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David J Lanners: Do PMPs need to be comfortable with numbers anymore?

I’ve heard it said that if one wants to know whether or not to trust somebody with $100, lend them $1 and observe how well they manage it.

Today I received my receipt for $139.00 as payment for my membership dues through 28 Feb 2009.

However, the 8.5″ x 11.0″ paper sheet with the plastic membership card attached was PRINTED ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE PAPER.

Therefore, the blank plastic form intended to become my membership card is on the back side of the sheet and is still blank.

With all of the effort invested in improving the report cards for all of the exams that PMI is now selling, they apparently ran short of funds to do adequate quality assurance on the basic services being provided to all members.

The exam score report has degenerated from a “continuously variable” assessment of a candidate’s performance to an “attribute” based assessment limited only to “Proficient, Moderately Proficient, and Below Proficient” that will surely diminish the value of the PMP credential in the eyes of many (including me).

Can you imagine a speedometer on your vehicle being replaced with one that has only three lights “Too Slow, About Right, and Too Fast”?

So, if 61% is “marginally proficient” in the eyes of the PMI scoring wizards, then one can only wonder what numeric score would equate to the labels “moderately proficient” or “proficient.”  Then again, maybe those labels are appropriate only for knowledge areas and not for the “consolidated” body of knowledge.

While we are on the subject of using “subjective” attributes, why use the word “proficient” instead of “competent” when the former relates to knowledge whereas the latter relates to skill.  Oh, I guess I just answered my own question.

I have started to wonder if the slowing growth rate in demand for the PMP credential among folks who are very strong in math may be blame.  Could it be that PMI has decided to reach out to the “soft science” majors who prefer words to numbers?

We were told that PMI is doing it because others are doing it.  Now THAT seems antithetical to a Standard SETTING organization.  On this dimension I happen to agree with Paul G.  PMI was a lot more FUN when it was leading trends rather than following trends.

Hey, it’s still a good organization for keeping up with basic project management practices.  It’s just may not be as good in the future as it was in the past.

While on the subject of trends, I find that those who can identify trends very early have skills that can benefit the rest of us.

The justifying philosphy is quite simple, and I think pithy and profound . . . “How you do ANYTHING, points to how you do EVERYTHING.”

I hope they know that they are being watched by thousands of prudent observers (many of whom are indeed leaders) who can think for themselves.

Best regards, David
Lead Instructor


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