Portfolio Management Certificate from PMI

Posted on: August 15th, 2013 by Jim

PMI has added a new certification in portfolio management. Other than as a cash cow, I don’t see why. According to the PMBOK, “Portfolio management refers to the centralized management of one or more portfolios to achieve strategic objectives.” This sounds to me very much like a senior management role. Question – do senior managers typically feel the need or desire to get certification? And even if they do, how will this certification help them? By differentiating them in the marketplace as the PMP purports to? And at that level, is that really what potential employers are looking for.

I am not one of those who typically says that PMI is in it just for the money. I happen to think that the PMBOK adds a great deal of value and that the PMP – along with good, solid real-world experience – can be a valuable certification. However, my observation from teaching hundreds and hundreds of students is that only a relative few of them even know what portfolio management is much less admit that their company HAS a portfolio. A couple years ago, a colleague was speaking to an audience of about 300 people in Las Vegas. She took a poll to see who had anything at all for portfolio management in their companies. A handful of hands came up, and in discussions, what they had in place was very, very basic stuff.

Consider that prior to this new certification, PMI had 6 certs. The numbers? 95% of the certificants are PMP’s, the other 5% share the others. (There are fewer than 1000 PgMP’s). Clearly the market has spoken. It seems to me that rather than creating new certs, PMI should first be looking at its own portfolio of certifications. If part of portfolio management is to make sure it is “consistent with and aligned to organizational strategies” then I suggest PMI apply portfolio management to their portfolio instead of just continually adding new certifications. Don’t get me wrong. I definitely think having a portfolio is a benefit. Not so sure the cert adds any value

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