Certification Bazaar: The Ugly Side

The certification bazaar has  taken off in the Indian IT industry. Courses range from PMI’s PMP, OGC’s PRINCE2 and ITIL, COBIT, TOGAF and BPM.

Purveyors of these courses charge you an arm and a leg; certification and their maintenance will in all probability cost you another arm and a leg.Do you wish to put down that kind of money with the possibility of little or no returns on your investment?

Horror stories of how folks are certified but have no opportunity to practise abound, but at least in some cases, employers are willing to foot the bill to retain the certified hordes. Yet others do not have the said luxury. Would you re-certify yourself if you had to pay from your own pocket?

Marketing emails  sniff out an inkling of a need or a requirement. The tactics could be termed innovative or (if you wish to be critical) , they  smack of desperation.

Courses and their faculty seem to be  disjoint and disparate from the industry and reality.

It’s a chicken and egg situation. Should you  certify and then gain experience on the same? Or gain experience first and then have yourself certified?

What do you think?


The other bugbear in the Indian IT industry is not sexism, as you would like to believe, but ageism.

Lack of seasoned professionals in the industry and pre-dominance of young professionals is the cause of this malaise.

Churlish behaviour of the young ‘uns only reinforces the impression.

Just another ugly facet of the celebrated success story.


Quote of the day:
Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. – Mahatma Gandhi

IT Project Management Quotes – These are not original!

It is important to spend money up-front on IT projects to avoid spending a lot more later.

A large percentage of the costs of many IT projects are human resource costs.

Organizational issues had a much greater influence on programmer productivity than the technical environment or programming languages.

A dedicated workspace and a quiet work environment were key factors to improving programmer productivity.

Continuity is only part of the reason for documenting events and decisions.

It is easier and more accurate to plan short stages than long ones.

A lot of time can be wasted in producing a very good plan to achieve the wrong objective.

Estimation is best performed by a group of two or three people experienced in both the subject matter and estimating. This number tends to balance out any individual over-optimism or pessimism in calculation.

In large projects or difficult areas of work, it is prudent to estimate at least twice ,either by using two distinct approaches or by allowing two different sets of people to estimate independently.

More uncertainty should be expected in a Project Plan than in a Stage Plan. A Stage Plan is for a shorter time frame, in the near future and planned in much greater detail.

Be realistic about the availability of resources. Allowance should be made for holidays and time that people will spend on non-project activities. The average working week is only four days after allowing for holidays, training, sickness etc. Of these four days, another half-day will be spent on other duties , even by dedicated staff – for example quality reviewing for other projects, line management and meetings.

Allocate to each high risk or critical activity a resource in which management has confidence.

In case of illness, consider the actions needed for any resource that cannot be replaced. Train other resources as back-up for any critical and scarce skills.

It may be beneficial to employ a high-quality Project Manager part-time than a lesser quality Project Manager full-time.

Remember the Project Manager’s job is to manage the work, not to do it.

The Project Manager must avoid becoming involved in low-level detail to the extent that sight is lost of the ‘big picture’, that is, what is going on in every part of the project. The Project Manager should not mistake the trees for the forest.

If at all possible, choose people at a common location. Alternatively, ensure that suitable communications technology and training in its use is available.

PS: Just wondering if a TT session using these quotes would be an innovative way of having an Project Management training session! Just a thought!