PMI certifications facilitate bridging of skill gaps, and understanding the jargons and methodologies used in the corporate domain.
Commander Mukesh Sharma Retd.
Head of Program Management
The basic ethos of defense training inculcates the importance of planning for effective execution of time management, team management, and resource management in young cadets. A defense officer in various appointments is continuously entrusted with the responsibilities of leading and completing tasks as simple as organizing a tournament to executing major projects. The versatile environment offers an ‘hands-on’ experience in tackling situations that require decision-making in a stressful environment with zero error. Such situations make defense personnel savvy to deliver even in hostile conditions, and underline their ability to adapt to myriad environments seamlessly.
I have served in the project domain for half of my career, wherein I handled multimillion dollar projects.
What differentiates military from the corporate sector is mainly in the jargons used, and monitoring and accounting process of resources (largely manpower). Other parameters of planning, execution, monitoring, and control are similar.
The project management course and PMI certification facilitate bridging skill gaps, and understanding the jargons and methodologies used in the corporate domain.
Defense personnel with the strategic advantage of the project management experience can thus easily leverage the skills with requisite PMP certification when stepping into the corporate world. It is equally important that defense personnel upgrade their skills to meet the requirements of the corporate world prior to making the transition. The learning curve for any defense personnel would be very small, and they are able to prove themselves in a short time.
The PMI certification has been of immense help when I decided to step from maintenance and operational domain to project management. The fundamentals of project management taught in the PMI program amalgamate well with the experience and skill imbibed from the service, and it gives me an extra edge in proving my credentials in the corporate environment. These specialized skill sets also explain my career advancement in the corporate world in a short time.
Mukesh Sharma is a naval veteran who took premature retirement in March 2017. He held various positions in the marine and aviation domains. After retirement, he stepped into the corporate world and has experience working with major MNCs in project management roles
To make my skills more relevant, I completed PMP certification. This certification has opened many doors and scaled up my management skills as per the industry requirements.
Commander Naveen Kataria (Retd.)
Associate Director, Digital Transition & Transformation, IBM India Ltd
During my stint with the Indian Navy, I was involved in managing large and complex programs. When I decided to leave the Navy, the question that arose in my mind spontaneously was ‘what next’. Every veteran faces a similar situation as the civil world is an unknown territory.
However, our strong background in the armed forces comes to our rescue when we have to steer the uncharted waters. While I was exploring various options, I came across a career in project management. I was not very enthusiastic about it initially as I had been involved in managing various projects earlier. Leadership, negotiation, excellent communication, and conflict resolution are some key skills that are required to be a successful project manager. These traits are well ingrained in every veteran.
I was prodded with a big question - how do I utilize the skills that I have acquired during my service that align to the industry practice?
To make my skills more relevant, I completed PMP certification. This certification has opened many doors and scaled up my management skills as per the industry requirements. Based on my experience, I can say that certifications like the PMP and Program Management Professional (PgMP)® certifications can be good career options that veterans can easily and quickly adapt to and grow to meet their professional aspirations.
(Naveen Kataria retired in 2009 after serving in the Indian Navy for 21 years. He has held several key leadership positions in IBM India Ltd. in areas like project management and IT-digital transition and transformation strategy.)
I obtained the PMP certification just before my retirement, which gave me the confidence to start afresh in the new domain.
Col. Amit Kasodekar (Retd.),
PMP - Vice President, CIB Operations, JP Morgan Chase & Co
Military service and corporate life are like two opposite banks of a river, and to transition from one side to the other has always been a challenge. However, PMP certification acts as a four-lane highway bridge to facilitate this transition.
PMP helps a veteran to identify and study the similarities between the two professions to overcome the perceived differences. In fact, it stirs a soldier to understand his various military assignments from a different perspective - giving it a new flavor in the form of project management.
These multi-dimensional project management skills can easily be integrated into the corporate parlance.
The PMI framework has effectively tuned itself with the changing requirements from the waterfall to the agile model. A military leader comes with a vast experience of leadership skills.
PMI has emphasized the importance of leadership towards project success through its “leadership triangle.” It is formed by leadership, project management, and domain knowledge.
PMP thereby helps to transfer the leadership and project management skills of a veteran into the all-round corporate requirements, compensating the lack of domain expertise at the transitioning stage.
It also gives an assurance of the sharp learning curve of a veteran to the corporate world.
I obtained the PMP certification just before my retirement, which gave me the confidence to start afresh in the new domain. It landed me with a role as a project manager in the most coveted investment banking segment.
(Col. Amit Kasodekar (Retd.), PMP is the vice president, CIB Operations, JP Morgan Chase & Co. He has served in the Indian Army for 22 years)
I strongly recommend Project Management to be a great fit as a second career for military professionals and a certification like PMP is like a sword of honour.
Wing Commander Ritu Nayak (Retd.)
Deputy Director-PMO/Program/Project management (Chief Technical Officer)
We have been hearing from our childhood, in schools, colleges and even in management institutes like IIMs that Military has always been the source of new practices. The world studies those practices and takes inspiration from the military. In almost every study, this practice which is inherited by the outside world takes a new name/form and gets inculcated into the civil world. Military professionals at mid/senior level have undergone/practiced/hands-on the various project management strategies/processes – as stated in the PMBOK Guide. However, we unaware that something like the PMBOK Guide existed or that we could formalize our project management knowledge by getting PMP certified. Something that can open out a clear pathway for our corporate journey/second career.
I would like to mention here that in the military we not only study the Waterfall methodology, but we are attuned to agile and even safe agile practices.
I strongly believe that, while in the military, we imbibe great management skills and specifically project management skills. Only the terminologies used in the military are different from that of corporate culture.
This is the area where officers lose confidence in the interview, thinking that probably this is the other side of the coin. But I say, it is the same side of the coin with a different imprint on that. I strongly recommend that Project Management to be a great fit as a second career for military professionals and a certification like PMP is like a sword of honour.
(Ritu Nayak is an Indian Air Force veteran. A short service commissioned officer who served in the IAF for 14 years as a technical officer)