Friday, March 4, 2011

I am a Project Management Professional

I recently passed the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional Exam and it was not easy.

When I decided to pursue this credential I did not think it would be as difficult as it turned out to be.  The Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK), which is what the exam is based on for the most part is approximately 400 pages and my first pass at reading this put me to sleep literally after about 80 pages.  The PMBOK defines and goes into great detail how Projects should be done according to the Project Management Institute.

The last part of that sentence is very important because the way you have managed projects for however many years you have, will differ from PMI’s guidelines. Unfortunately they only test you on the way they view how projects should be done and you need to immediately separate yourself from your experience to a certain extent.  This can be very challenging to do and found myself arguing with myself about certain points on more than one occasion, which will do you no good to pass the exam.With a toddler at home and running a BI practice full time, studying in my spare time was not working out well.

I decided to enroll in a training class from the Project Management Training Institute (http://www.4pmti.com), and recommend it as it was an eye opening experience to the breadth and depth of the material covered in the exam.  It was 4 days of 10 hours per day with an hour and a half of homework each night and covered the ~20 Math Formulas, 5 Process Groups, 9 Knowledge Areas, and all 42 Processes that have approximately 3-7 Inputs, and 3-7 Outputs each, which essentially make up most of the material on the exam. Not only do you have to know all of that, you have to understand it all very well. You’ll notice I said “most of the material”. This is because there are other topics covered on the exam that test your experience that are not covered in the PMBOK that make sure you are qualified.

All in all it makes me feel very proud to have this credential as I learned a tremendous amount of things that will help me manage BI projects better, and that was really the goal from the beginning.  If you embark on this journey to achieve the PMP® credential I encourage you to prepare well because the 200 question – 4 hour exam does a very good job of making sure you really know all the material.