Saturday, July 23, 2011

Year 1 after PMP certification

Time flies too fast... While talking to a friend, I realized that I completed one year since I passed my PMP exam. In the retrospective, the year looked quite good. My accomplishments or instances where my PMP helped a lot, include:
The promotion that I got, I managed two "very challenging" projects, got to implement the procurement management knowledge on a project, got new business for my company and this was for a department different than mine. I could really use the knowledge and confidence in most of those accomplishments. I believe there is lot more to come while I gather my 60 PDUs. Let me keep counting my PDUs, lessons, and of course - the accomplishments.

I also contributed in my own way towards the Project Management profession and the community - by mentoring and encouraging my peers to pursue the PMP certification.

What I might come here back will be my further experiences and some thoughts in retrospection.

~ Qais

Sunday, August 1, 2010

PMP Exam Location in Mumbai

I am based at Pune and since I wasn't familiar with Mumbai, I was a bit anxious about taking the test at Mumbai. I was worried if we (a colleague of mine and I) would be able to reach the center on time.

It wasn’t too difficult to locate the test center once we were on Saki Vihar Road. Marwah House is quite a prominent building on that street. There was a vacant plot opposite the center which was being used by Test-takers as a “free” parking space. We had taken a cab and our driver parked the cab under the shade of a tree and comfortable dozed off until we finished the test.

For the convenience of the readers, the address of the Prometric Centre is:

Prometric Testing (P) Ltd
Everonn Systems India Limited
Marwah House, Opp Ansa Industrial,
Saki Vihar Road, Saki Naka, Andheri East
Mumbai, Maharashtra 400072
Phone: 022-28573160

And here is how it looks like…

Saturday, July 24, 2010

PMP Practice Tests

I believe that one might study all the books and text available for PMP preparation but the preparation would never be complete without doing some sample questions and prtactice tests.

I took about 4-5 full durations tests during my preparation and chapter-end questions in HeadFirst PMP and Rita Mulcahy's PMP Exam Prep. Along with that, I solved a lot of questions on some websites. The following list has most of them that I remember.
- PMstudy (Full Test)
- PreparePM
- PMRoadTrip (Knowledge areas, Full Test)
- Full length test in Andy Crowe's PMP book
- PMP full length exam on Headfirst PMP
- Oliver Lehmann's 175 questions PDF
- Oliver Lehmann's 75 Free Questions

- Questions on
- Questions on

The idea is to understand how questions are made from the exact text or concepts in PMBOK. Sometimes, they are worded to confuse the test-taker. One needs to be careful enough to read the questions properly and completely, think of the answer while looking at the way choices are given and finally answer the question. Words such as ALWAYS, SOMETIMES, ALMOST, NEVER, FIRST THING, BEST THING, EXCEPT, OTHER THAN, DOES NOT INCLUDE, ALL BUT... can make the questions tricky.

That's about the PMP practice questions and tests that helped me Earn my PMP.

~ Qais

Books I referred

To begin with, I found PMBOK very dull and sleep inducing. I could never read more than 5 pages at a stretch. My problem was solved when I had an encounter with HeadFirst PMP and I fell in love with this book. It's approach took me completely and I found it very interesting to read. I stopped reading the book only to get back to it quickly and finished reading the entire book in less than a month. The concepts settled in easily with the examples used in the book. The exercises kept me busy and hooked.They reinforced all the learning quite successfully.

The next book that I referred was Rita Mulcahy's PMP Exam Prep. This book follows a completely different approach but it takes one's attention towards important aspects of PMP exam. I didn't follow Rita's process chart at all as I thought it would confuse me but the tips and tricks, PMIisms helped a lot. The questions at the end of chapters were good but I wasn't convinced with a lot of answers. Their explanations were debatable wherever I got them wrong. In such questions, two answer options were either too close or both were correct. In the actual exam, I hardly saw such confusing choices. Overall, the book and questions help a lot as they help you aim higher and they get you out of your over-confidence if you have it. ;-)

I started reading PMBOK after finishing Rita Mulcahy's PMP Exam Prep. This time, everything in PMBOK made a lot of sense. I could find a lot of points which could make up questions. One reason why this happened could be because of the practice tests that I took before reading PMBOK. I read PMBOK very carefully - paying attention to each and every sentence. At times, i used to read some paragraphs more than once. The interpersonal skills appendix and the glossary helps a lot.

So, that was about the books that helped me Earn my PMP.

~ Qais

Start of my quest for PMP

It all started roughly three and a half years ago when I attended the 4-day PMP training. It was an eye opening experience for me in terms of the Project Management discipline. My trainer insisted that we go for the exam within a few months or we might lose interest and never attempt the exam. But I wanted to wait and gather some quality experience in project management and then go for PMP. Finally, by June 2009, I realised I was ready to go for it. So, the first step was to get the PMI membership and get the latest edition of PMBOK i.e. PMBOK 4. Then, it took me another 6-7 months to complete the PMP application.

My preparation actually took off in February 2010, only to stop by mid of March. I resumed it again in May 2010, Since then, it has been a rigorous journey with books, web sites, tutorials, presentations, questions and a google group. Finally, I earned my PMP on 19th July 2010.

I will narrate my experiences of my PMP journey, in detail, in the posts to follow. Hope this blog helps the aspiring PMPs in some way. However, this blog will never be a one-stop solution for sure.

~ Qais