Friday, March 6, 2009

Passing the PMP

I sat today for the PMP and am very pleased that I can report that I have passed it. So, what can I recommend for anyone else who may be planning to take the PMP? Here are a few suggestions, but bear in mind that these are coming from the perspective of an experienced project manager. If you are just out of school, these points may not be as relevant.
  • Have a study plan and stick to it. If you are a PM, you really shouldn't need to be told this, this should be second nature.
  • Start with a good study guide. I recommend going to a book store and looking at several to see which format works best for you. Then check your local library to see if they have a copy. Save a tree and save some money.
  • Purchase a copy of the PMBOK Guide, or join the PMI since you get an electronic copy free.
  • Speaking of which, you should join the PMI anyways, since the cost of membership pays for itself if you are taking the PMP.
  • Supplement your reading with other learning activities that engage other senses. I used the PM PrepCast, which I highly recommend, to listen to while driving and hiking, and I also took some CBTs on the areas I was having trouble with (for me that was QA and QC, which we don't deal with as rigorously in IT as in other industries.) The CBTs I took were available thru online training provided by my employer, check with your HR, you might have a similar benefit you aren't aware of.
  • I also made lots of flash cards, one set focused on the ITTOs for each process, and another set of terms, definitions, formulas, etc.
  • Let's see, what else? Oh, take as many sample questions and exams as you can. This is an area where I could have done more preparation, but I have never been much for practice exams. However, the PMI has some peculiar ways of asking questions, and taking a lots of pratice exams or questions is a very good way to get an idea as much for how questions will be asked as what will be asked.
  • Review. Especially review those topics you studied first - this was an area I had trouble with. I did the worst with the Initiating Process Group, which surprised me because it is one of the most straight forward (I thought), but it was also the first Process Group I started with and so it had actually been a while since I had reviewed it.
I guess that is pretty much it. And that is probably the last I will blog on taking the PMP exam. I am gearing up to join a big eCommerce project, and need to quickly switch gears from the PMI view of the world to the Agile methodology that is being employed on this project. Anyone have good tips or ideas on agile project management, please leave a comment.


gb said...

This is the book I used. Congrats again! I'm glad you came back to project management, you rock at it!

The Grumpy PM said...

Thanks gb! I have heard Mulcahy's book is the best, although I did not use her's since it wasn't stocked at my local library.

Nathaniel @ online pmp course said...

Congratulations for passing the PMP exam! And it's great that you have shared with us some suggestions in taking the PMP exam.

Thanks a lot for this information. Great work!