How to choose between PMP® and the practical APM

How to choose between PMP® and the practical APM


In this article, I will examine the main benefits, requirements, and differences between two of the most widespread courses in the field of project management: Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam Preparation course, and Applied or Practical Project Management (APM) workshop. My aim is to ultimately reach a conclusion on why would someone choose to take APM over PMP® or the other way around and to help individuals and corporations in making better decisions regarding project management training engagements.

The Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential is considered one of the most prestigious and globally recognized project management certifications. Anyone who earns the PMP® demonstrates that he/she possesses considerable knowledge and some degree of experience and ability to lead and manage projects. The course is designed for professionals seeking to explore the detailed knowledge and processes found in the PMBOK Guide® (an official publication issued by PMI®) and the most recent exam content online before taking the PMP® exam. In addition, it caters for those individuals who are interested in understanding the science of project management and how it applies to their business even if they don’t see themselves applying for the certification. In other words, the course is important for novice and experienced project managers as well as those who want to eventually become project managers.

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On the other hand, the Applied Project Management (APM) course is designed for those who need a practical hands-on approach to manage projects. It covers all aspects of a project’s life cycle, from project identification and start-up, planning and implementing, evaluation and controlling, and includes the activities required to close a project. Companies can benefit from this course by working on real-life scenarios case studies and current projects. Attendees will be able to develop a full project management plan using commonly used templates and tools. Moreover, this course can be tailored based on each organization pains and objectives. Some of the expected learning objectives from this course are:

  • Understand project phases and stage gates
  • Understand the importance of engaging stakeholders in the early phases
  • Establish a clear scope, so you can combat the scope creep
  • Set clear expectations and boundaries through Project Charter
  • Develop a complete Project Management Plan in be in control of your project
  • Get the most from your team by proper collaboration, communication, and conflict management
  • Deal with the red zone (Issues, Changes, Risks) in a proactive manner
  • Work with your team on realistic case studies and projects

The following table is a detailed comparison between the Applied Project Management (APM) Course and the Project Management Professional (PMP)®:

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As a conclusion, the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam preparation course and the practical Applied Project Management Course complement each other. The PMP® has more benefits on the individual level and for career growth by distinguishing yourself as a PMP® certificate holder, while the APM has more benefits on the corporate level by offering viable hands-on experience on managing projects and improving your organizational project management performance.

Written by Mohammad Sabbouh, PMP, PMI-PBA

03 July, 2019 

Feeling more hesitant? Contact me for a free consultation on Mohammad.sabbouh@advisors.co