Who Is the Project Champion?

The Project Champion (also known as the Project Advocate) is not the Project Sponsor, not an exceptional Project Manager who is physically strong, and not the smartest and fastest resource in the project team whose work will guarantee the success of the project as some may intuitively think. So who is the Project Champion?

The Project Champion is someone who:

  • advocates for the project by constantly praising its benefits (strategic advantage, ROI, etc…) to the stakeholders,
  • is a fierce supporter of the project,
  • and provides (often moral) support for both the Project Manager and the Project Team by liaising with upper management to address their worries and/or obstacles in the project.

In short, the Project Champion is an informal role whose main goal is to make the project succeed by addressing different obstacles while making sure that the stakeholders are always satisfied with the project.

What the Project Champion Should Not Do

As stated earlier, the Project Champion is not the Project Sponsor (although sometimes the Project Sponsor can play a dual role), and not the Project Manager, for that matter. Hence the Project Champion is not responsible for any reporting or monitoring of the project. The Project Champion’s involvement in the project (other than moral support) is solely limited to receiving (note the word receiving, the Project Manager provides the Project Champion with feedback, it is not the responsibility of the Project Champion to ask for feedback) feedback from the Project Manager about the problems that the project and/or the project team is facing, and escalating the feedback to the stakeholders along with suggested solutions to ensure a smooth project.

Who Should be the Project Champion?

Anyone from middle or upper management is eligible to become the Project Champion, provided he has the following traits:

  • Strong communication skills: Since the role of the Project Champion is communicating with the Project Manager and the stakeholders, he must be an excellent communicator.
  • Admiration of the organization: The Project Champion should be someone admired and respected by the organization, someone with charisma, someone that others blindly trust, and someone whose suggestions are always taken into consideration.
  • Expertise in company politics: It is a fact that most stakeholders don’t want to come up themselves with solutions to the project’s problems (they simply don’t have the time), instead, they want others to suggest solutions to choose from. Stakeholders usually select the solution that is in harmony (does not conflict) with their own agenda. The Project Champion’s role is to propose solutions taking into consideration every stakeholder’s individual agenda, e.g. the company’s overall politics.

Perhaps the perfect Project Champion is someone from upper management, with the above traits and some solid Project Management experience. It is important that in this case, the Project Champion should be careful not to get tempted and assume some of the responsibilities of the Project Manager (such as stakeholder management).

Is a Separate Project Champion Role Necessary?

In general, the need for a separate role is proportional to both the size of the organization and the project, though there are some who believe that the Project Champion’s role ties well into that of the Project Sponsor, and hence it makes logical sense to have both roles assumed by the same person in every project and every organization. It is important to note that the advantage of having a dedicated Project Champion is that the project, the Project Manager, and the project team will have more support, and that the project will be less likely to fail. A good Project Champion can be the reason why a project succeeds.

© 2010 Project Management Learning – Reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited without the written consent of Project Management Learning.

Can Someone Become a PMP Without Project Management Experience?

Project Management Learning receives a lot of queries about this particular question, so it’s time to address it properly once and for all.

Many Project Managers wonder if it’s possible to become a PMP without Project Management experience. The short answer is “No”, PMI is very clear in its requirements for the PMP credential: the Project Manager has to gather at least 4,500 hours of real Project Management Experience.

Unfortunately, PMI only audits a small percentage of PMP applications, which allows some unethical applicants to fake the required Project Management experience (and sometimes the education) in hope that they will not get audited. Deceptive techniques used to faking the Project Management Experience include (but of course, are not restricted to, as unethical people are usually creative in finding ways to trick the process):

  • Claiming fake Project Management experience either as an employee or as a contractor from disreputable companies/organizations that went bankrupt, ceased to exist, or are owned by a friend or a family member.
  • Inflating the experience acquired with the current company/organization, many times even informing management about this deceptive technique, so that management is able to confirm the validity of the applicant’s claim in case of an audit.

Sadly, because of the very small percentage of applications being audited, quite a few people are able to become PMPs by using the above (again deceptive) techniques.

This, of course, has some negative consequences, including:

  • An influx of bad “Project Managers” in the job market: Most companies assume that being a PMP (because of the traditional respect for this certification) equates being a Project Manager. While this is true in most cases, it certainly is not for anyone unethically becoming a PMP.
  • Diminishing prestige of the PMP accreditation: Those landing a Project Management job after unethically acquiring the PMP accreditation through faking their experience will send the wrong message to companies about the real value of the PMP because of their clear incompetency.
  • Reduced salary for PMP certified Project Managers: The diminishing prestige of the PMP as well as the abundance of (bad) Project Managers will have a direct and negative effect on the PMP salary.
  • Less respect for Project Management in general: The reduced quality of those working in Project Management will send the wrong message about the worthiness of Project Management as a profession and as a process to get projects done. This will hinder the evolvement of Project Management and will push companies to seek alternatives for managing their projects.

What PMI Should Do

For better or for worse, PMI has a huge say in the Project Management world, and as we can see from the negative consequences above, the somehow lax standards of auditing PMP applicants for their experience can affect the profession of Project Management as a whole.

Here are some thoughts on what PMI should do to avoid this:

  • Drop the random PMP audit mentality: PMI claims that it randomly audits applicants for their experience. This, of course, results in efforts being spent in the wrong place. Many times, it is very obvious to differentiate between someone with real Project Management experience and someone with no experience at all. What’s the point of “randomly” auditing the former and not auditing the second? It is better that PMI adopts a more targeted approach as stated in the next point below.
  • Adopt targeted auditing: Candidates documenting Project Management experience from unknown companies/organizations or those applying immediately after acquiring the minimum required Project Management experience to be eligible (for example exactly 4,500 hours) should have their application looked at with scrutiny.
  • Increase the percentage of the audits: According to PMI, only a small percentage of PMP applications gets audited. Most probably this is done because PMI is understaffed. Perhaps PMI should consider hiring more resources to perform audits. By hiring more auditors, audits can then be more proactive, such as contacting involved companies/individuals to verify that the Project Management experience is definitely “real”.
  • Enforce a lifetime ban for those faking the Project Management experience: Anyone claiming a fake Project Management experience is clearly not doing it with “good faith”. Those doing so should be banned for life from taking any PMI certification. Of course, some people make genuine mistakes in their application and should be excluded from this punishment.

PMI has to assume its responsibility of protecting Project Management and its future as a profession from fraudsters posing themselves as Project Managers. Otherwise, as stated earlier, companies will seek an alternative, and Project Management, as we know it right now, will perish.

Note: To its credit, PMI reserves the right to audit applications even after the certification is bestowed, but this is rarely (if ever) done.

© 2010 Project Management Learning – Reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited without the written consent of Project Management Learning.

What Is Student Syndrome in Project Management?

Student Syndrome in Project Management is a term used to highlight the ever increasing practice of leaving a lot of work until the last moment, while originally working at a very relaxed pace with lots of slack. Student Syndrome is very common in Project Management, and is a habit found in the Project team, the Project Manager, and the various stakeholders.

Origin of the Term

Most students tend to leave their homeworks/exam studies until the very last possible date to get the job (somehow) done, hence the origin and the relevance of “Student Syndrome”. The term was first coined by Eliyahu M. Goldratt in his book, The Critical Chain.

What Causes the Student Syndrome?

There are many reasons that may result in a project infected with the Student Syndrome, such reasons include:

  • Poor Project Management: A bad, disorganized, and unaccountable Project Manager who doesn’t constantly communicate with the project team is usually the main reason behind the Student Syndrome. The project team, when left unattended, may “slack” a lot, which results in a very slow progress. This will remain the case until the Project Manager decides to get feedback on the current status from the project team to show the progress to the stakeholders. This is when when suddenly everyone is in panic mode and every task has to be finished in a record time.
  • Unclear Project Requirements: Requirements that are not clearly defined as well as a hazy “big picture” of the project may result in frustrated resources trying to avoid unclear/difficult tasks that they do not understand.
  • Multiple Concurrent Projects: Having the project team working on multiple projects at the same time may lead in prioritizing one project over the other, where the latter will be in “stagnation mode” until the very last moment.
  • Human Nature: Last but not certainly not least, it is important to mention that humans, by default, are lazy. Procrastination is an innate habit in any person, this is the reason why success is only reserved for a few who conquer this habit.

Disadvantages of the Student Syndrome

Almost any project suffers occasionally from the Student Syndrome whether at the resource level, at the Project Manager level, and at the stakeholders level. This is normal. However, when the Student Syndmore is part of the overall project’s and/or the organization’s culture, there will be many disadvantages for the project, such as:

  • Reduced quality: Since all the work is concentrated in a shorter period of time, quality is expected to be negatively affected.
  • Reduced scope: When trying to finish tasks fast with very little time and no buffer, the Project Manager will be forced to reduce the original scope for the task in order deliver on time. Again, this will affect quality.
  • Stressed team: A stressed team is bad news for any Project Manager. A stressed team cannot be pushed further and increasing the work hours will reduce (instead of increase) the productivity.
  • Risking the Project Schedule: The Student Syndrome is tolerable for a few, non critical tasks. But when the number of critical tasks affected increases, then whole schedule will be at risk.
  • Loss of Stakeholders Confidence: Any product or an important task, that is even delivered fast and cheap, but with a largely reduced quality and scope without the stakeholders’ consent may jeopardize the reputation of the Project Manager, and will probably result in the loss of the stakeholders’ confidence.

In a worst case scenario, the Student Syndrome can cause a project to be killed (or indefinitely on-hold).

How to Avoid the Student Syndrome?

There is no way to completely suppress the Student Syndrome from any project, because, as stated above, it is an innate human habit. However, the Project Manager can keep it in check by:

  • Constantly communicating with the project team about their tasks, and giving feedback.
  • Constantly communicating with the stakeholders about the progress of the project, and requesting a feedback.
  • Keeping the slackers in the team under the radar, raising up concerns when too much time has gone by with too little work achieved.
  • Breaking down tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks in the project schedule. The time taken to detect the Student Syndrome is usually equal or less than the size of a task. If the affected task is allocated 3 months in the project schedule, then it might take up to 3 months to discover the problem, however, when the task is only allocated a week, then the maximum time it takes to detect the problem is a week. Note that very short tasks can make the schedule less manageable, and can create more overhead on the Project Manager.

Proactive (as opposed to reactive) project management is key to keeping the Student Syndrome in check, and to reducing its effect to a tolerable level. Perhaps the best thing to for any Project Manager is to start by himself by conquering his innate habit of procrastination.

© 2010 Project Management Learning – Reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited without the written consent of Project Management Learning.

What Is “Fast, Cheap, Good: Pick Two” in Project Management?

Fast, cheap, and good: pick (or choose) two refers to a Project Management term that Project Managers can only deliver, in any one project, 2 out of the 3 main constraints (schedule, cost, scope) according to the initial project plan. It is unknown who first came up with this term.

In nearly every project, Project Managers are faced with a tough decision: Should they compromise on the schedule, the cost, or the quality (e.g. scope)? Below is an explanation of every case:

Cheap and Good

In this case the Project Manager has chosen to compromise on the schedule in favor of cost and scope, hence the project will be finished late. This is the rarest scenario, as usually a project finished behind schedule is not cheap, and ends up costing more (often much more) than its initial budget. Smart Project Managers usually do not choose “cheap and good” simply because there is a very high chance that the project will end up expensive, bad, and way behind schedule. A very late project might also get killed.

Fast and Cheap

This will result in a “cheap” project in all the meanings of the word. The Project Manager opts to favor time and cost at the expense of the scope. This means that the end product/service will not be delivered according to the original scope: either the quality will be greatly reduced or some planned (key) features will not make it in the released version (in case of a software project). Needless to say, this is the most common scenario across the board, and is the favorite for both the Project Manager and the stakeholders:

  • The Project Manager will be regarded as someone who “gets the job done”.
  • The project stakeholders will be satisfied that they have a product/service delivered on time, albeit missing some features.

Negative effects for internal projects are usually minimal, however, for projects delivering a product or services to an end client, then the reputation of the company might suffer on the long term. Having said that, it is amazing to see that a lot of mega-companies follow this same strategy, and get away with it (the famous “release now, patch later” mentality). These companies are still growing and expanding.

Fast and Good

This is the preferred choice of Project Managers in case of construction projects, where adding more resources makes sense and can greatly accelerate the speed of the project, but, of course, at an increased, condensed cost. In case of software projects, this approach is not practical, as adding more resources increases the communication channels, ultimately reducing the velocity of the project (In general, Project Managers are advised not to take this approach for software projects).

Sadly, in almost all cases, scope (and consequently quality) is the first constraint targeted by Project Managers. The reason for that is that scope is traditionally non-measurable, as opposed to both the schedule and the cost. Stakeholders are more open to accept a reduction in the quality or features in the end product or service, than an increased cost or a prolonged schedule. This is the reason why so many products out there don’t turn out as people initially expected.

© 2010 Project Management Learning – Reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited without the written consent of Project Management Learning.

What Will Happen in Project Management in 20 Years?

By studying the previous and the current trends in Project Management as well as technology (especially the communication aspect), here’s some thoughts on what might happen in Project Management in 20 years (or 2030):


  • Conferencing will be made using holograms.
  • Every machine (PC) will have an integrated environment showing the progress of the project, the person’s tasks, and other related information.
  • Communicating with people in different languages will be a breeze due to instant, nearly perfect automatic translation from one language to any other language.

Multicultural Projects

  • Project teams will be less distributed, the trend of having multicultural teams across two or several countries will be reversed (although there will be no language barrier anymore, check the 3rd reason from the “Communication” list above). The reason for that is that the gap between currently weatlthy countries and poor countries will narrow so much that it will not make an economical sense to outsource fully or partially anymore.

Education and Certification

  • Experience will still help Project Managers in getting a job but there will be no need to get it to become one: universities will offer strengthened education programs for Project Management, truly preparing people to become Project Managers from day one on the job.
  • Private organizations offering certifications will become abundant until then, when they will be nearly completely overtaken by formal education (offered by universities).
  • The Project Manager’s worthiness in the market will be valued depending on the prestige of the school he graduated from.

Organizational Structures

  • Projectized organizational structures will flourish, while functional organizations will diminish greatly.
  • Program Managers will replace functional managers in most organizations due to projectized environments.
  • Project Managers will have substantially increased authority over their resources, that authority once belonged to functional managers.

Software Projects

  • The software industry will reach a certain maturity that will make managing (software) projects standardized. Software development projects will have less unknowns, more educated customers, and hence less risks and change requests, and consequently a higher percentage of success.


  • There will be a substantial increase in project success (much higher than the current 32% according to the Standish CHAOS Report). This is due to the formalization of all the processes, the enhancement of the communication means, and the perfected quality of Project Management taught at school.
  • Project Management will be eventually recognized by everyone as a profession, due to the complete adoption at schools, where it will be considered a science (like Math).
  • Program Management will infiltrate and influence governments, and a supreme Program Manager assigned by the government will oversee all the programs in all the governmental bodies.

© 2010 Project Management Learning – Reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited without the written consent of Project Management Learning.

What Is Parkinson’s Law in Project Management?

Parkinson’s Law was coined in 1995 by Cyril Northcote Parkinson, an English historian. Parkinson’s Law, in its general definition, means that Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

So how does Parkinson’s Law affect Project Management?

It is very easy for any Project Manager to relate to Parkinson’s Law. The most common example is the following: A resource is given a task that takes only a few hours at worst, but was allocated a week of work in the project schedule. Miraculously, the time spent on this task will expand and the task will be finished at the last minute of the last day of the allocated week (and sometimes not).

The definition of Parkinson’s Law can also be adapted to constraints other than time, for example the budget. So another definition may very well be: Total costs expand so as to exhaust the total budget available for the completion of the project.

Again, any Project Manager can easily relate to the above definition: How many projects out there were finished under-budget? Not too many, in fact, very few. Even when the Project Manager adds so much contingency to the budget and accounts for every possible risk and issue, the project is either finished on budget or (more likely) over-budget.

Why does this often happen in Project Management?

Many Project Managers make the mistake of creating a lot of slack in the schedule (for contingency) and creating a huge buffer in the budget (as much as they can get approved), thus projects get finished way beyond their normal finish date and at an inflated cost. There are several reasons why Project Managers make this mistake:

  • Keeping promises. Since managing expectations is an important characteristic of a successful PM, Project Managers try their best not to disappoint the stakeholders with a project that is behind schedule or over-budget, so they greatly inflate all the estimates.
  • The lowest common denominator mentality. This means that Project Managers expand the time allocated for tasks to match the speed of the slowest team member. Naturally this impairs the rest of the Project team, and creates a lot of unnecessary slack, and consequently inflating the overall cost of the project.
  • Skepticism about the team members’ own estimates. Almost every Project Manager learned this the hard way, team members in any project are optimistic in their estimates (team members often say “sure, it’ll take 1 day” for a 3 day task), they are over-confident and they don’t see the big picture. Project Managers tend to buffer extensively their team estimates. Tripling and quadrupling the initial estimates of the team members is not unheard of.
  • Laziness and ignorance. Some Project Managers are too lazy to know the members of their project team personally and/or to spend some time to study the technology being used which they’re completely ignorant of, so again, they protect their numbers by largely inflating the estimates. Parkinson’s Law thrives most in this case (which is the worst case).

There are many other reasons out there that make the Project Managers unnecessarily inflate their estimates, but they are all derived from the first reason, “Keeping promises”.

How should Project Managers address Parkinson’s Law?

In short, Project Managers should do their job properly. They should be sure to know each and every team member personally, his weaknesses, his strengths, his real output, his reliability under stress. Project Managers coming from a technical background are the best candidates to beat Parkinson’s Law, simply because they know the real ins and outs of any task, if it’s easy or hard, if it takes an hour or a week, and they’ll be able to assess objectively the estimates given by the team members and deduce some near-accurate estimates themselves. Needless to say, experience in Project Management plays a huge factor in overcoming Parkinson’s Law and finishing the project within a reasonable time-frame and on a realistic budget.

© 2010 Project Management Learning – Reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited without the written consent of Project Management Learning.

What Is the 80-20 Rule in Project Management?

The 80-20 rule in Project Management refers to the application of the Pareto Principle in a Project Management context. The Pareto Principle, coined by Vilfredo Pareto (a Genoese Economist) in 1906, states that 80% of the consequences originate from 20% of the causes (hence the 80-20 rule naming). Vilfredo first remarked this phenomenon in his garden (where 20% of the plants were holding 80% of the vegetables), and later realized that this principle can be applied in all aspects of life.

Following are some general examples of the Pareto Principle:

  • 80% of the world’s wealth is controlled by 20% of the people.
  • In a business-to-consumer software company, 20% of the customers cause 80% of support.

Here is how the Pareto Principle is commonly manifested in Project Management:

  1. 80% of the time spent on a project is caused by 20% of the features.
  2. 80% of the work is done by 20% of the project team.
  3. 80% of the budget is spent on 20% of the functionality.
  4. 80% of the conflicts are caused by 20% of the team members.

It is imperative for the Project Manager to account for the 80-20 rule in both the project plan (scheduling, team allocation, budgeting) and the risk management plan. Failure to properly recognize the 80-20 rule may very well result in a project that is over-budget and behind schedule. On the other hand, properly accounting for the 80-20 rule is among the traits of an experienced Project Manager and usually results in both a maintainable schedule and an accurate budget for the project.

© 2010 Project Management Learning – Reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited without the written consent of Project Management Learning.

How Does the PMP Audit Process Work?

Many PMP applicants are intimidated by the PMP audit process and wonder how it works.

First it should be stated that the reason why PMI randomly audits PMP applications is solely to maintain the quality of the applicants becoming PMP certified by making sure that all applicants are eligible for the PMP credential. Naturally, PMI cannot audit all the PMP applications, but auditing just a small percentage will deter quite a few (though definitely not all) applicants that do not meet the requirements.

The PMP audit process starts immediately after the applicants pays the fees for the exam, at this point PMI might elect to audit the candidate’s application who will be notified electronically shortly after paying the PMP fees.

Once notified, the candidate has to provide PMI with documents supporting his application. This might include:

  • College/University diplomas (copies)
  • Signed attestations from supervisors in the projects that were documented in the candidate’s application
  • Proof of accumulating the 35 contact hours. This may include university/college certificates, letters certifying that training has been undertaken, etc…

The candidate has to physically mail (no other form of sending documents is accepted) all the supporting documents to the PMI headquarters in Pennsylvania. Once PMI receives the candidate’s mail, it will make a decision on the candidate’s application within 5 working days. If accepted, the candidate will be allowed to take the test, if not, the candidate will be refunded the fees.

Note that PMI sometimes audits applicants who are already certified, this is very rare, and only happens when someone raises concerns about the applicant’s actual eligibility prior to taking the exam. If an already PMP certified Project Manager gets audited and fails the process, then PMI will revoke his credential.

© 2010 Project Management Learning – Reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited without the written consent of Project Management Learning.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Project Management Software?

Many Project Managers and organizations wonder if it’s worth adopting a online PM tool. Here’s a comprehensive list of the advantages and disadvantages of online Project Management Software in order to make that decision easier.

Advantages of Online Project Management Software

  • Centralized Data: The data is stored on the server, not on someone’s PC. This means any updates to the data by team members or the Project Manager can be seen immediately by the rest of the team.
  • Up-to-date status reporting: Since the data is centralized, and updates are instantaneous, then all the people involved in the project will benefit from an up-to-the-minute status reporting on the project, which is extremely important for the stakeholders.
  • Collaboration: Collaboration is the heart of what is now called “Project Management 2.0“. Team members (from different parts of the world in case of multi-national project/organization) will be able to communicate, and discuss certain tasks in real time under the supervision and the participation of the Project Manager, as well as some stakeholders, such as the client.
  • Email Notifications: Since an online Project Management Software is usually integrated with a mail server, it is easy to instantly notify team members/stakeholders/project managers about important events, such as changes to the project.
  • Compatibility with other PM Tools: Nowadays, most online Project Management tools are compatible with each other, so if the organization is not satisfied with the services of one company, then it is very easy to move to another one offering similar services. All that is there to do is to export the data from the first company’s tool and then import it into the second’s. There seems to be a certain standard that all these companies are following with the way data is being stored. (Note: Make sure that the export format is compatible with the second company prior to moving).
  • Access Control Lists: You only want a certain team member to have access only to a couple of tasks on the project, easily done. Intuitive access control lists allow the Project Manager to easily control who has access to what. Generally, access control lists work by individuals and by groups (for example: development team, design team, executives, etc…)
  • Ease of use: Almost all online PM tools on the market are very easy to use: there is almost no learning curve (contrary to the offline tools) for the Project Manger, the team members, and senior management (overseeing the overall progress of the project).
  • Backups: Backups are extremely important when it comes to project data. Most companies offer nightly backups as part of any plan, and they keep backups for the last 2 weeks. Additionally (again in most cases), the backup of the project data is redundant (e.g. the backup is duplicated on several servers).

Disadvantages of Online Project Management Software

  • Some basic Project Management functionality missing: Including Gantt charts, resource leveling, etc…
  • Unavailable when there is no Internet connection: Though it seems odd in this day and age to worry about this, there are still a lot of rural areas where Internet connection is simply not available, and when this is the case, it becomes impossible for the Project Manager to work on the project.
  • Security and privacy concerns: This is a very legitimate concern for all high profile companies; these companies are reluctant to have their project data (including the project plan and associated critical documents) on a 3rd party server, where the only guarantor of the security and the privacy is the 3rd party company itself.
  • No compatibility with offline PM Software: Online PM Software is unfortunately not compatible with its offline counterpart, for example, MS Project. Hence, moving data back and forth is not possible, and some Project Managers end up spending a lot of time updating the data in both software (online and offline).
  • Potential distraction: Team members receiving constant notifications about the project, or discussing some other functionalities (that they have nothing to do with) with other team members, are easily distracted. The Project Manager has to communicate and involve the concerned team members only for any task (e.g. a team member working on the development of the core of a software product needs not to be notified about the design progress of the project, and certainly needs not to discuss it).

Although Online Project Management Software is not quite mature yet in terms of functionality, security, and privacy, it is an avenue well worth exploring, as this where Project Management is heading: more and more collaboration. A company not benefiting from this emerging trend will soon find itself outdated and will have to reconsider its Project Management culture to be more aligned with today’s connected world, or perish.

Note: Both the advantages and the disadvantages are not listed in order of importance.

© 2010 Project Management Learning – Reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited without the written consent of Project Management Learning.

What Forms of Identification Should I Bring With Me to the PMP Exam?

PMP applicants always wonder what form of identification is acceptable when taking the PMP exam.

A rule of thumb is that any government issued identification with the applicant’s picture and signature is acceptable. This includes drivers license, passports, permanent resident cards (US and Canada, referred to as “Green card” in the US).

There are some government issued identifications that do not have any photos, in these cases, a secondary identification (doesn’t have to be governmental) showing the applicant’s photo is required (for example, a valid university card). In case the government issued identification lacks the applicant’s signature, then also a secondary identification bearing the signature is required (for example, a credit card signed by the applicant).

Any form of identification presented to PMI should have the same name as the one on PMI records (otherwise the applicant will be denied taking the test).

Failure to submit proper identification when taking the test usually results in barring the applicant from taking the exam. The main reason behind PMI’s strictness about this is to prevent people from taking exams for others. If the applicant is denied from taking the PMP exam because of this reason, then he must reschedule the exam and pay the full rescheduling fees. PMI treats this case as if the applicant missed the PMP exam with a voluntarily reason.

Note: Social Security Cards/Social Insurance Cards are not an acceptable form of identification (although government issued), as they bear no signature nor a photo. Library cards and gym membership cards are not accepted as secondary form of identification.

© 2010 Project Management Learning – Reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited without the written consent of Project Management Learning.