I�ve already worked on a lot different companies, small, medium and big ones. I will not give names but some of the big companies recently invest a lot on managers that have only PMP and do not have software development skills. I�ve seen a lot of situations that erros ocurried just because the lack of this knowledge. My opinion is that software development is not a precise engineering and there are a lot of "unexpected" situations that requires understanding of this factor and the decisions cannot be ONLY based on numeric factors but the understanding of the situations too. I really think this is a dangerous way and can contribute to the actual disbelief the IT is facing. I want to know your opinions. Thanks very much.
Bruno Arruda [ December 04, 2007: Message edited by: Bruno Taranta Arruda ]
I agree with Bruno, but I want to put other similar situation. I�ve already worked on a lot of companies too, and unfortunatelly I�ve noticed that many of them are more worried with their business process than investing on the training of their own employees, in the same way as with the technology these companies are using. In my opinion, the employees are the most valuable "things" and needs to be motivated.
I also agree. You may want to look at some of the posts on Agile, which is compatible with traditional PMP best practices, but is more realistic about the challenges and unknown issues inherent in software development.
I agree -- anyone who thinks that software projects can be managed only on "numeric factors" without understanding how software is built will probably not do a particularly good job managing software projects. And I also agree that there are a lot of unexpected situations that pop up partway through the project and require that you change the plan.
The funny thing is that the PMBOK(r) Guide -- the framework which the PMP exam material is based on -- says exactly that.
The PMBOK(r) Guide has an enormous amount of information on managing project changes and unexpected situations: what changes need to happen, how to evaluate each change's impact against its benefits, how to make sure that everyone on the project who needs to be involved is given a chance to give input, and most importantly, how to anticipate, influence and prevent unnecessary changes.
It also explicitly says that there is no ideal way to run a project. It says there's more than one way to run a project, and that the only way to figure out how to manage your particular project is to understand the industry and the specific areas of expertise, as well as the project's complexity, risk, size, deadline, etc. This is stated very clearly, and you need to understand it in order to study for the PMP exam.
(Of course, the particular PMP certified people you mentioned may not have gotten those particular questions right! )
Author of Head First Agile, Learning Agile, Beautiful Teams, Head First C#, Head First PMP, and Applied Software Project Management (O'Reilly)