The New CompTIA Project+: Putting the Plus into Projects

by Tazneen Kasem | Mar 15, 2017

An astounding 97 percent of organizations believe project management is critical to business performance and organizational success.I joined CompTIA about 10 years ago as a product manager for CompTIA Project+ along with a few other certifications. Over the past two years, I’ve been lucky enough to once again manage Project+. Throughout my career here, I have managed many projects, from certification launches to the development and launch of the CompTIA Authorized Partner Program to recently the launch of the CompTIA Instructor Network. In fact, that experience led me to get Project+ and Prince 2 certified, and I’m now working on my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. It has been interesting to see how project management has become an increasingly in-demand skill.

At CompTIA, I have managed numerous small- to medium-sized projects, with cross-functional team members from finance, operations, marketing, customer service and sales. I still wouldn’t say my primary role is in project management, as I have been either a product manager or program manager with different goals. But having the project management skills has really helped.

Today, CompTIA released the newest release of Project+. As I review the objectives of the new Project+ exam (PK0-004), I see how it fits really well for our target audience – anyone managing small- to medium-sized projects or participating on project teams. It could relate to any number of job titles, such as manager, project coordinator, project scheduler, network admin, business development manager, product manager or accountant.

IT pros who responded to Computerworld's Forecast 2017 survey ranked project management among the top 10 in-demand skills for this year. With nearly half (41%) expecting their technology spending to increase in 2017, it's no surprise that project management remains high on the list. More spending means more projects -- and that means more people will be needed to manage those projects.

According to Burning Glass employment data, in 2016, the United States had:

  • 1,375,692 job posting for project managers.
  • More than 400,000 job postings for IT project managers.
  • More than 108,000 IT job postings that mention project management skills.
  • More than 300,000 non-IT job postings that mention project management skills.

As you can see, the demand for project managers and project management skills is growing, and this is the perfect time to get CompTIA Project+ certified and update staff skills. That’s why we’ve taken steps over the years to make Project+ a certification for anyone inside and outside of the IT profession. The new version is no different in that respect – it’s ideal for any individual in the workforce who wants to verify his or her project management experience.

Too often, project management certifications tend to have rather arduous experience requirements. ... The updated CompTIA Project+ solves this problem and gives individuals an easier way to verify their project management skills.

Let’s look at what the new exam covers.

Domain 1: Project Basics (36 percent)

This is the largest domain of the exam. It covers the basic properties of projects and the roles and responsibilities of the project members, and it defines the organization structure. This section dives into the five project phases typically recognized by project management professionals:

  • Initiation
  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Monitor and Control
  • Closing

This domain also covers project cost control, the ability to execute and develop a project, and the importance of human and physical resources and personnel management. The new release of Project+ also covers agile methodology at a high level.

Domain 2: Project Constraints (17 percent)

This domain covers the common constraints of a project and their effects. It also covers risk strategies and activities.

Domain 3: Communication and Change Management (26 percent)

Any project manager will tell you that effective communication and the ability to manage change are both critical to a project’s success. This domain covers the appropriate communications and factors that influence communication methods, communication triggers, target audience and the rationale behind communication.

Domain 4: Project Tools and Documentation (21 percent)

This domain covers the most common project management tools – such as charts, dashboards; status reports; strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis; and responsible, accountable, consulted, informed (RACI) matrix. It also covers the required project and partner/vendor-centric documentation.

Why We Created Project+

Projects often fail because team members do not understand the essential steps involved in completing small or complex projects. Each team member, even those who aren’t project leaders, must have a fundamental understanding of these steps. We’ve also seen that, too often, project management certifications tend to have rather arduous experience requirements or are quite theoretical in nature. Students and instructors often become intimidated by the myriad requirements.

The updated CompTIA Project+ solves this problem and gives individuals an easier way to verify their project management skills. It is designed for business professionals who coordinate or manage small- to medium-sized projects and support larger projects of all types. It is appropriate for individuals inside and outside of the information technology (IT) profession.

To wrap it up, Project+ is an introductory certification to project management. While it is not based on any specific methodologies or framework, it does not go against any of them. I think our Subject Matter Experts and exam development teams have created a terrific new certification.

Are you ready to prove that you have the project management skills needed in today's workplace? ​​Buy Project+ today!

4 Comments

  • Derek Iannelli-Smith

    Friday, March 17, 2017

    Is this new exam based upon the PMBOK v5 or still v4?

  • Tazneen Kasem

    Friday, March 17, 2017

    Project+ is not based on any of the methodologies or framework. At the same time it does not go against any of them. Project+ was developed with the help of industry Subject Matter Experts’ (experienced project managers) recommendations on skills and knowledge someone with a 12 month of cumulative project management experience should have.

  • Dévi LaFièvre

    Monday, March 20, 2017

    Mr. Iannelli-Smith poses a valid question. I've often seen certification providers deliver certs based on "quickly-becoming-antiquated" products. My PMBOK is v5, (working on PMP), and I'd definitely be interested in this certification if it is based upon PMBOK v5.

  • Tazneen Kasem

    Monday, March 20, 2017

    Dévi LaFièvre, As I mentioned our certification is not based on PMBOK but does not go against it either. It may help you to get started and be an intermediate step to PMP. I personally took Project+ first and am now preparing for PMP. Project+ did help me understand the concept and skills needed for project management first and has helped me get a better grasp on PMP I feel PMP deos a good job with project management concepts and skill but is a lot of memorization of the framework where as Project+ is more of the hands-on skills needed and does not need as much memorization of terms..

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