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Adaptive Strategic Execution Program vs. Project Management Professional (PMP)®

What's the difference?

At the broadest level, the Adaptive Strategic Execution Program (ASEP) and the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification both create value for professionals. Each credential is recognized within the profession and can help advance your career.

The PMP®, the most popular project management certification, is designed to demonstrate that a project manager has a basic level of knowledge and is well versed in the tools and tactics required to manage projects. Several hundred thousand individuals have passed the PMP® certification exam.

Upon completion of the Adaptive Strategic Execution Program, students receive a certificate from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. ASEP is focused on developing leaders of project-based work as they navigate unanticipated market shifts and unpredictable industry disruptions. Each course is designed to extend the mindset, tool set, and skill set of the project-based leader to thrive in today’s increasingly complex and collaborative working environments.


Overview & Supporting Organization The ASEP program certificate is a benefit of successful completion of the Adaptive Strategic Execution Program. The certificate ensures that a leader has the knowledge and skills to effectively manage and execute highly complex projects, programs, and portfolios. The certificated program is a Duke University – Fuqua School of Business-backed professional executive certificate that is earned for life. Upon completion of the program, you can choose to apply for a distinction and become a certified Strategic Execution Professional (SEP) by submitting a written assignment to the ASEP Academic Council. Receive a letter of distinction from Duke Corporate Education and add credentials to your title. The PMP® is one of the many PMI® credentials that establish your proficiency in project management. Credentialed professionals must continue to obtain PDUs in order to maintain their PMP® credential. PMI® is the world’s leading not-for-profit membership association for the project management profession. Its worldwide advocacy for project management is supported by globally-recognized standards and credentials and professional development opportunities.
Certification Objective The ASEP certificate demonstrates mastery of the three domains that truly influence and define how work gets done: strategy, work, and people. The program is designed to develop and empower leaders in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) working environment.
The PMP certificate recognizes demonstrated knowledge and skills of a project management practitioner in managing projects and delivering results within the constraints of schedule, budget, and resources.
How to earn the credential Take the two required courses – Aligning Work With Strategy and Making Sense of Complexity – and four electives, totaling six courses, to complete the program and earn a program certificate of completion from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. The PMP® credential is earned by passing the PMP® exam. The exam seeks to ensure that project managers have a comprehensive knowledge of PMI®’s A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). Courses are not required.
Target Audience If you are involved in leading projects or functions in any discipline or industry, then ASEP is for you. The PMP® is designed specifically for project management professionals with at least five years of professional experience seeking to solidify their skills.
Recognition Duke Corporate Education (Duke CE) ranked in the top three in the 2018 Financial Times custom executive education rankings for the 18th consecutive year. Duke CE was ranked #2 worldwide and is the #1 provider headquartered in North America. Duke Fuqua School of Business is consistently ranked one of the top graduate programs in the world, and Strategy Execution has over 30 years of experience as a global authority in project leadership training. The PMP® is the most widely recognized PM credential in the world, though many countries and regions prefer their own. Similar basic knowledge certifications include IPMA’s B-Certified; APM’s APM Practitioner; AIPM’s CPPM; PRINCE2 certifications; and others.
Eligibility ASEP is open to all looking to master the three domains that influence and define how work gets done: strategy, work, and people. PMP® applicants must prove they have obtained:

A four-year degree (bachelor’s or the global equivalent) and at least three years of project management experience, with 4,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education.


A secondary diploma (high school or the global equivalent) with at least five years of project management experience, with 7,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education.
Additional reference Learn more about ASEP PMP® information via



The Project Management Professional (PMP) is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.


Become a Certified Strategic Execution Professional

The Adaptive Strategic Execution Program focuses explicitly on building leaders who can master the three domains that influence and define how work gets done: strategy, work, and people.

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