Project Management

What is the Value in the RMP Certification?

January 14, 2016

Ashley Neu

Are you a project manager considering the Project Management Institute’s Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP) certification? But you can’t quite figure out if it’s going to help you in your career?

I’m going to tell you what RMP is about to help you determine if it’s a good fit for you.

To begin, you need to know the prerequisites for RMP. If you don’t meet them yet, this isn’t the certification for you. At least not yet. Don’t get discouraged though since there are other certifications for project managers that might be suited to your current experience level.

Here are the prerequisites you must meet before applying to take a PMI-RMP exam:

Requirements for PMI-RMP
– High School Diploma and Associates Degree
– 4,500 hours of project risk management experience
– 40 hours of project risk management education
– A 4 year degree
– 3,000 hours of project risk management experience
– 30 hours of project risk management education

As you can see, these are some extensive requirements. Make sure you are honest about your eligibility. You may be subjected to an audit before you can even take the test so don’t try and skimp on the requirements. Proper documentation of all your experience must be in order before you apply.

For those of you that aren’t quite there yet, check out this blog post on the project management certification path. It will help you determine which certifications to apply for and plan for the future.

How Will RMP Help My Career?

If you manage large scale, complex, and high budget projects, you need RMP. When you’re responsible for the success of large financial investments, you need to do everything you can to ensure things go smoothly. The skills and methods you learn with RMP will become incredibly valuable as you integrate them into your project planning. Keep in mind that stakeholder relationships, reputation, and resources may be lost due to project failure.

Project managers in smaller organizations can benefit from RMP as well. Even a small project can cause big losses for a company. RMP’s concepts and practices will scale just fine to small businesses and projects. Part of RMP is learning the framework of risk management. This allows you to piece together a plan that will best serve your goals. Don’t assume that because you are working on relatively small projects that there aren’t big risks involved.

Project risk management accounts for the unpredictable. It forces you to acknowledge that things don’t always go right, and have a plan in place for when your project starts having hangups. Most importantly, it ensures you know what to do before an incident occurs. Project risk management saves you from scrambling to figure out what to do when things go wrong, as you’ve already been planning for it.

What Are The Risks?

Risks are unexpected events that impact the outcome of your project. They can be good and they can be bad. In general we’re most concerned with the negative risks. You may have a disagreement between stakeholders in your project. Your team may go over the projected budget. You may find that a plan is no longer feasible, or that it doesn’t accomplish the goal as expected. Everything could go according to plan, but then your product isn’t well received by the target audience.

If you haven’t accounted for this, you will find yourself scrambling to recover. Risk management practices even help you decide if the project should begin in the first place. Of course large risks can bring large payoffs, but it’s up to you to determine if the risk is acceptable. Can your company take the potential financial hit that failure would cause? What happens if you go over budget? Suppose a senior programmer is injured and cannot work, are you able to stretch your deadlines or find a suitable stand-in quickly?

All of these risks need to be planned for. If you aren’t aware of potential risks, and how to minimize them, you could wind up responsible for a failed project that brings down an entire company, or severely damages their reputation.

If you’re a project manager, then yes RMP will helpful to you. The larger the scale and complexity of the project, the more important the practices and concepts of RMP become.

Plan Ahead Regarding PDU’s

PMI certifications all require renewal. If you are planning to get multiple certifications you need to plan ahead. For example, if you have plans to earn both PMP and RMP, take PMP first. That way when you get around to taking RMP you will earn PDU’s towards renewing PMP. The opposite however is not true, PMP does not count towards renewal of RMP. For details on what you will need to renew an RMP certification, check out this blog post on “How Do I Renew the PMI RMP Certification?“. For other certifications, refer to this blog post on “What is a PDU“.

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