I’ve ranted about certifications before. But I recently encountered another job description with a certification that I just don’t understand. For a Quality Manager (not a Director or VP), the description asked for PMP. (The PMP is the PMI’s certification for project managers.)
Here’s why I think requiring any certification is nuts: all the certification exams are about the person’s ability to pay a pile of money, to show some “experience” in the field, and most importantly to spout back the certifying body’s nomenclature in an SAT-like exam. You don’t have to be good at what you do — you only have to know how to put the words and definitions together.So you’re probably thinking, “Hey, JR, being a project manager might be a good idea if you’re a quality manager and want to change the process.” Sure, it couldn’t hurt. But in order to succeed as a quality manager, you have to know how to gather qualitative and quantitative data (which the PMP doesn’t measure), and then influence the people in the system (which the PMP doesn’t measure). Since the quality manager is not going to drive (see below for exceptions) any projects, but instead influence other people to change what they do, project management skills are not particularly useful. All those interpersonal skills are. And, nowhere in the job description did it mention the necessary interpersonal skills.
I see job descriptions like this when people don’t take the time to analyze the job. If you’re a hiring manager, analyze the job. If you’re a candidate, ask a bunch of questions. And if you’re a recruiter, like the person I spoke with who was attempting to source the position, consider leading your client through the analysis process.
Ok, there might be exceptions. Agile project managers don’t drive projects in the same way that a traditional PM might. But this position was top-down quality, not bottom-up self-organizing teams who wanted to improve the process.