Should the CEPA Exam include Project Management Topics?
Interestingly, in addition to questions on workflows and user rights, the Certified Enterprise PDM Administrator (CEPA) exam also includes questions about basic project management. No other SOLIDWORKS certification includes topics beyond what the software does, is it fair for the exam to ask questions beyond the button clicks of administrating the software?
Being a good SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM administrator does, on occasion, involve more than clicking check boxes and making backups, there are upgrades to plan and sometimes workflows to modify. (We’ll assume your company is changing/growing, on occasion you should modify your PDM system to grow along with your processes.) It is important that an administrator have the necessary skills to properly plan for these activities. A poorly planned project can result in downtime, or <gulp> worse…
To answer the question of the fairness of including project management topics in the exam, I think we need to consider the purpose of the SOLIDWORKS certification process -is it a means to prove to an employer that you know “what button to press when” or is it to prove that you can manage the software AND the environment in which it exists? I like to think it is the latter, it certainly adds more value to the certification. When comparing two resumes, a CEPA certification should be a distinct differentiator.