MENTION project manager, and the first thing that comes to mind is a person who is in charge of building structures or something tangible.
Project Management Institute (PMI) chairman Randall T. Black said project managers could be instrumental in a project’s success or failure.
He said PMI, a body which certifies project managers, is one of the best-kept secrets of the business world.
“Very little is known about us although we are celebrating our 50th anniversary this year.
“We have 300 chapters with 14,000 volunteers worldwide,” he said on the sidelines of the biennial Asia Pacific Leadership Institute Meeting (APLIM) at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa in Batu Ferringhi, Penang, recently.
PMI is the world’s largest non-profit association for project managers, where its members are located in 200 countries and itscertificate holders exceed more than 950,000.
Of the eight industry-recognised certifications, the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is the most well-known with more than 880,000 PMP certificate holders.
“PMP is an indispensable part in any process, be it from building a road to putting a man in space, a special set of skills is needed to start and complete a project on time, on budget and on scope delivery,” said Black.
Black recently delivered a keynote address at the 6th PMI Malaysia Chapter (PMIMY) International Symposium at G Hotel Gurney from Monday to Wednesday.
“Unlike being an engineer,doctor or lawyer, a PMP certification is not governed by laws but they are highly skilled as frontliners in undertaking projects.
“But the recognition of the profession is in its infancy as governments have not fully accorded the status it deserved,” he said.
Black said it was only during the last United States administration under former president Barack Obama that the Project Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA) was passed.
“With PMIAA, every federal project in the country (United States) must have a certified project manager running the project.
“There are USD20 trillion worth of projects, which will be rolled out worldwide this year and PMPs need to be well-equipped to manage these projects.
“Today, a project manager faces greater challenges as the conversation on predictability is changing, and delivering projects andimplementing strategies have taken on a new turn,” he said.
Black said the rigorous training provided by PMI is being put to test as project managers today face a slew of issues where they need to show effective results within a shorter period.
PMI Malaysian Chapter president Krishnan J. Srinivasan said there were presently 4,000 PMIs in the country, which were fully certified.
He said the Malaysian Chapter was set up 25 years ago and the goal was to increase the number of certificate holders by tenfold.
A total of 32 chaptersrepresenting 20 countries attended the symposium.