Monday, August 21, 2017

PMP Success Story: Group Discussions and Clear Understanding of Relationship Among 47 Processes are Keys to Success

By Suresh Juturu, PMP



Introduction
The desire and passion for getting the PMP® certification were started when I switched to the management role from a technical role. I’ve already taken the PMP course and got good understanding on all the processes of knowledge areas/process groups.  

I happened to meet my colleagues who also had got trained in PMP, where Satya had led the course. I was amazed to see the calibre of my colleagues who also got an excellent understanding overall. We decided to get together and learn from each other on each topic to succeed in the exam in a very short time.  Today I’m a certified Project Management Professional!!

PMP Coaching Experience
If you can form a group of 3-4 aspirants, it is important to share and learn from each other’s practical world to share their project experiences in real time. This you can combine and compare with the theory of the PMBOK® guide.


Remember – exam is a test of your ability to apply your understanding of the PMBOK guide in various scenarios and not really how the given processes are being followed in real time, as approaches to project life cycles can vary across organizations.

Keep the notes on exam tips collected from the course handy and share it across and apply them in the exam. Satya’s notes especially on relation among the processes and order in which is being followed was a great treasure to remember all 47 in an easy way.

Own Study
We started our full-fledge preparation for exam 6 weeks before, mostly on weekends. We took a break of 6 full days out of the work just before the exam and went through all the notes and processes on the project to remember easily. Again, the key here is to explain to your colleagues on notes/ understanding of the process being applied and debate and discuss in length till you get convinced that it is rightly and sufficiently applied.

Reading and understanding of PMBOK was very challenging, so I have used a reference book for studying to keep me interested ;-). Have all the notes downloaded on the smart phone was a key too. I referred only those notes as a last lap of preparation before appearing in the exam.

PMP Exam Experience
First thing first. After our PMP applications were approved, we immediately scheduled for it, instead of waiting for a long time and then scheduling. 

Backtracking works! Yes, that helped me finishing PMBOK and reference books once completely along with revision of notes, presentation slides and other materials shared.

Next, we took sample mock exams online to practice. The first 2 mock tests are very important and played key role for me as we have not only answered the questions but also discussed the wrong choices we had made, to understand why so. This increased our confidence levels to a greater extent for the real test.

I could finish all the questions in 3 hours’ time with only around 20 questions marked for revision. I kept my pacing in exam well – didn’t get stuck anywhere ;-). I took a break for 5 minutes to refresh. In the final lap, I didn’t have any doubt in my mind about the result. Clicked done before the time and was very happy to see the result. Hurray!! 

Suggestions for PMP Aspirants
  • Priorities always matters whether personal or professional or career. Select your exam date so that you will make a priority for your PMP exam sooner.
  • With other high priorities and hard work needed for PMP, don’t forget to keep tab of your health. Avoid street food, e.g., popular roadside snacks ;-)
  • Don’t be overconfident. You must take mock test. The key is to understand the questions for which you choose wrong answers.
  • There are online websites for practice questions daily/weekly. You can try them as well. 
  • Prepare good notes handy with explanation to remember easily:
  • Example:
    • Budget at completion (BAC), which is the first baselined total cost for your project. 
    • Estimate at completion (EAC), which keeps changing based on the performance at current point.
    • To Complete Performance Index (TCPI), which tells if the project is harder or easier to complete.
  • If needed, you can use sound proof head phones offered to avoid the disturbances from other’s keyboard stroke noises. I tried using it for first 2 mins and felt a vacuum in mind as no Air can enters into ears. 
  • Watch out the network cable hanging around your foot as you may touch/move them unintentionally while taking a break during the exam.
  • Wear warm clothes as the room temperature at the exam center might be low. 

Conclusion
After getting my PMP certification, I felt energized and received the needed boost ;-) to pursue other exams like CSM and PMI-ACP. For the latter training, I finally met Satya. Thanks to Satya for giving the opportunity to share my PMP experience here.

Brief Profile:
Suresh Juturu, Project Leader in a leading MNC. 

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