Thursday, May 20, 2010

Death of a Pioneer - RIP Rita Mulcahy

I just got the sad news.  Rita Mulcahy, pioneer of the industry and the best selling project manager of all time passed away.  Here is the announcement:

Rita Mulcahy, Founder of RMC Project Management and the best-selling project management author of all-time, passed away on Saturday, May 15th 2010, from complications related to a five-year battle with Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC). She was 50. Rita leaves behind husband Tim Mulcahy, current Vice-President and Chief Legal Counsel for RMC, and two children, ages 7 and 5.

Rita was diagnosed with Stage 4 Inflammatory Breast Cancer in September of 2005, just days before two scheduled speaking appearances at PMI Global Congress in Toronto, Ontario. Given only months to live, Rita spent the next five years privately fighting her disease with a continuous regimen of both Western and Holistic treatments. During that time she continued to work, authoring five more best-selling books—including one with Fortune 100 leader Cisco Press—and delivering classes and keynote speeches across the globe. She also spent a great deal of time growing her business, and over the last five years watched RMC expand its training and product distribution to nearly 50 regions worldwide.

After her diagnosis, Rita worked feverishly to build RMC into one of the fastest-growing training organizations in the industry. Today, her thriving company is filled with some of the most sought-after experts in the fields of instructional design and delivery, learning development, and educational technology. Going forward, the Management Team at RMC will continue to leverage Rita's marketing-leading methodologies and learning techniques to develop more award-winning products, classes and e-learning courses in Project Management and numerous other related disciplines.

Even though Rita is no longer with us on a day-to-day basis, her unique and highly effective teaching style will live on through the hundreds of thousands of products and courses RMC delivers worldwide each year. In 2010, the Project Management industry lost its most passionate leader, advocate and friend. We will feel her loss every single day.

If you have questions regarding this release, we ask that you please direct all inquiries to Eric Rudolf, Director of Marketing at, or via phone at (952) 846-4484 420. Thank you.

Like many of you, I was certified through Rita's breakthrough learning system for the PMP.  There are others that do it now and many more options available.  However, she was truly the pioneer.  I got to talk with her a couple times and I have been blessed to have my third book picked up by the company she helped create.  She was a fascinating woman who really loved what she did.  She is an inspiration to us all.  RIP Rita, from the thousands of people you helped worldwide.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

To PMP or not to PMP, is that a question?

I am going to take my turn to weigh in on this debate.  As with any issue or opinion, some of you may agree and some of you may disagree.  The best part is that we have the opportunity to discuss and take sides!

Before I go any further into this post, yes, I know many PMP's who could not manage themselves out of a paper bag.  Yes, I know many PMP's who do not seem to know squat about project management.  There, I admitted it.  But does that mean the PMP is totally invalid?

I have seen many postings and articles debating the value of the PMP.  The Project Management Institute (PMI) has grown in leaps and bounds over the last few years.  One of the key reasons is the administering of the PMP exam and the credential itself.  Professionals seem to be deeply divided on whether this is a credible certification.  I think there is only one opinion that really matters.....yours.

I tweeted earlier this week that I thought a PMP was very beneficial.  One person responded to me that "Street cred is earned by exhibiting knowledge."  I couldn't agree more.  It made me think back to a time earlier in my career.  Due to a host of issues, I did not finish college on time.  I went into the workforce.  I even had my PMP before my college degree.  I remember responding to a job advertisement for an internal consultant.  I had all of the skills necessary and knew if I got the chance to interview, the job would be mine.  I couldn't even get past the first screening.  The reason?  No college degree.  When I was in school, I was studying for radio and television broadcasting.  This job was nowhere near that line of study and I had years of "Street Cred."  Couldn't even get an interview.  It was then that I decided to finish college and get my degree.  However, there were easy options thrown at me.  Degree mills or cheap ways to say that you had a degree.  I did mine the old fashioned way.  Hard work.  I did have a push though.  The current job I had been working stated that a college degree was necessary.  Even though I already had the job, took a 40% pay cut to accept the position, and was truly over-qualified, I would have lost it if I had not enrolled to finish my degree prior to joining the company.  I ask you, had I finished my degree when I was supposed to, would that make me any more qualified?  The better question is, if I need to distinguish myself from others, is a degree necessary?  Here is the wierd part.  Those who have degrees are shouting yes at the computer screen right now.  Those who do not have degrees are ready to comment how they were able to succeed without one.

I think it is the same for PMP's.  There are several classes of people out there.  There are those that agree with the principles, believe in the certification and get it for the right reasons.  There are those that simply got one to try to get a better job or salary.  There are those that got them through a certification mill or by doctoring their applications.  There are those that will never get one at all.  The question really is, which one of "those" do you want to be?

I agree with the "Street Cred" tweet that I received earlier this week.  Once you have the opportunity to show your knowledge and talents, will you follow the principles that you agreed to when you signed the ethics pledge?

I personally believe that the certification IS valid.  I believe that it is worthwhile and I am proud to not only have a PMP, but to participate in many levels of PMI.  I think those that received theirs through unpure motives will weed themselves out in the end.  I think those that go after it cheaply will see it leave just as easily.  There is a bigger question out there than this one.  If a company is going to require a PM to have a PMP, then the company should be willing to follow the process!  The answer to that issue is..........another post for another day.

Hope this post finds you well!

Rick A. Morris, PMP <- (and earned it!)