The Importance of Project Managers to be


Formally Trained and Certified in Project Management

to Be Competent



By Michael Marshall, PhD

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Throughout my 40+ years in the real business world advancing up through all levels into senior leadership and later in life with interactions with project managers, I have met many very knowledgeable and competent project managers, but I have also met incompetent project managers.

I have always inquired about all of them individually about their actual level of competence, effectiveness and how and where they acquired the competence and where they did Not gain the needed competence.

In all cases, the competent project managers had several things in common

  1. They had received formal specialized training and certifications in project management
  2. They seek out progressively, every few years or yearly , to retrain in additional formal project management programs and gain more competence & acquire current certifications
  3. They are personally driven to keep their competence at the leading edge and take great personal pride in such but Not egotistical and a Not a ‘know it all mentality’
  4. They are personally self-critical and constantly self-evaluating their competence & effectiveness level
  5. They actively seek out ideas and suggestions from others to consider and incorporate into their project management work, projects, and responsibilities
  6. They were always on the lookout for anything that could affect their projects and responsibilities’ and ready to improve and adjust for anything and at any time
  7. They were active in project management associations and groups to acquire new ideas, advancements and constantly improving competency
  8. They were always reading project management books, magazines, journals, and news to gain more competency and keep current with all

In cases of incompetent project managers, these individuals had several things in common.

  1. The Opposite of, all of the above

Having a college or university degree did not seem to be an important factor in competency for any of the project managers.

Unfortunately, many colleges and universities do not incorporate project management as a Mandatory subject or class and often, classes do not even include this subject into their classes.

Project management competency applies to most subjects and disciplines.

This is a failure of colleges and universities, and the teachers and professors.

When I teach leadership, sales, marketing, and management classes, I always include project management into my classes as a core part, to try to insure some competency in this.

Formal research projects and actual applications of competencies in project management are required in my classes that I teach.

Classes that I teach are on both MBA graduate degree and bachelor degrees undergrad levels.

I often utilize what is sometime called the fish bone charts to teach project management that includes sequential thinking with critical assignments and timeline.

Students can easily learn from this.


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How to cite this article: Marshall, M. (2022).  The Importance of Project Managers to Be Formally Trained and Certified in Project Management to Be Competent, PM World Journal, Vol. XI, Issue IV, April. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/pmwj116-Apr2022-Marshall-importance-of-project-management-training-and-certification.pdf

About the Author

Michael Marshall, PhD

Atlanta, Georgia, USA


Michael Marshall has over 40 years of business experience to senior leadership levels and advisory/consulting in many markets and industries, national and global, with responsibilities in sales management, marketing and business development along with a PhD in business, MBA and degrees in psychology and social human behavior before teaching internationally at university level (China, Korea, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, United States) and US Embassy. He has over 58 professional business certifications to keep highly competent. Michael continually seeks out knowledge with additional education, trainings, research, and experience, to keep on the leading edge of business effectiveness and business development. He has over 48 international publishing’s on many business and business development subjects.

He can be contacted at mmarshall1236@gmail.com

To view other works by Michael Marshall, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/michael-marshall-phd/