THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE – WHO ARE THEY?

 

The Project Management Institute, or PMI, is the world’s leading not-for-profit professional organisation for project managers. It was founded in the United States at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and it is now a large international organisation with branches even in South Africa.

 

Who is the PMI, and what do they do?

The PMI is an organisation dedicated to advancing project management as a profession. Their initial aim when they started, over 40 years ago, was to “foster recognition of the need for professionalism in project management.”

They have since put forward unprecedented efforts to turn project management into a science and to establish it as a profession in its own right – instead of treating it as just a tool used by professionals in different industries.

The PMI concentrates on a number of fields in their efforts to promote and improve the field of project management:

  • They conduct industrial and academic research with the aim of advancing the science and practice of project management.
  • They bring out a number of leading publications to facilitate the global growth of project management.
  • They compiled, and continuously update, the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge handbook that contains international standards and guidelines for project management.
  • They offer training programmes for new and experienced professionals. This includes seminars, conferences, and online training sessions.
  • They offer professional certification to give working project managers the credentials they need to build their careers.
  • They foster the development of professional co-operation by building international networks for PMI members to belong to and to benefit from.
  • They do global advocacy for project management professionalism through establishing international standards for project management in both business and government around the world.

The PMI in South Africa

The PMI has chapters in over 100 different countries, including South Africa. There are 3 PMI branches in South Africa, and these branches comprise the local PMI chapter.

For the South African branches to function as a PMI chapter, each of these small branches need to get the PMI’s approval of their business plan, vision, and direction. They are essentially responsible for promoting the PMI’s vision and values at a local level, which means that they have to advance the profession of project management in South Africa.

The South African PMI chapters are situated in:

  • Port Elizabeth
  • Durban
  • Gauteng

Being part of the PMI in South Africa means that you primarily interact with the local chapter and its members. This allows you to network with other PMI members in South Africa and to have access to PMI’s international resources via the local chapter.

 

DID YOU KNOW:

The South African PMI chapter was the first PMI chapter to be established outside of the United States of America!

 

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Project Management Institute membership

The PMI does a lot of independent work to advance the project management industry. However, one of their biggest priorities is to contribute to the industry by helping professionals improve themselves and advance their careers. Becoming a member of the PMI means belonging to a large community of professionals in your field and benefiting from the PMI’s resources.

“Our professional resources and research empower more than 700 000 members, credential holders and volunteers in nearly every country in the world to enhance their careers, improve their organizations’ success and further mature the profession.” – PMI

What are the benefits of PMI membership?

Belonging to the PMI means benefiting from a well-established support network and being able to draw on a number of industry-related tools and resources.

Some of the PMI membership benefits are:

  • Networking: You belong to a community of local and international professionals with plenty of opportunities for networking.
  • Career development: The PMI allows you to access their job portal, take online career-development courses, and draw on career-oriented resources.
  • Leadership opportunities: As part of the PMI, you can take on community and organisational leadership positions.
  • Resources: You have access to updated editions of the PMBOK Guide, as well as webinars, newsletters, and research articles.
  • Tools: You have access to customisable templates and tools developed by the PMI.
  • Training: You can benefit from PMI training, online courses, and workshops.
  • Discounts: You pay significantly less for PMI certification and training if you are a member.
  • Credentials: Besides PMI certification such as PMP®, PMI membership itself might act as a credential when applying for a project management job.

How to become a member

You can become a PMI member at any stage of your project management career, whether you are just starting out or already have experience. PMI allows you to join online at: www.pmi.org

The PMI offers a range of membership types:

  • Student
  • Individual
  • Bulk membership (when registered by an employer)
  • Retiree

You can then also join the South African PMI chapter. But you have to already be a PMI member before joining your local chapter. You will also need to renew your membership annually.

Membership cost

 PMI MembershipSouth African Chapter Membership
StudentUSD $32 to join USD $32 to renew$30 to join / renew
IndividualUSD $129 to join (plus USD $10 application fee) USD $129 to renew$30 to join / renew
RetireeUSD $65 to renew$30 to join / renew

A starting point for project managers

PMI membership is most beneficial for those who are already project managers, or those who have just started working in project management. Therefore, it is useful to get some initial training in project management and actually start your career before joining the PMI. Oxbridge Academy offers the following project management training programmes to help you get started with your career: