The United States: Project Management Professionals Are Dominant

Project Management Professional (PMP), is a certification that demonstrates competence and best practices knowledge. PMP-certified project managers earn 16 percent more than their peers who are not certified. PMP-certified project managers number 716,000 as of 2016. This certification has been the gold standard for decades in the United States. How did PMP become so dominant in the United States? We must first look at its origins.
Early American Project Management
The Gantt chart was created by Henry Gantt, an American mechanical engineer. It was first used in 1910. It is still useful for project management. It is used to break down large-scale processes into smaller stages and to analyze the relationships between them. Gantt chart was instrumental in the industrial development of the United States. These include the construction of Hoover Dam (1931-1936) and the creation nuclear weapons during the Second World War. Gantt charts’ structure is similar to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) work breakdown structure (WBS).
PMI and the USA
In 1969, the Project Management Institute (PMI), was established. This was a decade in which project management was being used in aerospace, construction, and defense. It has since been used to provide professional learning solutions for many high-powered USA agencies and organizations. NASA is one of the largest organizations to have a PMO. A white paper entitled “NASA’s PMO: Building and Sustaining Learning Organizations” describes the “significant improvements in the agency’s knowledge infrastructure” since 2011. NASA has taken on one of the ten knowledge domains of the PMBOK, project integration management. This involves negotiating elements of a project in order to meet competing objectives and expectations.
PMP and the World
PMP is an accreditation that can be used to improve the current forms of project management by many organizations. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is one of them. Their accreditation criteria favors a market-driven, private sector-led approach for global standardization […] substantially differing from the top-down approach favoured by many other countries. According to the PMI Certification Handbook, “The certification program is driven […] volunteers who represent the diversity in PMI’s markets, coming from every industry and job level.
Its historical success in forming principles is why it is still being used on a large scale. It is a dominant tool not only in the United States, but around the globe. This is despite a shift from industry to a technocratic and service-based economy. Because of its knowledge base, PMP is still a dominant global organization. It allows learning solutions that can be tailored to each organization’s specific needs. According to Project Management Journal editor, “If we have a growing profession, then we need to also have a growing body of knowledge.” PMP has survived to the present thanks to its adaptability and continuous improvement, backed up by modern accreditation and a history of success.