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John P. Reiling, PMP: Fine Wine, PM Skills, and PMP Certification

It takes time to become a seasoned and effective project manager, and PM certification can help you get there.

You may view CAPM, PMP, or any other PM certification simply as a means to an end. The trick is to keep your eye on two “ends”, or goals: near term and long term.

In the near term, the winemaker needs to plant grapes, harvest them, crush them and extract the juice, age the wine, then bottle it. This is not a process that you can really speed up without giving up quality. These steps take a relatively fixed amount of time, followed by periods of patience coupled with diligence. The reality is that it takes time…and patience to create a great wine.

Similarly, there are steps in the process of becoming a great project manager! And, as each wine is different, each project manager is unique, albeit with some common threads. One of the steps along the way is to earn a certification, most likely the PMP. But the certification alone does not make you a great project manager, any more than properly crushing grapes and placing the juice in vats for aging.

Depending on your career stage, you will have your own custom approach to PM certification. Here are some approaches:

  1. Very Early Stage – Earn CAPM, MS Project, or related certification that enables you to get onto a project, be effective, and gain experience.
  2. A few years of experience – You have enough PM experience to quality for the PMP. Go for it, and sharpen your skills in the process. This will open doors for further experiences where you can fine tune your skills.
  3. Highly experienced, well seasoned PM – You may not be certified, but you are very experienced. You may find that you need to get the certification under your belt just to round off your resume – and maybe you’ll learn a thing or two along the way that your experience did not teach you!

In each case, there are two things that happen at some point:

  1. You need a period of concentrated effort to earn the certification.
  2. You need a much longer period to season, consolidate, and age your PM skills.

As it takes time to develop a fine wine, it takes time to develop a fine project manager! With time, the wine develops the nuances of special flavors and aromas, blended and harmonized in just the right proportions. And with time, a project manager develops the technical, intellectual, and people skills – also blended and harmonized in just the right proportions – to become a fine project manager. And with time, your uniqueness as a project manager will also develop.


John Reiling, PMP

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1 comment to John P. Reiling, PMP: Fine Wine, PM Skills, and PMP Certification

  • As all know that project management is a very fundamental task in any of the business organization so a effective PMP course and training helps in attaining useful policy for organization of projects