Saturday, June 14, 2008

Project Management Professional (PMP)

In May 2008, I became a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), a credential through PMI. I've been interested almost 3 years, joining PMI when I still lived in San Diego, but about a year or so of serious study and work towards it.

The PMP is the flagship certification of PMI, attesting to my experience, education, and knowledge managing projects. In my case, experience includes 13 projects over 7 years for 8 seperate companies. All relevant experience had to be within the last 8 years and cover at least 4500 hours of project work (this applied as I have a Bachelor's degree, w/o the experience requirement is larger) A goal of PMI is to have the PMP recognized around the world as the standard, approaching the status of a CPA to accounting, or 'passing the bar' for an attorney. PMP's work in a variety of industries, construction, and manufacturing notably, and more and more in Information Technology (IT).

Obviously, my specialty is IT projects, though most of my project are really business project with a technology component. I plan to continue along my current career path, working with the State of California - Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation. I really believe that applying basic levels of project management to the smaller efforts I see will improve results. Basic definitions of scope, and schedule would prevent many of our smaller efforts seem to trail off endlessly. There is also a huge opportunity to parametric-ize smaller IT projects. Projects where the planning, documentation, and other 'overhead', might on paper seem to overwhelm the actual effort to produce a little benefit, but the resulting process (report, database, document, etc.) might be used 10, 100, 1000 times over.

Learning the PMI material even in the last year has allowed me to manage projects to more success. The PMP has just given me more 'tools in the toolbox' from which to manage projects, especially communications planning, and human resource mgmt. I can't say I've completely rethought my approach to scope, time and cost aspects. They were challenging when not having really any formal guide as to how to manage them, and they are challenging with such. Really the challenge on all of the areas is managing customer expectations, and learning the PMBOK gives me new ways to get those expectations out on the table.

Exam Prep


There's already a lot of mindshare out there on strategies to pass the exam, but I'll just add, more than any exam I've ever taken, it's not one you can 'cram' for. You have to just know the material and live it and breathe it, for at least some portion of you full-time activities, even if applying the PMBOK to a small or even personal project seems superfluous. That being said, I did find it advantageous to keep the PMI material at the 'top of my head' for the weeks up to the exam. This might not be your learning style, but it helped me more to hand-write, or type, tables of processes, study sheets, lists o' things, etc. than to read a pre-prepared one. Also, taking advice from an instructor with IIL, D.W. Nesper, reading PM network magazine and some of the journals, helped me to think in a reflexively PM-oriented manner about some of the questions. I did put together a quick Access database that helped me organize my thinking about the PM processes, if I get a chance to empty it out, I'll post it here as well.

3 comments:

seona cruz said...

Nice information. PMP study corroborated with similar studies on the improved communication between the development of greater leadership quality awareness and stakeholders, with formal training courses helping attendees understand the material discussed in team and stakeholder meetings. Many respondents viewed professional certification & its free resources like http://www.pmstudy.com/PMP-Free-Resources.asp as a necessary part of progression in this field by equipping project managers with an in-depth knowledge of a successful project’s attributes.

lydia perry said...

To manage the risk successfully one should have scum in their projects .With high competition, companies have to develop products fast and innovatively always adding value and greater customer satisfaction. In Scrum, it is important to learn agile through one of the Agile Training Providers and practice its basic principles which collectively and naturally help in effective management of risk. As a project manager i follow SBOK guide of scrumstudy.com

lydia perry said...

u can also have a better knowledge through PMP Certification