Thursday, October 19, 2023

Top Nine Reasons To Go For PMI-PfMP Certification

While interacting with aspiring Portfolio Management Professionals (PMI®-PfMP®), a number of questions come up. Usually, the frequent ones are the followings:

In this article, I’ll outline 9 top reasons to go for PfMP certification. There can and will be other reasons. If you know and want to share your thoughts, please do so in the comment section of this article.


Reason – 1: PfMP certification is the highest-level credential offered by PMI. It shines in your resume.

The Project Management Institute (PMI®) is a leading management institute recognized within the professional management community. 

There are many certifications offered by PMI such as PMP, RMP, ACP, PBA, CAPM, PgMP. But the highest one is PfMP. Hence, have no doubt in your mind that it’s considered to be the top-most certification offered by PMI. 

Reason – 2: With Portfolio Management, you are directly responsible for achieving your organization's strategic business objectives.

Strategic management can make or break an organization. This is where it all begins! This is where the organizational leadership plans to realize the vision and mission of the organization. 

In an organization, at any given time, a portfolio represents a collection of selected components such as projects, programs, operations and other work. In addition, only a portfolio reflects one or more organizational strategies and objectives for that point in time.

With PfMP certification, you can helpin fact, driveyour organization achieve its strategic business objectives. 

Reason – 3: Project and Program Management are about “doing the work right”, whereas Portfolio Management is about “doing the right work”.

Can you see the difference? In no way, I’m diluting the importance and significance of project and program management. They are extremely important. However, they are typically tactical in nature. With them, you do the execution part rightly. 

On the other hand, portfolio management is about doing the right work! You can also say, with portfolio management, you are identifying, categorizing, evaluating, selecting, prioritizing and also authorizing the right work. 

You can also say: Project and Program Management are the “execution work”, whereas Portfolio Management is the “thinking work”.

Reason – 4: The PfMP credential is considered to be an elite certification by top professionals.

The first point informs that it’s the highest-level certification offered by PMI. In addition, as I’ve seen, PfMP certification is considered to be an elite-level certification. The top professionals in the organizations, including directors, vice presidents, C-suite executives and entrepreneurs want to pursue those certifications.

I’ve interacted with quite a few PfMP, who are senior executives in the organization. Indeed, they respect and value the PfMP certification. 

Reason – 5: With the right book and/or course, you will know hands-on portfolio management in the real-world.

As the saying goes: “Books and friends, few but good.”

Good books and material are not only easy to read and follow, but also great friends and guides. The right book/material will teach you the practical aspects of portfolio management. For example:

  • How do you prepare a Portfolio Roadmap?
  • How to build a Portfolio Benefits-Realization Plan?
  • How to create a Portfolio Efficient Frontier Chart?
  • How to manage portfolio risks with hands-on software tools?

In my PfMP Exam Prep Book – I Want To Be A PfMP, the plain and simple way, you will learn many such software tools and their applicability in the real-world.

Reason – 6: Without strategic execution, organizations just fire and forget. PfMP ensures that you fire the bullets and ensure that the bullets meet the target.

Ever worked in an organization, where everyone is running around, doing a lot of “work” but the organization is still struggling and accomplishing a little? 

Ever worked in an organization but there is no focused vision, mission or passion, other than just making some profit?

In addition, you might have worked in organizations, where some initiatives are taken and possibly completed, but there is no impact on the margin or organization direction.

Such organizations lack strategic intent, direction, and execution. In such organizations, it’s fire first and then aim! You don’t accomplish anything with that. 

Strategy formulation takes time to build and has to be continuously visited and re-evaluated as strategic changes will happen, inevitably. With portfolio management, you ensure strategic management happens in the right way.

Reason – 7: You need not be a PMP or PgMP to be a PfMP. But if you are a PfMP, you will know PMP and PgMP content to an extent.

The Project Management Professional (PMP) from PMI is a very well-known certification and is highly sought after by many organizations. Considering Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) 6th edition, it has a perspective on project management with 10 knowledge areas, 5 process groups and a number of processes. 

Another certification, which has seen adoption is the Program Management Professional (PgMP) certification. The current edition for program management informs about 5 domains in the Standard for Program Management, 4th edition, including a number of program activities.

The Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP) certification, on the other hand, while focused on portfolio management also touches upon areas of project, program and operation management. After all, projects, programs and operations will be components inside a portfolio.

Another advantage is this: you need not be a PMP or PgMP to be a PfMP as noted in the headline. So, you can directly aspire to be a PfMP and also learn to certain extent about project and program management. 

Reason – 8: You will know governance at the highest level. There is a dedicated knowledge area: Portfolio Governance Management.

For your PfMP exam, you have to prepare with multiple performance domains (process groups) as well as knowledge areas. Portfolio Governance Management is one the key process groups, and you will get 20% of questions.

With this knowledge area, you will understand the importance of portfolio governance, identification, categorization, selection of portfolios as well as selection, prioritization, balancing and authorization of portfolio and/or its components.

In my view, it’s the most significant knowledge area to really understand portfolio management.

Reason – 9: If you are a PMP, RMP and/or ACP, then your understanding of Risk Management will be very helpful for Portfolio Risk Management. 

While the PMP exam tests your risk management understanding to a considerable extent, the RMP exam, in fact, thoroughly tests your risk management understanding, various simulation techniques with real-world tools, and a number of advanced risk management concepts. 

If you are a PMP, ACP and/or RMP, then your understanding of risk management will be 100% applicable for the PfMP exam. You can apply your learning and competency while preparing for the PfMP exam. 

Risk Management is not an easy area to understand, but your earlier learning will help with the right material and content. 

Video Brief: Top 9 Reasons to Go for PfMP

For quick understanding, I've prepared a video [Duration - 10m: 09s] in support of this article. You can watch the videos to learn a few more points about the value of PfMP certification.

Final Words

If you want to be in the driver seat of the organization formulating strategies, ensuring strategies are met, strategic changes are incorporated with the right projects, program and operations, and your organization meets the vision, mission, goals and strategic objectives, PfMP certification is best suited for you.

There is a reason it’s considered to be a top-most certification offered by PMI in the domains of project-program-portfolio (PPP) management. This is primarily because you actually ensure the organization ship moves in the right direction in the turbulent marketplace sea. 

If you are considering your career and growth opportunities, this certification provides an enormous amount of knowledge and real competency. And as noted in the first reason, it does shine on your resume, too!

Finally, with portfolio management, you are or may come directly into playing leadership roles in an organization. Leadership is extremely important and it also fundamentally changes you to the core.

Book Available for PfMP Exam:

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