Did you know there is a globally recognized credential for program managers and six Intel employees currently have that unique designation? As of October 1st, 2007, PMI (Project Management Institute) has offered a PgMP® (Program Management Professional) credential. As a project manager, you may already have heard or have a PMP® (Project Management Professional) which globally recently passed over 400,000 PMP’s, the PgMP credential holders as of February 15th, 2011 are only 524. Where according to PMI, the number of new PMP’s is 4000-5000 per month, the new PgMP’s average only a dozen per month. Given the experience requirements and the challenge to obtaining the PgMP, Intel makes a great demographic representation with six PgMP’s or 1.2% of the total. Our PgMP’s are Bill Crider, Jeff Hodgkinson, Arvind Kejriwal, Charles Pettitt, Ravi Tipparaju, and Terri Williams.
The PgMP® Credential
In October 2007, the Project Management Institute (PMI) launched the Program Management Professional (PgMP®) credential. One of five ‘Family of Credentials’ offered by PMI, the PgMP® credential is intended to “recognize advanced experience, skill, and performance in the oversight of multiple related projects and their resources, aligned with an organizational objective”. As with other credentials you submit an application and if you meet the experience and educational requirement, then take an exam. More information on the application process can be found at Program Management Professional (PgMP®) .
Advice For Success from Intel PgMP’s
From a survey conducted last year of 225 PgMP’s, the average time invested in the application and examination study preparation is 160 hours over a 5 month period from submittal of the application to completion of the MRA. Below is some advice from Intel’s PgMPs.
Ravi Tipparaju, Engineering Manager in Bangalore, India, and the 140th person to obtain the PgMP did so to enhance his professional qualifications. His biggest challenge was understand program management process from PMI and map them to how we manage programs at Intel. His advice to PgMP applicants is to be persistent about obtaining the PgMP because of 3 step process involved. Understanding the process and having a clear learning plan will help a lot.
Charles Pettitt, IT Program/Project Manager in, Rio Rancho, New Mexico, is the 367th PgMP. Charles likes the global standardization for program management that the PgMP is setting and advises to get advice/mentoring from current PgMP’s to ensure all your bases are covered. He suggests you also do due diligence in understanding PMI’s definition of Program Management and the role of a Program Manager within an organization, It will most likely differ in many respects from the company you are currently employed by.
Terri Williams, IT Program Manager in Hillsboro, Oregon, and one of the most recent PgMP’s at #508 obtained her PgMP to solidify her program and project management skills and enhance her professional standing. Terri’s challenge was studying around an extremely busy work schedule that limited the amount of preparation time to complete the PgMP application and prepare for the exam. She gives sound advice to PgMP applicants to manage the process of obtaining the PgMP it like a project; apply your program/project mgmt skills to help you achieve it. If possible, take a PgMP exam prep course from an REP (PMI registered education provider) to help you focus on the key concepts and understand the PMI mindset for the exam.
Arvind Kejriwal, IT Program Manager in Bangalore, India, and PgMP #324, desired to enhance his program management skills by having a structured Program Management education supporting his On-The-Job learning. Arvind ‘s motivation wanted to improve his professional standing in the PM Community. He advises applicants to spend ample time filling in the application form particularly the 8 summary questions and the details of the Programs managed earlier. Review the form with others who have been through this process earlier. His biggest challenge was self study as at the time there were no PgMP exam preparation courses in the APAC region. The limited time a disposal to prepare for the exam can also be a big challenge.
Bill Crider, IT Senior Program Manager in Austin, Texas, and is the 507th PgMP. Bill’s advice to potential PMP or PgMP candidates is to seek large, complex projects and programs to manage. Go for the really interesting, high-impact work. Focus on performance and delivery basics, and keep good records of the time spent on each aspect of program and project management – these will be needed for the PMI application process. Also be sure to understand the differences between the ‘Intel way’ and the ‘PMI way.’ While we may use the ‘Intel way’ at work, you will need to completely understand the ‘PMI way’ for your application and testing. It is also important to tie your success to helping other people succeed. Take time to mentor and assist other PMs. True success is measured not by how much you do, but by how much you help other people accomplish their goals.
Jeff Hodgkinson, IT Senior Program Manager in Chandler, Arizona, was one of the first PgMP’s as part of a PMI pilot group and obtained the PgMP as at the time was an IT PMO Coach and wanted to be a role model for those PM’s he was coaching. Jeff found the mapping of the program domains and tasks as PMI’s specified in the program standard was a challenge as at the time there was virtually no exam preparation material available. Having since mentored several PgMP applicants, the best advice is to ensure the eight experience summary questions on the PgMP application are through and succinct using ‘SMART’ statements and that you identify twice the number of MRA respondents to ensure you meet the minimum # during the MRA evaluation phase.
PgMP’s at Intel have made the effort to distinguish themselves not only at Intel but globally in the program and project management community. Have successfully maneuvered through the PgMP applicant process they are a resource for others at Intel who also seek to obtain the PgMP. Obtaining the PgMP as with other globally recognized program and project credentials and certifications contributes to the quality and competency of Intel employees as now being perceived excellent program and project management expertise along with engineering expertise.