My name is Brian Fink and I have been involved in some kind of project management for most of my career, nine years as a chemical engineer and the last eighteen years in IT. I earned my PMP® certification in 2015 and one of the keys to that success was taking multiple simulation exams. Now that I am writing questions for simulators, I work hard to understand the way that PMI® wants someone to think about project management. First, I pick a concept that the question will be about. I come up with the core question and the correct answer. I then expand the question to include a situation and complete the answers with the explanation. What I enjoy most about this is seeing how people work to get to the correct answers especially if they are working to understand a new concept that they have not encountered in their previous experience.
After working as a digital project manager for fifteen years in the fast-paced dot-com world, I made the decision to apply for certification, broaden my horizons so-to-speak. Had it figured out at this point, right? After all, I should be teaching these courses, not attending. I knew how to manage, how to implement, execute, monitor, and close. Oh, and here comes the yet. Yet, I did not know the philosophy, the standardization, the why to the how. That is what I learned. And here’s how I did it, passing the exam on the first pass, above target in three out of the five processes, target on the other two.
Aside from the PMI-requisites, I went right to the source and took one of Dan Ryan’s weekend coaching cram sessions. While the instructions were direct and dead-on, what truly helped were access to the resources provided. Spreadsheets filled with the ITTOs (and you got to know these, brother), PowerPoint decks and PDFs breaking down the ins-and-the-outs of the...
On investigating on ways to pass the PMP® exam, in a short space of time, I came upon Shiv notes and how to pass the exam within 5 weeks. A free webinar was introduced and I watched it. I did not understand the integration concept and how quality and scope was tied in initially and the way it was explained I was in awe and was sold.
My preparation from then was following the 5 week plan from Dan and Shiv’s Last Mile Program. This I completed within 4 weeks. During this time I also practiced writing down the ITTOS daily after completing each knowledge area. I understood most of them, but practicing them daily made it easier to remember. I then reviewed each topic with the Rita Mulcahy Book. I did not read the entire book, I just read the notes and did the questions on each topic. I utilized the free simulators that were recommended and I was consistently scoring in my 80s. I also downloaded a PMP® App on my phone that provided PMP® questions on each knowledge area. I...
Started my PMP® journey with attending an accredited PMI® Course. This lasted about 8 weeks and was a refresh on everything I learned about Project Management in a one year course I took with University of Irvine/SCE in 2014. In retrospect, I should have taken the test at that time, when all the information was fresh.
I knew obtaining the PMP® Certification (official accreditation) was necessary due to changing qualifications at work and also, to make myself more marketable in the future. I have felt the last two months working with Dan Ryan and Cornelius and all their tools, has actually made the difference in being ready for the actual test in the Prometric Center. I had never taken such a test and the timing, intensity, strategy and overall knowledge learning with all the tools, weekend class, simulator, newsletter, presentations, tips and practical practice has made me a very strong Project Manager, not only to pass the PMP® Test, but in my in my future...
I decided that after many years of running projects, I was going to become PMP certified. My belief was that with all of my experience, achieving certification would be a relatively easy endeavor. Wrong!! Attending my PMP prep class, I quickly realized that my plan to utilize my previous job experience as the foundation for passing the exam, would lead to certain failure.
I determined that if I was to be successful in passing the exam, I needed to learn and to start thinking of project management according to the PMBOK standards. I committed to learning and understanding the material, and also focused on what approach to use to prepare and pass the exam.
There are so many suggested approaches to preparing for the PMP exam. How do you determine what is the best method to select? Understanding that my preferred learning style is a blend of visual, verbal, and social learning helped me identify and select education components that would facilitate my exam preparation.
The project charter is a crucial element to your project. A properly created one saves time, energy and resources during the lifespan of your project.
Definition: The Project Charter is a formal document, usually written by the project sponsor or project initiator such as a buyer, that authorizes the project and gives the project manager authority to start. It is the first step in the initiating group that contains targets, wishes and constraints.
Where it is found:
· Part of the Initiating Process Group
· Free Standing process (not a parent or child)
· In the Knowledge area: Project Integration Management
Inputs: The project sponsor collects information from current high-level research, previous projects, project manager input or PMO office to outline the restraints, success criteria and high level- milestones from...
The road leading towards a PMI certification is filled with good intentions: working with a tutor, working with only one curriculum or simply going ahead by themselves. In my experience, there are two types of people: The Self-Directed individual and the Team-Approach member.
The Self-directed person gravitates to the idea of flexibility in the location, time and available materials. However, the reality can be time lost because this person looks for a free PMP® course and other study materials, phone apps, and self-improvement quizzes. One person told me they had researched for six months before they were “ready”.
The team approach connects with group PMP® coaching (usually with a tutor) working together to understand, articulate and apply the concepts. This option provides accountability, direction and subject matter expert access – an effective time management resource.
The PMI exam is expensive and will require a...
How to Complete a PMI® – PMP® Application
So, you are ready to fill out the application – that is great! The Project Management Experience and Project Management Education sections can be the most time-consuming parts of the application are in. Both require a large amount of data entry and descriptive writing. It took me a few days to collect the information and about four hours to put into the application. I have customized a spreadsheet for my students to copy and paste the information into the online application.
Project Management Experience:
In this section, the application is looking for project specific information. Here is a brief outline of the subject matter that you need to complete this section. This is where you need to sit down with your resume knowledge of the projects you worked on and really document the hours you worked on each project.
· Project Name
If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you have already met the Project Management Institute (PMI®) eligibility requirements for the Project Management Professional exam. This entry outlines the PMI® steps to schedule your exam. If you have any questions concerning the process, click on the active links for more information about the process or contact a PMP® Tutor.
Step 1. If you haven’t already, create an account on the PMI® website.
Step 2: Apply for the PMP® Credential on the PMI® website.
Step 3: Wait for PMI® to review your application and send you next steps (candidate number or audit procedure) – this usually takes 5- 10 business days.
Step 4: Pay for the test on the PMI® website. (PMI® members can save up to $150 on the exam.)
Step 5: Schedule your Project Management exam on the Prometric website.
While you are using the PMI® website to schedule your exam, you don’t have to be a paying PMI®...
You know, I have seen some PMP® ‘experts’ out there that give a strong recommendation that you will need to allocate no less than six months to prepare for the PMP® exam. These are big companies with reputable training materials - and a respectable number of customers. Then there are others who offer 4-day boot camps where they will supposedly have you ready to take the PMP® exam after four days.
How are these recommendations so far apart? I know from experience that the truth lies somewhere in between.
A 4-day course is going to cram too much material in a too-short amount of time. Sure, they may present all the material over four days, but it will still be up to you to take it home, digest and learn it.
On the other hand, six months is a long time - there is a too big risk a student could eventually fade off from their study routine. Then you’re back in the same boat - cramming at the end, frantically trying to sort...
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