The following Guest paper is an update of the conclusion to a PhD Research project previously presented at the PMSA International Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, 2004. It is republished here November 1, 2009, with permission, © Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo.

Introduction | Background | Findings: Is Project Management a Profession?
Implications of the Body of Knowledge | Clear Implications 
Where do Project Managers Rank in the Pecking Order? | Summary and Conclusions

Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo, CDT, PMP, CCE, MScPM, is Director of the ASEAN Project Manager's Center of Excellence, Inc. (APMX) For over 12 years, he has been providing project Management training and consulting throughout SE Asia. He is active in the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International, (AACE); Construction Specifications Institute (CSI); Construction Management Association of America, (CMAA) and serves on the Global Project Management Forum Steering Committee. Email:


An earlier paper at the PMSA International Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, 2004, presented interim findings on the issue of whether or not project management is a "profession" as typically understood by the term. The results of qualitative research up to that time had identified twenty-two primary attributes associated with a profession. Seventeen of were the attributes were considered to be Extrinsic, i.e. those attributes normally used to define any occupation as being a profession, while three of them were considered to be Intrinsic, or non-traditional ways to look at defining a profession. In this latest presentation, the results of an extensive global survey have been collected and analyzed, leading to interesting conclusions that hopefully will bring some measure of restraint, reality and humility to the practice of project management.

Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to present selected final results from the data collected indicating that:

  1. Project Management is NOT a Profession;
  2. To further "professionalize" project management, prioritization needs to be on building trust and competency of practitioners;
  3. Project Managers are currently perceived to be of greater standing than Electricians, Software and Telecommunications Engineers but lesser standing than MBA's or Civil Engineers

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