Is that a Process or is it a Project? Tips to Complete PMI’s PMP Eligibility Application
Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT
Every day we help Cheetah Students complete their eligibility applications for the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional Certification exam. PMI is very diligent in ensuring that the people who become eligible to take the PMP exam are actually Project Managers and not simply following a repetitive process that delivers a service or product.
What is the difference you may be wondering? I see this often with the firms we hire to create videos for Cheetah Learning. They use a cloud-based “Project Management” tool – such as Base Camp or Asana and call what they are doing a “project.” But the reality is for them, they are following their process of creating the video product for us. This is actually a very good thing as you want the professionals you hire to have well established and proven processes for delivering their work. But from PMI’s perspective, the people who are following these repetitive processes to deliver their products are not “Project Managers.”
To see the difference here, let’s look at an event that for one party is a “project” but for the other party is a “process.” That event is the purchase of a home. For most of us it fits the definition of a “project” from PMI’s perspective – “A project can be defined as a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service.” For the new homeowner, it’s a temporary endeavor to find the home and it’s unique as for most folks, they don’t purchase homes all that frequently. But from the perspective of the realtor who is in the business of assisting in the transactional activity of buying and selling homes, helping that new homeowner acquire their new home is a process. It’s a repetitive activity they do with hundreds of homeowners over the course of their career.
We would no more consider a realtor a Project Manager than we would consider the production coordinator for that video “project” a Project Manager.