In March, I set for myself 4 goals to enhance professional knowledge. I am an obsessive learner, currently having 8 various certifications or diplomas. We should never stop learning, especially considering the pace of changes and innovation. I know I repeat that often, but I strongly believe in that principle.
One of those goals was to obtain the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification by December 31, 2013. I successfully achieved two of the goals and am now working on my last two. I am energized and would really like to achieve both of them by March 31, 2014. I strongly believe the PMP is a great addition to my resume.
I read the full PMBOK, 5th edition over the summer and fall of 2013. Long read. I did not just consult the book, glancing at it just to have a basic awareness of its content. I read it like a novel. OK, it is not the most interesting novel out there… But I always prefer when I study something to read to source book. Third-party books on a subject may make the learning easier, but it is never the same as reading exactly the source book.
I have my daily feeds on project management and leadership, and it helps. Also, posting contents here on Project-Aria is also useful. Just the act of researching and writing post is educational and a good exercise for the mind.
I thought at the end of November that it was time to submit my application for the PMP. I registered to the PMPrepcast series. I am now watching all the videos in the PMPrepcast series. It is very well done, and a good second read of the information in PMBOK. It also gave me the 35 contact hours required to submit my application for the PMP certification.
I then submitted my application in early December, and it was approved.
Last week, I thought it was time to put a hard commitment on this goal, and set a date for the exam. So I continued the application process, and then submit it online…
I immediately received a message saying that my application was randomly selected for an audit. This put on the ice my wish to set a hard commitment on this project. (After all, getting the PMP certification is a project on its own). The audit is fine, and we should appreciate its value. The audit process is meant to maintain the integrity of the certification. I do understand that completely.
So I immediately started to compile the support documentation. The first two requirements were easy: copy of diploma and contact hours. Not a problem. The last one was a bit more time-consuming. Of course, all the information that I provided is true. I wanted to complete the task quickly and immediately focused the day after on completing all the forms and obtaining all the signatures.
I then mailed the envelope by UPS. After all, I want to register for the exam. I want to pass this milestone quickly, I am fully motivated and committed, so I am ready to pay the high price of a fast courier. However, courier companies like UPS can do a lot, but they do not manage snow storms.
My package travelled to PMI Office at a much slower pace than anticipated.
Finally it arrived! And PMI was very quick in processing the audit package. Much shorter than the promised 5 business days service level standard. Very impressive!
My application is now audited and approved. Now I can proceed to the next step: book the exam. I am really looking forward to passing the exam and adding the certification to my resume. I do think diplomas and certifications are essential to maximize our value, especially for knowledge workers.
My friend Cesar of the PM for The Masses developed a list of 21 actions that someone can take to get PMP certified.
The post was done in 2011 but is it very much current.
Of the list, I have done many of them:
- Register to PMI
- Read PMBOK
- Be motivated
- Start my application
- Buy the PMPrepCast
- Daily exposure to Project Management information through RSS, Twitter, communities, forums, news curator apps
- Subscribe to Podcast, my first one being the PM for the Masses Podcast, and my second favorite Guerilla Project Management.
His post talks about GanttProject. I am curious about this application, but I digress here. I’ll come back to that topic in a different post.
Now it is time to register for the exam, and successfully complete the last blitz of study to get the PMP certification. My study program will likely focus on:
- Completing the PMPrepcast videos to prepare for the PMP
- Practice some online simulation exams.
Time to book my exam!