The AMA Handbook of Project Management

By Paul C. Dinsmore; Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin | Go to book overview

SECTION TWO
Section Two: Introduction

THE PROFESSION OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Project management has evolved from the "accidental profession" of years ago-when no one actually planned to become a project manager, but just happened into the position-to a profession based on formalized bodies of knowledge, such as PMI's PMBOK® Guide and those developed by other professional organizations, such as the International Project Management Association (Europe) and the Association of Project Managers (U.K.), among others.

Where once project management was merely an add-on to the role of a civil engineer or systems engineer, today it is more commonly identified as a career choice in and of itself. The rapid growth of the discipline's primary professional organization-the Project Management Institute-from under 15,000 members when the first edition of this handbook was published in 1993, to well over 150,000 members as this book goes to press, and growing at a rate of over 5,000 new members per month, gives us a good indication of the rapid "mainstreaming" of the project manager role.

Since formal certification programs appeared in the 1990s, more emphasis has been given to seeing project management as a profession-something that has a defined body of knowledge based on specific principles-and subject to qualifications and knowledge testing based on a formal process. There is an evolving trend towards developing professional certification that is not only knowledge-based but also competency-based, thus taking into consideration experience records and other formal professional qualifications.

Many companies require certification for advancement, or recognize certification as part of the advancement path in careers. In formal bidding processes for professional services related to projects, client organizations often call for certified project professionals.

The trend towards formal qualification continues to gallop along as professional associations develop more sophisticated

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