July 26, 2013

Importance for Architectural Project Managers to be PMI Certified

Many architectural firms have a job function called "Project Manager", what credentials should they have?

- Should they be Architectural School Graduates?
- Should they be Licensed as an Architect?
- What additional credentials should they have as a  Project Manager (PM)?

Many firms are sure about the architectural school graduation, and many firms seem to value having a license as an Architect.  But that seems to  be where the credentials end.  Firms then seem to focus on particular project experience (K-12, retail, health care).

I am not discounting project experience, but there seems to be another credential needed.  However, what other credentials/knowledge are needed.

Project Management is defined as "the discipline of planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling resources to achieve specific goals" (Wikipedia).  I find many people define project management as delegating to others, emailing, and taking meeting notes.  This underestimates the breadth of knowledge, requirements, and skills needed to be a good project manager.  What is the answer?

Project Management Institute (PMI) (www.pmi.org) is an organization that provides credentialization and continuing education for project managers.  Why should that be crucial for architectural project managers? 

As a PMP certified professional, Architect, and project manager, the knowledge I learned:

Why it is important to get all the stakeholders involved in a project, including input that may cause project delay?
Why understanding risk and opportunity, how to mitigate risk and leverage opportunity is a key to a successful project?
How do you know when your project is either over-budget or behind schedule - at any point in the project duration?

Building Owners would find value in these traits, and could leverage your firm's ability to secure more work.  Investigate PMI's website - the testing is rigorous, but the educational and practice rewards are high.

David Haynes, NCARB, PMP, LEED AP
Ideate Director of Consulting

David is a Registered Architect, Project Management Certified Professional, who previously had his own architectural practice and was President of a commercial design-build construction company for 15 years. A graduate of University of Arizona, he has worked as an Architect, contractor, developer and as a national construction manager for a national retailer. David currently provides business process analysis, virtualization and change management solutions for AEC clients across the United States involved in the design and building industry. Follow David on Twitter: @dhaynestech

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