we believe. From that standpoint, a PMP certification can be a jewel in the crown; a feather in your camp; and a reason that you succeed in your career

Do you have PMP certification? Do you aspire to achieve one? What do you think about the apparent benefits of a PMP certification and how do you think it enhances your career? Please share your thoughts with us.


What Is HRIS Software?

In the simplest of answers, it could be said that HRIS software is intended to make the oversight and operation of human resource duties must easier and more streamlined. The software programs selected can be a far better solution to HR tasks than trying to log everything on a spreadsheet in which no automated functions are in place. Functions from payroll management to employee time management can all be handled through executing commands from the software that has been installed in the computer network of the office.

The Primary Functions of HRIS Software

There are quite a number of functions that HRIS software can handle. One of the most common reasons why some services do not invest the time necessary to install such software and put it to use is they might not be completely aware of what the software is to be used for. They might also lack knowledge about what the primary purpose of the software is. The common (and extremely helpful) primary functions of HRIS software include:

A comprehensive database of employee information. This database can be collected for easy future access. Payroll management can be made more hassle-free when salary stats and employee hours are clearly presented. Archaic piles of paper filled with handwritten notes is not exactly the most modern approach to take.

The software can effectively log all the statistics and data as related to what employees are doing. Employee time management becomes a lot more effective when it becomes clear what the employees are doing, when they are doing, and how much time they are investing in the work being performed. HRIS software can track all of these stats which, in turn, allows management to review such information and then take steps to correct any time management or productivity lags.

Devising and instituting new training plans may be made more impacting when there is a massive amount of data to draw from to devise any new educational programs. Depending on the particular training subject in question, a lot of work may be required to effectively bring employees up to speed on certain topics. There are also industries that are somewhat dynamic in nature. This means new innovations will require more and more training requirements. The right software program in place can help ensure that all training stays up to date.

Employees will be paid on time and in the correct amount. The correct amount of taxes and withholding will be deducted as well. Health benefits premiums will be covered. These are all critical responsibility management must handle with the utmost seriousness. Employees do need to be paid or else they will not remain with a particular business. To be sure there are no errors made when it comes to salaries. However, archaic systems can undermine the best intentions of an employer. Through using effective HRIS software that can handle effective payroll management services. Instituting such a system can definitely contribute to significant improvements in how pay is processed.

Document handling can executed in a much more effective manner. Documents can be scanned and entered into the servers. Hard copies stored in filing systems can also be cross-referenced with information in the software databases. To say this can make pulling up and reviewing files a great deal easier would be quite the understatement.

HRIS Software Is Not Complicated

A common reason why there may be resistance to purchasing and installing HRIS software would be fears about whether or not these programs are just too difficult for the average person to learn how to use and operate. Management might not be thrilled at the notion of spending a significant amount of money on having to train employees on how to use a complicated system. The truth is software of this nature is often much easier to learn and use than commonly thought. If it was not so simple in nature, then the likelihood would be not too many small or even large size businesses would be interested in purchasing such software. The cost of these software programs are far less expensive than commonly thought since there is quite a bit of competition in the market.

HRIS software can perform a tremendous duty to a business in the sense it can cut costs associated with running an HR department effectively. Payroll management and employee time management functions can all be effectively handled by a quality software program.

5 Reasons to use Agile for Developing Software

Project management techniques all come with their own set of advantages and limitations. Some, like Agile, are sector specific. However, few are able to capture and answer the requirements of software developers like the Agile method does. Indeed, there is little doubt that this method creates a more efficient atmosphere for developers, enabling both the client and development team to achieve their goals. What’s more, with such powerful software such as TeamPulse, you can automate, measure, and manage progress much more efficiently.

From experience, research, and consultation with colleagues, here are five reasons why you should adopt it for your software project.

Reduced risk

Risk keeps project managers up at night. The fact that your expensive project may be blocked by a multiplicity of factors would understandably keep you queasy. Whether it is scope creep, budget overshoot, late delivery, and many others, Agile helps reduce this risk through its tight monitoring and feedback processes.

With Agile, progress is measured over small deliverable schedules. This ensures that your team is constantly achieving milestones: great for tracking progress, and great for morale too. TeamPulse project management software features a powerful reporting mechanism that helps you keep a tight check on these factors: including scope creep, overworking personnel, over-budget items, as well as late delivery. This way, you reduce the risk that things will get out of hand.

Increased productivity

Apart from keeping within the budget, the most important goal for any PM is to maximize on productivity. The Agile way goes beyond smart management of teams; it merges the skill sets of different personnel without sacrificing on their independence. What it creates is a team that is interdependent and truly collaborative, sharing their skills, lessons, and experiences on every assignment.

When you embrace the innovative collaboration tools that TeamPulse offers, you make this collaboration even more efficient. You can stay up to date with the latest team news, share documents, track comments, all in one convenient central location.

With real time collaboration tools on offer, your team can now work off-site as well. Agile caters for this by advocating for personnel to work within their usual environment, so as to enjoy the efficiency that comes with working in a familiar environment. With off-site work, you also reap big on creativity as well.

Embraces agility

Software solution projects are supposed to be responsive to changing business and client needs. Traditional models of project planning are rigid, employing a central mandate and sticking to it throughout the project. For software development, that makes life very difficult.

Agile system allows you to be flexible in your mandate, by dividing the project into stories (sub-divisions) that are delivered in spaces of up to 4 weeks. For large projects with lengthy delivery dates, changes in requirements and business environment can easily be introduced when the project is divided into such. A PM software such as TeamPulse by Telerik gives you the opportunity not only to track, but also to modify the stories as needed. This level of flexibility reflects the dynamic environment of project management.

What’s more, the feedback mechanism allows you to constantly consult with the client to ensure that the product you are delivering is exactly what they want.

Improved labor use

In any organization, the human resource is the most important resource. The project environment is no difference. How you manage the labor you have directly determines whether you achieve your objectives or not. The Agile system ensures that you are responsibly allocating work: not over or under- doing it. Proper work allocation ensures sustainable development of project resources: working smarter with what you have. This process requires a good information management system, just what Telerik provides.

By first tracking progress according to the individual, you are able to see individual output and performance. Telerik also allows you to see how much work is allocated to each individual, ensuring that you are not over or under utilizing labor. Their output is also shared on a real time basis, so there is no information lag either.

Efficient feedback mechanism

One of the biggest fears every project team has is to finish a product and be told by the client, “This isn’t what we want.” Having spent (now wasted) precious man-hours and valuable resources, going back to the development stage will be a morale lowering affair.

This can all be solved by an efficient feedback mechanism. Agile recommends frequent feedback from the client, forcing them to participate throughout the life of the project. To make the feedback process easier, Telerik has a dedicated feedback portal. It is an organized, efficient, and friendly way of having the customer participate in the software development. They can submit feedback privately or publicly, follow progress, as well as leave specific comments and attachments for your participation.

Why Accurate Project Data is Important to Project Management and Business Decisions

Accurate data is necessary for a project manager’s daily tasks and decisions. If data is inaccurate in any area of the project work flow or structure, productivity will inevitably decline. Unfortunately, most companies aren’t 100% sure of how accurate their data really is. As a result, since there is a margin of error or gray area in the data, this can present a problem. Since it is unclear from the data where the error lies, project managers are unsure of where and how to fix the problem and how to make decisions based on this.

The first thing project managers should do is to recognize that there is in fact a margin of error. For example, projects that are handed off to different functional areas or departments are areas where many errors occur. In addition, project information that is shared among coworkers, team members, and clients is another area of error. The first thing to fixing the problem is recognizing there is one.

Secondly, project managers should address the severity of an error. Then, the error can be assessed and analyzed in order to identify where it lies and how it occurred. If there is incorrect data related to a project, or project specifications for example, it can affect the codes, budgets, files, etc. that correspond to that particular project. If the product information is incorrect it can affect the sales end of the project. All in all, project managers won’t be able to make sound, accurate decisions without proper, accurate data. So how should project managers address this and resolve it?

One way is to improve systems and software so they function properly and output real, live, correct data. Installing a robust software program can help fix many inaccuracies and prevent ordinary errors from occurring. The programs will look through your current system and cross reference with other files to make sure that the information is accurate. This way project managers can run reports, monitor communication in between departments, functional areas, and to and from clients.

A final solution to the problem of inaccurate data is to put a project manager at the front end of this that will ultimately analyze and cross reference all data. This particular project manager could also sit at the back end of a project and verify that all data, numbers, files, etc. are up to date and accurate before files are delivered to a client, for example. By having a “gate keeper” so to speak at the front and back end of projects, this will help minimize the margin of error. In addition, instilling this confidence in the back of the project manager’s mind will help him or her make sound project, customer, and product-related decisions.

It goes without saying how essential it is for businesses to verify that their data is up to date and accurate at all times. If it isn’t, the costs could be great. This could mean more than a monetary cost, it could cost assets, customers, and your overall reputation. To incorporate a data management software program to maintain accuracy in addition to staff resources to update the software, disregard the old, and analyze all data will save the company a lot of time, headaches, and money in the long run.