PMP Lessons Learned

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How to get your PMP certification for Free!

Last week Karen Kinsman shared her PMP prep advice on PMESN. This was especially important given the non-traditional PM environment that Karen operates in. In her post Karen touched upon how she got her entire study investment through PMI scholarship from Project Management Institute – Educational Foundation.

PMI-EF is a boon for people that need PMI scholarship for their PMP certification.

I requested Karen to share some more information, which she gladly did (thank you, Karen!) in the interview below.

Few resource links given in the last section might be useful to choose a scholarship that is suitable for you.

Shiv: Hello Karen, thank you once again for taking time out from your busy schedule to talk about PMP scholarship options that are available. Not many know about a possibility of scholarship for PMP exam. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Cornelius’ OSP Intl too provides PMP education scholarship for people around the world! Can you please share how you came across the scholarship possibility during your study.

Karen: Sure. I was in contact with PMI Education Foundation regarding some other work I have been engaged in with middle & high school STEM educators (science, technology, engineering, math) around training them in PM skills as well as working with them on transferring that knowledge to their students via effective use of Project Based Learning opportunities.

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PMP From a Non-Traditional PM Environment: Karen Kinsman, PMP

Hi Shiv! Just wanted to send a note to let you know I passed my PMP exam on the 1st try. Below are a few nuggets from my exam prep experience in case they might help anyone else!

pmp karen kinsmanI am a nonprofit organization director (small K-12 STEM-H education outreach) within a University setting, so definitely a very non-traditional PM environment. So, my approach may be pretty different than that of folks working in a very traditional PM environment on IT, industrial/manufacturing, construction kinds of projects.

I really had to suspend my own experience of PM in my environment and focus on what PMI wanted to hear for the exam…meant putting myself in a headspace a world away from that in which I typically operate, but I am proof this CAN be done!!

If you have access to a really good quality face-to-face PMP Exam Prep Course…TAKE IT!

I took a great 6 week course at UNM Continuing Education that utilized Rita Mulcahy’s PMP Exam Prep book. Instructor offered great tidbits that were very helpful as I worked toward taking my exam…things like PMI’isms to keep in mind (many covered in the Mulcahy book), etc.

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My New PMP Exam Experience: Harine Ananthakrishnan, PMP

This time around I decided to get a Skype interview of PMP experience and Harine readily agreed. Here’s the gist of her NEW PMP exam preparation experience.

Shiv: Hi Harine, thank you so much for taking time to share your PMP exam experience. First of all, can you share a little bit about your background on project management?
new pmp exam exp harine

Harine: I have about 9 years of experience, and all these 9 years I worked in the SAP field. I was in an IT consultant and I was a lead for around 7 years and I had been managing a couple of project. I’ve had exposure on how project management works, so this was helpful for me in taking a PMP.

Also I have had experience in the knowledge areas required by PMP I spent most of my time walking on areas like Resource management, Schedule management, Quality and I was involved with Closing processes as well. My experience was peripheral in certain areas like Cost Management when I was involved like an assistant PM so I had a little bit of hands-on experience there as well, so all of that helped.

Shiv: Great! When did you exactly pass your PMP exam?

Harine: I took up the exam after the new pattern was introduced, I tool the exam on February 18th. I had the plan of taking up my PMP exam around 2 years back. There is a funny story behind it – back in 2013 I promised myself an iPhone if I passed PMP.

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My PMP tips for quick success: Christian Alabi, PMP

Shiv, I passed PMP on 1/11/16, last day of old exam. I thought it’d be nice to share my PMP tips with your readers.

Here’re my PMP Tips

– Read the boring PMBOK. I prayed to GOD to help me do the impossible, and he let me read it, for real.
– Read the RITA book and play the RITA games, worksheets and questions
pmp christian alabPrepcast from Cornelius will seal in the knowledge if you do each knowledge area in sequence, eg, PMBOK, RITA, then Prepcast before going on to next knowledge area. Your preferred order may differ, but you get the drift.
– Rita sheets showing the Sequence of planning activity is a must memorize, that and the PMP 47 KAs and processes are crucial
Key to situational questions is your overall knowledge of PMP think, and knowing the sequence, eg know what comes first or next, eg, quantitative risk analysis or qualitative risk analysis, the exam will trick you. Another example, you must Collect Requirements before Defining Scope.
Other key to situational questions is knowing who performs a particular role or activity. Is it the PM, sponsor, customer, head of department etc,. And, not only whose role, but what can they do or not do. The exam will trick you.

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PMESN PMP Blueprint Helped Me Prepare For The Exam – Aravindan Chandrasekaran

Shiv, I cleared PMP in First Attempt on 12/31. Thanks to the “I want to be a PMP group” created by Mr.Oliver Lehman for keeping me inspired throughout. This is my 50 cents for all PMP aspirants.

pmp-lessons-learned-Aravindan-ChandrasekaranUsually, I have seen people wanting to clear PMP for 2 reasons

  • To comply to certain (Personal/Official) mandatory certification needs.
  • To enhance knowledge, add value to their career & Organization and get certified in the due course

The critical difference between the two approaches may be that of Developing Surface Intellect vs Developing Core Intelligence. If you are looking to clear PMP for certification needs, it shouldn’t take you anywhere more than a month to prepare and there are a lot of website that can help you do that.

PMP Study Plan that worked for me

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Kuldeep Kumar, PMP – 1 Goal, 2 Pages of notes, 3 Study aids, 4 Weeks plan

I feel very proud of reaching my PMP goal on the very first attempt. Following is brief account of how my PMP lessons learned..

pmp kuldeep kumarPMP Study resources I used

My 4-week plan

  • Week 1 and 2:
    • Study Head first PMP thoroughly (targeted 1 chapter every day).
    • Complete all exercise from the book with each chapter.
  • Week3:
    • Studied appendix from PMBOK to go through Acronyms. Basically to revise definitions of all important terms in PMBOK.
    • Practice creating Process chart and write all the PMP formulae (once every day, to achieve writing all of this within 15 minutes)
    • Revised from Shiv’s notes to quickly go through entire syllabus.
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Do not memorize ITTOs: Shawn Robison, PMP

Shiv –

Thanks for all the content you provide. It was definitely a help. Here is an overview of my PMP prep.

Pre-Prep

ShawnRobison pmpI decided to start my PMP journey in October. Your content was very helpful in identifying the resources that I would use in my preparation. I decided to use Cornelius Fichtner’s PM PrepCast, Exam Simulator and the PMBOK Guide.

My PMP study plan

I followed Cornelius’s recommended approach of watching the overview sections first and then going back for the detail. I feel as though this kept me from feeling like I was drinking from a fire hose. After going through each overview I would read through each process in the PMBOK Guide and then watch the PrepCast related to that process. The sample questions at the end of each section in the PM PrepCast helped me understand what areas I needed to review to ensure I fully understood it.

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