This is my journey from being a DBA to reaching my goal of getting PMP certification.
I started my career as a Database Administrator in 2004, and my vision was to offer the best database support services to my clients.
I was teaching students at APTECH how to manage data and operating systems during my busy work days and during my free days, I was deploying and managing databases for clients.
One day, I got a call from a student who referred me to a database deployment work. I was asked to be a member of the project. I agreed to take the project and I was taken aback when I was asked to attend the project kickoff meeting and I was introduced to the project manager.
Initially, I was very excited and I felt honored to be involved in the project planning process, but as the project progressed, I became angry and disillusioned because I was asked to write daily and weekly reports.
The decision to take up my PMP certification
I remember telling the project manager that my duty was to setup the database and leave, but the project manager would always paint the big picture of how everybody’s input was required for us to have a successful deployment.
The project manager demonstrated so much leadership that made me ask him how he acquired the skills and ability to manage and lead people in the midst of all these activities.
His response to my question: Project Management.
I eventually made a decision to become a certified project manager.
However, I got stuck in the world of work from 2007 till December 2015 when I decided to enroll for the PMP training at JK Michael training center, in Lagos Nigeria.
Attending this training, brought memories of every project I had embarked upon. I was excited to learn a whole lot ranging from schedule management, time management, cost management and my best knowledge area which is stakeholder management. I found that knowledge of your stakeholder strongly determines whether your project will be succeed or fail.
After the training in December, I joined the PMI and scheduled my exam in April, believing that I could prepare in 4 months.
Also Read: How I leveraged online study groups to prepare and pass my PMP exam, Smita Mishra
Blockers I had to get past
However, my dilemma started when I wanted to read every resource I found online about project management. I joined a dozen blogs who shoved project management resources down my brain.
PMP Prep Lesson #1 – Choose your study resources before you plan your study.
Work didn’t make it any easy for me, as I was working with the IBM DB2 Lab services team. Weekend study was impossible, because my wife just had another baby boy and I had to help and support the project of taking care of the baby.
However in January, I settled down to dedicated study using the PMBOK guide and Rita Mulcahy Eighth edition.
As I did, I saw a challenge, the PMBOK lays out its fact about project management in knowledge area format, Rita writes her book about project management in knowledge area format, but the questions that I was reviewing were based on the 5 process groups and 47 processes.
So my true challenge was how to create that link between the 5 Process Groups, 47 Processes, and 10 Knowledge Areas.
I couldn’t achieve that by April 2016, so after attempting the PMP exam, I failed the exam woefully. I got only 1MP in closing and 4BP in the other process groups.
Preparation for the second attempt
This experience really discouraged me and I stopped studying for the PMP till in November 2016, when I was sent an email about the expiration of my eligibility period. So I enrolled again for another PMP training.
As I studied again, it became clearer that the only way for me to pass the exam was to draft my own customized reading plan based on my studying capabilities, so I undertook a VARK Assessment.
The VARK Assessment revealed that ‘’I was a multi-modal learner, meaning that I was a visual learner who learned by watching videos, liked to read and take notes, but I don’t trust what I have learnt until I tested out my theories.’’
With this information from the VARK assessment, I built my study timetable which I have attached here as well for your study.
PMP Prep Lesson #2 – Identify your learning style and then choose your study resources accordingly.
Also Read: A topper’s guide to acing PMP exam, by Akhalaque Ansari, PMP
My study plan required me to study by watching videos, reading and taking notes, and building practical scenarios of how a project should be managed.
During my searchfor videos on YouTube, I stumbled on two key personalities that made my PMP journey the best experience, I ever had. [click to continue…]