Tuesday, May 23, 2017

PMP Success Story: Learn from the Best, Trust on Your Exam Preparation, and Believe in Yourself

By Manas Das, PMP

I had joined Satya’s classes at KnowledgeHut during July 2016 for PMP® mandatory 35 contact-hour learning.

Satya is instrumental in sharing PMP tips and tricks in very simplified way. I was very attentive to what Satya speaks in the class, because every line of him is very important to gain insight for preparing PMP. Also, there are many topics explained in a very simplified way on his blog (this blog).

Hence, I must recommend that it’s very important to be attentive during the class and revise the courses same day evening and revisiting his blog for PMP articles.

Due to extreme project commitment, I was not able to plan my exam until January 2017. I applied for the exam in February 2017 and scheduled my exam during first week of May 2017.

I was not able to spent much time preparing for study for couple of hours everyday, but I made sure to spent at least 2 hours during weekdays and 6 hours during weekends. 

I had prepared a roadmap for PMP preparation to stick to the timeline. I’m sharing the roadmap here. And, recommending everyone to prepare the same to help you with your preparation and not getting lost in day to day office work and current project deliverables.

  • 1.5 months preparation for Understanding the Concepts (Not Memorizing) –I’ve gone through PMBOK guide once and Satya’s tips and tricks during training notes.
  • 15 days Mock Test preparation (I have used mostly KnowledgeHut’s mock tests)
    My average scores for KH Mock tests are around 71~72%.
  • 15 days for revision of PMP materials – revising the existing materials.
  • 15 days for Mock preparation (had couple of books to refer).
I strongly recommend everyone to go through the PMBOK® guide at least once. I already had two books with me and re-read them after going through Satya’s classes.

It was about 3 days I did not really study anything as part of my preparation and kept my mind free and preparing for time management during the exam.

During PMP Exam
During the exam, I’ve taken one break of 4 minutes after 3 hours 5 minutes of the exam and I’ve completed going through all the 200 questions and few were marked for review. In the rest 50 minutes I’ve done 2 reviews of all the 200 questions and finally submitted just 40 seconds left for the exam to end.

Finally saw the much-awaited Congratulations page.

PMP Exam Tips
  • Initially it takes 10 to 15 minutes of your time to come up to speed for answering questions; so not to panic.
  • If you are good with time management, during Mock exams then it will help to complete the first pass of the 200 questions in 2.5 hours to 3 hours.
  • The first answer that comes to your mind is mostly right (70-80% times). Hence, if you are confident, then select the option and proceed.
  • For wordy questions, please read the last sentence of the question to find out what has been asked in the question.
  • Select the answer always keeping the big picture in mind that proper project management is used and not your own project management experience.
  • There are questions where more than 2 correct answers to the questions so need to analyze and select the BEST answer.

Finally, would like to share the information to all the test takers that PMP exam tests the knowledge, application and analysis which makes the PMP examination much more than a test of memory.

So, it’s important that you know how to apply the knowledge from PMI Project Manager’s prospective and be able to analyze situation.

Trust on your exam preparation and believe yourself to eliminate the fear of appearing the exam.
Best of Luck for your exam!!

Brief Profile:
Manas Das is a Project Manager with Infosys Technologies Ltd. He can be contacted at manasdas82@gmail.com. His linkedin profile is at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/manas-das-0670a02b/

Monday, May 22, 2017

PMP Protein: How To Be A PMI-PMP

By Mahendra Reddy Vakati, PMP

I am very happy to share with you that I have cleared PMP® Certification on 8th May 2017 just one day before my birthday. I hope my experience will be helpful for the future PMP aspirants.

My friends and colleagues had taken training with Satya and cleared the PMP exam; so I thought of attending the same. I strongly decided that I must attend and immediately clear the exam. 

I have attended 2 weekend classes in February 2017. Satya is a very good mentor and give lot of confidence that you will clear the exam. He explains the concepts very clearly and give lot of tips. I used to read the PMBOK® chapters before going to the classes. This helped me a lot to understand the classes and to be more interactive. Immediately after my training, in the 1st week of March 2017, I submitted the application and my application got approved in 4 days and paid the payment. My application didn’t go through audit.

Materials Referred:
  • The PMBOK Guide Fifth Edition: I have read 3 times. 1st time it took lot of time to finish and didn’t understand much. 2nd time, concepts were very clear and it took lesser time than before. 3rd time it was very quick and I just read 3 days before the exam and completed in 3 days’ time.
  • Other than PMBOK Guide, you need to refer a book which helps you the most; various online apps.
  • KnowledgeHut materials.
  • Ensure you take sufficient practice tests.
First time I did the test and got 65-70% in some tests. After studying the materials twice, I have redone the tests where ever I got less score and my score was 80-85%.

Note: If once you get 80-85% in many tests, then you are ready to take up the PMP certification. Doing lot of mock tests is the key to success.

Type of Questions Faced the PMP Exam:
I’ve noted the type of questions faced in my exam. However, do note that everyone’s experience is unique.  
  • I got many situational questions
  • Had few math’s questions – questions on Earned Value Management (EVM) Metrics:
    • Schedule Performance Index (SPI)
    • Cost Performance Index (CPI
    • Schedule Variance (SV)
    • Cost Variance (CV)
  • Questions on number of communication channels.
  • Questions on communication plan, tools and techniques. 
  • Very few questions (2 to 3) on Inputs, Tools and Techniques and Outputs (ITTOs).
  • I had written down change flow, data flow diagrams, all the formulas and 47 processes flow chart before I start the exam and it took 20 mins. These I had it from Satya.
  • First hour I could answer only 38 questions because 20 mins already spent on writing formulas etc. Slowly I have increased the speed and able to manage to answers all 200 questions. I was left with only 1 min before my exam ends.
My heart was beating so fast even though I kept my self very cool and confident. I clicked the Submit button and closed my eyes, prayed the god. Slowly opened my eyes and saw the Congratulations message on the Screen. All the pain went off and very happy to see the message. 

Dos and Don’ts for Your PMP Preparation:
  • Don’t read too many books. Choose any 2 books (the PMBOK Guide is a must read).
  • Study each book 2 to 3 times.
  • Do as many as mock tests.
  • Keep your mind cool and relax.
  • Don’t postpone exam for more than 3 months after your training.
  • Don’t delay in submitting the Application. Submit the application immediately after the training and do the payment. If once you do the payment, then only you will get to know that your application will go for audit or not.
  • Don’t keep the food inside the locker at Exam center. If you want to have food in between the exam, then instructions won’t allow you to open the locker so keep the water and food outside.
  • Don’t over study and take breaks in between studies. e.g. watch movies, participate in sports.  
  • Don’t revisit the questions and try to finish at the first attempt because if you revisit or if you don’t get much time at the end then there is a possibility of choosing wrong answer. 

Brief Profile:
I am working with SAP as a Senior Technology Consultant. I have 12 years of Project Management, Test Management and SAP functional experience.

Friday, May 12, 2017

PMP Success Story: Proper Guidance and A Well-Planned Study Approach Needed To Crack The Exam

By Asad Abbas, PMP

"Good karma matters" this is one mantra which kept me going for my PMP® exam preparation. 

I had an aspiration to get the PMP certification, so I made up my mind to complete the certification and started preparing.

PMP Coaching Experience
My training began on 18th March, 2017 and I was very fortunate to meet Satya as my coach, who is not only an excellent trainer, a Management Guru but also a good human being. He was always very approachable and at the end of every conversation used to tell me "you will do well”, which boosted my morale and gave me the confidence to prepare and write the exam well.

Own Study
My training got over on 26th March, 2017. The books I used to refer during my preparation were:
  • The PMBOK® Guide, 5th Edition by Project Management Institute (PMI)
  • I Want To Be A PMP by Satya Narayan Dash
  • PMP Exam Prep by Rita Mulcahy 
I studied for 5 to 6 hours on week days (Monday to Friday) and 8 to 9 hours over the weekend. Other than the questions given in the book “I Want To Be A PMP”, I also practiced sample questions from the Oliver Lehmann, HeadFirst PMP, Exam central, PMP Exam Prep, Simply learn and PM Exam Simulator.

The questions given in the book “I Want To Be A PMP” were very close to what I saw in the real exam. 

I earned my credential on 2nd May, 2017, just over a month of completing my classroom session. The joy of having this credential is to be felt on your own to believe.  

How To Prepare 
• PMP exam is not about mugging up the Input, Tools and Techniques, and Outputs (ITTOS). The exam stresses on the key concepts. You need to know to how the following key document/tools and techniques flow through the various processes and different knowledge areas:

 - Work Performance Data, 
 - Work Performance Information, 
 - Risk Register, 
 - Stakeholder Register, 
 - Project Charter, 
 - Requirement Documentation, 
 - Change request, 
 - Scope Baseline, 
 - Project Scope Statement, 
 - Enterprise Environmental Factors, 
 - Organisational Process Assets, 
 - Issue Log, and 
 - Change Log.
• Also understand the subtle differences – the differences among Stakeholder Management, Communication Management and Human Resource Management. This will help in answering many questions correctly.
• Expect mathematical questions on Expected Monetary Value (EMV), Earned Value Management (EVM) and Critical Path Method (CPM).

Main Exam
• Try to reach the examination centre at least an hour early as that will give you enough time to settle down at centre.
• If you are not sure with the answer on any question, then mark the same for review and proceed further. Try to select the most feasible option rather than not selecting anything.
• In the Real Exam, you will get the following important tips during initial tutorial which can help in revisiting the marked questions efficiently:
- You can highlight a text by selecting and right clicking over it. While reviewing the questions later, you can save time just by looking only at the highlighted text.
- Also, if you do a right click by putting the cursor on any given option in answer, then that particular option will get marked as cancelled. During final hour in main exam when your stress will be sky high, visualising the wrong options will help you in concentrating on the remaining choices.

More than all the study material it was Satya Sir's unwavering support and guidance which helped me in clearing the examination, along with it the management blog and other pupils’ success stories also motivated me through - thick and thin.

Brief Profile: Asad Abbas, PMP & Certified Scrum Master with 9 years of Experience in service industry. Currently working as Scrum Master with Merck Life Sciences, Bengaluru.

Few Lines By Satya Narayan Dash: Since beginning of this year, I’ve decided to give full credit to the writer, to whom the success story actually belongs. I’m writing a few lines, as Asad fervently requested me to write.

Asad was part of my class in March, 2017. Before coming, he had been preparing for quite some time, but never had the confidence that he could crack the exam. In my class, I remember Asad to be a keen listener, thinks quite analytically on the questions that I asked and was very keen to get the PMP credential. 

Post the session, he bought my book and would have a number of clarifications and questions – why am I saying this would be the correct answer, why am I saying these topics are important and so on. Though I was exhausted after my day’s work, his sheer determination moved me. I remember sitting with him as late as 10pm in night to answer his queries, to never panic and to continue working no matter how uphill the task seems to be. In the end, he succeeded - as he says in the beginning of this article “Good Karma Matters”. Indeed, it does.