PMI Statistics Through December 2010

10 Comments

The December Project Management Institute (PMI) statistics are in.  The PMI now has over 412,503 active Project Management Professionals (PMPs) and 334,019 members. So, what’s new?

Again, the one bit of data I took note of was the PMI membership numbers.  Over the last year, the data being displayed in PMI Today has changed.  It used to be, you could see how many new people got their PMPs.  The Fact File now shows only Total numbers of each credential.  It does, however, still show New (PMI) Members.


The February 2011 issue of PMI Today (page 4) indicates there are 7,803 new members.  In fact, there is an overall increase of just 2,322 members.  5,481 PMI Members chose not to renew their membership in December.  Though I don’t have data to support it, I believe people are signing up for PMI memberships, with the intent of getting a PMP accreditation.  If they don’t reach their goal, they don’t renew their membership.

PMI needs to do a better job of selling people on the value of the PMI membership, not just an accreditation or certification.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
New PMPs (Net) 3,714 3,713 5,344 4,718 3,985 4,630
Total Active PMPs 367,619 371,014 375,959 381,111 385,096 389,726
Total PMI Members 314,721 315,106 317,962 317,787 317,989 318,421
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
New PMPs (Net) 3,687 3,965 2,681 3,161 5,939 3,344
Total Active PMPs 393,413 397,378 400,059 403,220 409,159 412,503
Total PMI Members 320,388 323,220 327,180 330,001 331,697 334,019

So, what do you think?  Why do you think there is an ever-growing gap between PMI membership and the accreditations or certifications they offer?

Source: PMI Today


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10 Replies to “PMI Statistics Through December 2010”

  1. Actually, more people are getting a PMP every month, compared to maintaining their PMI membership. I wish there was data that illustrates the number of years someone has been a PMP versus number of years someone has been a PMI member. It would help us understand if it’s the new people not renewing their membership or the people who have been PMPs for a number of years. Though I do feel the overall value of the PMP is down (personal opinion), the demand is steady.

    I think PMI needs to come up with a unique value proposition (UVP) as a membership retaining strategy. Either make the membership more valuable (offer more unique offerings) or lower the cost.

    Thoughts?

    1. My thoughts are, I’m a knob and I didn’t read your post correctly through my coffee.

      That’s a very interesting and surprising finding. Not renewing their membership…is that tied to not keeping up with the requirements to maintain one’s PMP? If memory serves there’s a whole giveback requirement, where you have to show all the fabulous things you’re doing to better mankind etc. to keep your cert. But I could be wrong on that.

      1. No worries, I would forget what day it was without coffee.

        Actually, you are correct, for maintaining the PMP. You need to get 60 PDUs in 3 years. That being said, you do not need to have a PMI membership to get or maintain our PMP. All you get is a discount.

    1. When collecting data at work, it’s always with the intent to help steer decisions. If anyone is listening, I hope it’s PMI.

  2. Miles Jennings, CEO of iMediaVentures, recently initiated a poll on LinkedIn, “Is PMP certification becoming more or less important for project managers?” The question drew 2,771 votes and 248 comments. A full 57 percent thought it was becoming more important, but the comments showed an interesting divergence: those who thought it was becoming less important stressed the number of PMP holders they knew who were not effective, while those who thought it was becoming more important stressed the market value. I ended up writing a post about the subject.

    http://blog.practicingitpm.com/2011/01/30/marketing-requires-more-than-relentless-self-promotion/

    1. Dave, you present a very compelling statistic! Rather than post my response here, I’ll do it over at your blog. I read your blog post. It’s very insightful.

    2. The discussion came up again, it was lively (!!) on this topic on one of the PM linkedin forums recently which asked basically “is PMI certification worth it? Does it add value”  A common theme I detected in people’s responses was that recruiters use PMP in word searches so to find employment, PMP was necessary  But in terms of value add to one’s work?  That was divided, many people said PMs with certification had no correlation to project success/good performance, supports what you’re saying 

      1. This discussion (debate) will certainly go on and on. I just gave a talk at AgileDC. It it, I said hiring managers and recruiters are partially to blame for what I would call certification motivation. People are getting past the gatekeepers, not because they would work well with a team or within a new organizational culture but rather because they a few letters after their name. I guess you do what you have to do, to get that job.

      2. I don’t know how you correlate project success / good performance to certification, when there are such wide variations in current definitions of “success.”  In Scrum and other product development approaches, you often see projects where time and budget are fixed, and scope is “whatever backlog we can work through at our velocity.”  In other Scrum projects, scope is “whatever backlog we work through before the product owner / sponsor decides to cut us off.”  In a lot of ERP and SaaS implementations, scope gets “discovered” along the way, schedule and budget gets adjusted, and customer satisfaction determines success.  In other projects, the go-live date is fixed (think financials and payroll system which need to go live at the beginning of a fiscal quarter) and everything else adjusted to hit that date.  Then there are compliance-driven projects, cost-limited / fixed-price projects, infrastructure projects, construction projects, and probably two dozen other broad categories.  One metric for success does not fit all, and no one is collecting performance data, other than via self-reporting by those who want to see a copy of the analysis.

        I would suggest that the value of any credential, whether professional body certification, license, or university degree, is the indication that the holder has followed some documented, structured approach to gaining a specific body of knowledge.  Of course, the guy who graduates from medical school at the bottom of his class is still addressed as “Doctor,” but our society has decided that a flawed approach to credentialing is better than self-assessment.

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