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The Need For Project Management Professionals

Project Management” is a phrase used often in technical literature. Regrettably many who use the term actually do so incorrectly. To successfully manage a project requires much more than the mundane tasks needed to administer an account. Rather it more appropriate to consider that a successful project requires planning, design and execution.

A recent survey from the Standish Group (2009) found that of all projects undertaken in the US during that year only 32% were successful (success being defined as on time, on budget and to scope). This suggests that nearly 0.17 of annual US GDP (in the trillions of dollars) is wasted on failed projects (where failure is defined as a project that has taken too long, gone over budget or scope). As the number and complexity of projects continues to rise it is imperative that this shortcoming be addressed.

Is there a root cause to this issue?

According to the Gartner Group:

“Through 2005, 70% of successful projects will have certified Project Managers, while 90% of failed projects will not.”

This begs the question who, or what is Certified Project Manager and what role do they play in the success of a project?

The Project Management Professional (PMP) is a certification granted by the Project Management Institute (PMI) to trained and experienced working professionals. The designation is given to those with actual project experience and a thorough knowledge of PMI’s theory. This theoretical training involves many facets of a project including communications and risk management.

It is through applying strict disciplines of risk management, developing communications (amongst other skills) that the Project Manager, by design, ensures project success.


Andrew Epp, PMP, P.Eng.