Got Certification? Why You Should Stay a PMI Member

I have tried two times to write this post.

By the time I’m halfway through it, the post reads like a bad PMI Membership brochure.

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t come back to the idea, but it bothers me that an organization that has so many resources seems to be spurned by so many that join briefly just to get certified.

They grab the certification and rush toward the exits.  I guess it makes sense.

  • Why stay a member of an organization that can help you and your career?
    There is no scarcity of resources on the PMI website that can help improve your knowledge of best practices and the latest research. The few I’m aware of are:

-PMI Publication Quizzes: Another way to earn PDUs. Each Publication Quiz is a package of one or two articles or papers on a project management related topic with a quiz. You read the articles, take the associated quiz, earn a 70% or higher grade and you can earn up to 2 PDUs.  All for $15 a quiz for PMI members. For PMPs, this is a low-cost, fairly painless way to rack up some of the 60 PDUs you need to extend your certification another 3 years.

– E-Reads and Reference (on-line access to 250 books on project management, leadership, and business, etc). An on-line library where you can actually bookmark pages and print what you’re reading.

– Research and Professional Publications PM Network and Project Management Journal (a peer-refereed academic and research quarterly) give you access to research and case studies on project management topics. In paper or digital format.

– E-newsletters
* Friday Facts
* EMEA, Asia-Pacific, Korea and Latin America e-links
* PMI Manage India
* PMP Passport
* PMI Knowledge Wire

  • Why stay a member of an organization that offers you multiple ways to network?

    Volunteer. Join a Special Interest Group and offer to be of service

    Join a Community of Practice: an Online community where members can network with others on wikis, watch webinars and comment on blogs related to a Project Management topic. There are at least 10 (Risk, International Development, Agile, etc) and more are planned.

    Participate locally. Join your Chapter and attend the meetings.
    In this economy, networking is important, but why take advantage of the opportunity to interact with people who would know about potential job openings?

  • Why stay a member when you could buy a copy of each PMI Project Management Standard and fill your bookshelf with hardcopies?
    Members can gain access to digital, secured versions of each standard currently available:

– The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), 4th edition
– Risk Management
– Construction Extension to the PMBOK 3rd Ed.
– Government Extension to the PMBOK 3rd Ed.
– Earned Value Management
– Project Configuration Management
– Work Breakdown Structures
– Scheduling

Ok. You’ve gotten my equivalent of the lecture on why you should stay a member of PMI and I didn’t even cover joining the Special Interest Groups (SIGs).

Pay the fee.  Take the exam.  Get your PMP.  But don’t leave the rest of your money on the table. Take a look around and see how PMI can help as you continue your career as a certified professional. For me, it makes sense to be a member of the organization that certified me, but I can understand your misgivings. When I joined PMI, there wasn’t much worth hanging around for, but lately, it looks as if the $119 might be money well spent.

Leave a comment, send me a tweet, my id is jgodfrey.


  1. Sorry Joel, but instead of lecturing people on why they SHOULD remain PMI members, maybe you should ask the real “root cause” question, why they do NOT maintain their membership? What is it the organization is or is not doing the keep members?

    As a long time, active and supportive member (Chapter officer, Chapter President, Founder of 4 Chapters, Regional Director of Advocacy) who not only dropped my membership, but also dropped my PMP #740, the reason I no longer support PMI is because the organization no longer represents the philosophy or values that I, as a life long project manager, subscribe to.

    Specifically, the PMP was NEVER intended to be a professional level credential. It was created as a BENCHMARK to see if people from functional departments had a sufficient grasp of the vocabulary and concepts to be able to be assigned to a project team and not be lost.

    Secondly, PMI is supposedly a 501(c)(3) not for profit professional organization. So what is it doing with over 100 million dollars in liquid assets? Why not reduce the costs of the exam or give away the PMBOK Guide for free?

    Lastly, the organization fails to even adhere to it’s own Code of Conduct/Code of Ethics. For but one example, the PMI CoC/CoE refers to the “profession” of project management in excess of 20 times, yet not one, but two published research efforts, one by Bill Zwerman et al and funded in part by PMI and my own PhD dissertation, established that “project management is not now, nor is it likely in the foreseeable future, to be recognized as a profession”.

    To summarize, PMI has become, IMPO, a hypocrisy…… The organization has evolved from a near bankrupt, but legitimate and respected professional organization, into nothing more than a 20 million dollar per year marketing organization, conveniently masquerading as a not for profit, selling a marginal knowledge based credential to people in the developing nations and a false promise to those companies who embrace the promise of “better” project management.

    I would urge other practitioners to look into other organizations, such as AACE or INCOSE or GAPPS…… Organizations that are truly not for profit professional organizations and who focus not on making money for the organization, but on improving the practice of project management.

    Dr. PDG, Jakarta

  2. Thanks for your comments, Paul. You’ve raised good points that PMI should address as an organization.

    First, I hope I’m not lecturing. I don’t view myself as someone who lectures. I’ll watch my tone in the future.

    Second, this is my opinion as to why people should maintain their membership – I can’t speak to why others leave. You gave us your reasons for leaving, are there others with different reasons? Probably. I would be interested in hearing from them.



  3. Good discussion here! It makes sense to be a member to sit for the PMP exam as the exam fee would justify it. However, it does not make much sense for the simple reason of obtaining PDUs through the quizzes as there are tons of free resources out there to get the required PDUs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s