Do you need Primavera P6 Professional certification for you or your team? That’s something we hear quite often from clients, so we figured it was time for a deep dive into the options and whether certification is worth it for you.
What is Primavera P6 certification?
Primavera Professional P6 certification is simply evidence that you have achieved a good level of understanding of the software’s features and can use it competently.
Who provides Primavera P6 certification?
Many training providers offer ‘certification’ which acts as evidence that you have taken their training course. We offer the same for our Primavera P6 training courses. However, those certificates may prove you undertook learning from qualified and experienced trainers, in a professional environment, but they often don’t require an exam. In other words, they provide evidence to your employers and support your professional development records, but you do not need to take a test to earn them.
Oracle University offers one certification in Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management: the Implementation Certified Professional Certification. This is a rigorous, exam-based course, and is the main certification recognized in industry.
Be wary of training providers that say they offer ‘certification’ when this is their own in-house certificate of completion. If you want to be Oracle certified, make sure that any training course you take leads to that outcome.
What’s the Oracle Primavera P6 EPPM certification?
To become certified in Oracle Primavera, you have to take an exam. The exam tests your detailed knowledge of planning and scheduling methodologies, along with the principles and techniques required to prepare an effective project management schedule.
Candidates should have hands-on experience of planning, scheduling and using the Primavera P6 EPPM tool set in a real environment – classroom learning alone isn’t going to give you what you need to pass the exam. As well as detailed knowledge of the tool and how it works, you will also have to demonstrate that you are capable of implementing the software in a new environment, using best practices, and getting it set up ready to use.
That’s the real challenge of the Oracle certification and the real question to ask yourself when you are considering if it is a suitable path for your team. Do they need to know how to set up Primavera P6 EPPM in other environments?
If you are an implementation partner who routinely rolls out Oracle tools to your clients, then it’s an obvious yes. If you are using Primavera for scheduling and to meet earned value management requirements for your clients, then the chances of your team having to do multiple implementations are slim.
What’s the P6 EPPM certification exam like?
If you decide to go ahead with becoming certified, the exam is a multiple choice paper with 55 questions. You have 90 minutes to complete the test. Expect to be challenged because it’s a professional certification that is aimed at people with an expert working knowledge of the latest version of the tools and prior experience working across the entire project life cycle.
It’s worth spending some time on exam technique skills too so that you aren’t worried about taking the computer-based exam on the day and that you understand the proctored environment that Oracle uses.
You can study for the exam with online courses. Ideally, choose an advanced course that is going to support your exam prep and give you a good experience of learning specifically to pass the test. Classes that take a practical approach and include some exam questions will help you prepare.
What are the advantages of Primavera certification?
If you work in an environment where you need to show clients that you are capable of using Oracle Primavera P6 EPPM, then it is worth considering certification. If you think it will lead to a new job or new clients, then it could be the right step for you. Becoming a certified implementation specialist could well be a new career path, especially if you love that part of the job.
Some people also choose to take the certification as part of a wider investment in their knowledge of the Oracle tool set because it helps with understanding the whole Oracle ecosystem.
What are the disadvantages of Primavera certification?
There aren’t many disadvantages of professional training and becoming qualified in something! The exam is not very expensive in comparison to other professional certifications, although many people opt to take a training course prior to sitting the exam so they can prepare effectively (and that training fee is not included in the cost of the test).
The main disadvantage would be taking the exam and then not being able to use your new knowledge in practice because of the job role you are in, as that would be demotivating.
The verdict: Should you get certified?
Are you in a role that requires you to implement Primavera P6, for example an Oracle partner? If so, then yes, the certification is valuable.
If you are using Primavera in your business for scheduling, for example as a project manager, and as part of your earned value management system, then no. Having you and your team certified by Oracle is not going to add a whole lot more capability to your team.
Your business is more likely to be better served by a practical, hands-on Primavera P6 course that will help you get the most out of the tool in your environment. When certification isn’t the goal of the training sessions, the trainer can tailor the experience to be more relevant to your business challenges and the features you are more likely to use in daily life running complex projects. You won’t waste time learning about obscure features that might come up on the test but that add very little to the practical use of the tool for your projects.
The most valuable training is that which meets your needs and helps improve your skill levels to where they need to be. Whether that is fundamentals training or advanced training, online classes or a classroom experience, the best trainers will share their technical skills and in-depth knowledge to help you improve your use of Primavera P6 and get the most out of the tools.