The two most common certifications nowadays that are well in demand by the employers worldwide are on project management and business analysis. You might heard of PMP - the project management professional certification by PMI and the other certification that is famous for business analysis is CBAP (Certified Business Analysis Professional) by IIBA Canada.

So, what are the benefits of becoming a certified business analyst, read on to find out.

1. The business analysis certification will help you grow in the business analysis career. Nowadays, many good positions require you to be certified business analyst and there is a good demand of business analysts by the companies worldwide. Your business analysis certification will validate your professional skills and help you to be shortlisted for the position that you will apply for and it will even help you getting higher salary in your current job and a new job.

2. Being a certified business analyst, you will be regarded very highly in the area of requirement analysis, business consulting, systems analysis, and of course in the field of business analysis.

3. If you do not have a degree or you have a degree but are out of technical jobs for a long time, you will face difficulty in getting a good, high paying job. However, if you become a certified business analyst, you will have good opportunities to get into the field of business analysis or management easily. These jobs do not require plenty technical experience and many jobs don't even require a degree but if you have a business analysis certification, your worth will increase many folds and you can easily secure a good and high paying job.

4. If you talk about big companies, or if you wish to join big companies, the business analysis certification is a must for you because the big giants such as IBM, CTS, Wipro, Unisys and many more always need a business analyst in their office who can handle critical business projects and business decisions.

5. By getting a business analysis certification, you will have a personal satisfaction of accomplishing a huge milestone in your career progression.

6. You will have better understanding of the practices and principles of business analysis, and you can utilize your business analysis skills and knowledge in your job, in your written as well as oral communications.

7. By becoming a certified business analyst, you will have improved your overall skills, removed uncertainty and increased market opportunities.

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What is the Project Management Institute?

The Project Management Institute (PMI) is a non-profit organization, which was formed in 1960 and the organization's aim was to promote project management at work. PMI wanted to develop common techniques, terminology and methods to be used in the field of project management.

A few years after PMI was formed, it formed research and education committees to research and standardize project management approaches and procedures. Soon, PMI's first book - Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) was published in 1996 and PMI's membership started to increase rapidly. By year 2008, PMI had more than 2.5 million members in more than 150 countries.

PMI launched its first credential - PMP, in 1984. PMP started to gain a lot of popularity soon and PMI also started working on other credentials. Now, PMI offers the following certifications:

PMI Certifications

1. Project Management Professional (PMP)

This is the most common certification. It now the most demanded certification in the world and many good jobs require the applicants to have the PMP credential.

2. Project Scheduling (SP)

This certification is for project schedulers who want to learn techniques and methods to developing and maintaining optimized project schedules.

3. Agile Certified Professional (ACP)

This is for those who want to learn Scrum, Kanban and other Agile methodologies into their day to day office work. Recently, PMI has launched a few variations in ACP certification, namely, Disciplined Agile Scrum Master, Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master, Disciplined Agile Coach and Disciplined Agile Value Stream Consultant.

4. Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)

This credential is mainly for portfolio manager who want to manage a collection of programs.

5. Risk Management Professional (RMP)

This certification focuses on managing project risks from identification to assessing, monitoring and controlling.

6. Professional in Business Analysis (PBA)

This certification is about enhancing your business analysis skills to enable you achieve successful business outcomes.

7. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

This is similar to PMP but at is aimed at beginners, with less experience and knowledge.

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Tags: what is the project management institute, what is PMI, PMI Certifications

PMP Certification is offered by PMI, a US based non-profit institute that researches and standardises project management practices. PMI was formed in 1960 and now has global presence. Read more about PMI here.

PMI offers many certifications and the most popular one is Project Management Professional (PMP)

Advantages of PMP Credential

Need of the Day

More and more employers are needing job seekers to be PMP certified. If you search for jobs online, you will find out that many good jobs, especially the senior position jobs require you to have the PMP credential.

Global Recognition

PMP credential is globally known and recognized. Whether you are in Asia, Australia, Europe or any other continent, the employer there recognize the value of the PMP credential and if you apply for jobs, you will be given preference over others because you are PMP certified.

Higher Salary

If you are going to apply for a job and you are PMP certified, you can ask your to-be employer a higher salary being PMP certified. It is true that with your PMP credential, the employers give you extra points and are not hesitant to offer you higher salary than they would offer to a non-PMP candidate.

Communication and Work Skills

Being PMP certified, you have learnt a lot of tools, techniques and methods to plan, execute, monitoring project effectively. Moreover, with PMP credential, you become confidence that you know a lot of project management terminologies that you can use in your meetings, emails, letters and during oral conversation with stakeholders.

Validates Your Work Experience

To be eligible for the PMP exam, you need to have worked approximately 4500 hours (if you're a degree holder) or 7500 hours (if you don't have a degree). Hence, your PMP credential also validates your work experience.


Disadvantages of PMP Credential

Cost

PMP Exam costs US $ 555. It may not be so much high for those who earn in US $ but for others this amount may be very high.

Difficulty

PMP exam is not very easy. PMI does not reveal the passing score or percentage. Years ago, PMI had set passing cores to be 61% and 68.5%. However, the experts say that the current passing score is approximately 75%. So, it seems that PMI keeps changing the passing score from time to time.

Time

Preparing for the PMP exam is very much time consuming. PMI has been adding new content in PMBOK every few years. 10 years back for example the PMBOK 4th edition comprised of approximately 500 pages and the PMBOK 6th edition has about 900 pages. So, you need time to understand as well as memorize the syllabus.

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Project schedule management is sub-part of project management, in which the project team and the project manager discuss and decide many aspects of project scheduling.

Usually, project schedule management includes the following:

Schedule Strategy

A strategy is created about how to create the schedule, how to manage it and who will manage it. The project manager decides many other things such as scheduling software to be used, how detailed the schedule needs to be and how it will be managed.

During the strategy development time, the project manager and the stakeholders decides on contents and types of graphical reports that will need to be created. The graphical reports could be in form of a gantt chart, histogram, spreadsheet or any other form that is required by the stakeholders.

Schedule maintenance method is decided, which includes the way how data of activity progress would be collected, and the method for updating activity progress in the scheduling software.

The project manager, the project team and the stakeholders together decide on many of these things and the project planning, monitoring and reporting is then happened based on that strategy

Schedule Planning

In this phase, the project schedule is created. It is a resource loaded schedule, which contains all the details about the resources assigned onto the activities, their rates, their availability, associated costs and manhours needed.

At start of the schedule planning, activities needed to complete the project work are determined. The Work breakdown structure (WBS) is also created to categorize the activities. The activities are added in the respective WBS elements. Then the activity duration, start/finish dates and relationships with other activities are also determined. Other information the schedule could have include activity notes, activity steps, activity constraints, etc.

Once the activities have been planned, the resources are then assigned onto the activities. The final outcome is called 'schedule model'. Typically, all this work is done in scheduling software such as Microsoft Project or Primavera software. These software also creates gantt chart to show graphically start and finish dates for every activity. This is often also called the gantt schedule or gantt chart schedule.

Schedule Monitoring and Controlling

Once the planning has been completed, the project enters in the schedule monitoring and controlling phase. In this phase of project schedule management, the actual progress of the activities is collected and updated on every activity, in the scheduling software. The actual progress of the activities include the actual start/finish date, actual duration, actual man hours used and actual money spent.

When the activity progress is entered in the schedule model, the activities are also monitored and controlled for any delays, cost overruns or any other issue. This monitoring could easily be done in scheduling software by showing the planned information and actual information, or by just showing the variance between what was planned and what actually happened. Earned Value Analysis is also used to more understand the project health and to forecast the cost and schedule for the remaining work.

Schedule Closeout

In this phase, the project if formally closed. The contracts are completed, the documents are archived, unpaid payments are made and all the administrative activities are closed. Finally, acceptance on project schedule is obtained from the stakeholders.

Schedule Communication Management

The project project information is communicated to the stakeholders. This is done by the same method (e.g. email, letter) which was decided in the schedule strategy phase. The communications include sending of gantt chart, activity details, resource histograms, etc. These include the planned schedule and the actual and variance information for the completed project.

For more detailed information on project strategy, planning, monitoring, controlling, closeout and communication management, see here.

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Tags: project schedule management, primavera software, planned schedule, scheduling software