I am a Project Manager Professional PMP-PMI® !

I passed the Project Management Professional certification on November 28, 2018. That’s exactly 1 month today ! It’s time for me to formalize the lessons learned of this personal project.

Here is the link to this prestigious PMP-PMI® certification.

Why becoming a certified Project Manager ?

In January 2018, it was about 3 years that I practiced as a Scrum Master in IT projects of my Client in Brussels. I was doing this part time. The other part time was busy in management tasks for small IT projects (20/30 days) and for small improvements (Service Management).

One morning, near the coffee machine, a colleague IT Project Manager told me that he is a Project Manager Professional (PMP) certified by Project Management Institute (PMI). This colleague advised me to also pass this certification to formalize my knowledge on IT projects.

I decided to listen to the advices of my colleague and accepted the challenge.

Gathering information & High-level planning

I spent about 15 days gathering information and testimonials on different websites and on Youtube.
For that, I simply use the Google search engine and type keywords such as ‘PMP, PMI, PMBok, …’

This allowed me to establish a realistic high-level planning for this project.

Indeed, it was absolutely necessary to take in account all my professional constraints but also my personal constraints.

Another important point was the choice of the language for the exam. PMI (Project Management Institute) is an American Institute. Therefore, English is naturally the language used. If you do not master English, then you add an extra difficulty to the exam. This is my case and as far as I am concerned, I soon realized that I would have to overcome this difficulty by assimilating all the specific vocabulary I did not know.

Ultimately, my high-level planning covered the period from June 2018 to November 2018.

The challenge for such a long time was to keep motivated and not forget what I was learning in the previous months.

35 mandatory hours of project management education

One of the prerequisites of PMI-PMP is to take a 35-hour training to receive an overview of what PMP is.

After comparing several quotes and contacted several training centers (Egilia, Certyou, Cegos, …), I found that the price could vary from 2,500 euros to more than 4,500 euros.

I finally opted for Certyou. I did not hesitate to contact (by phone) several people who testified of their experience via the site of this training center.

This training lasted 5 days and took place in Paris (75008). Looking back, I can confirm that my trainer (Mr. Frédéric DESOMBRE) has fully covered the main guidelines of the PMBOK® Guide 6th édition. We were a group of a dozen people. Some were considering PMP certification, others CAPM certification, while others were not considering certification at all but just following this PMP training. Each of us has his story and his goals.

I must specify that the reception and the supervision of the PMP training at Certyou is to be emphasized. Laurence MAURY and Olivier BOISNE did a good job. From my lived experience, I can advise you this Training Center.

PMP Exam books, online video courses, online mock tests and Facebook :

Not to disperse, I limited the number of books to study for the PMP-PMI exam. After several days of research on the internet, I selected the following books :

I studied the video course of Joseph PHILLIPS, on the Udemy website:

And also the video courses of iZenBridge on Youtube.

Finally, I practiced on several online mock tests :

I allocated approximately 1h30 per day, during the week, to study these different media. The last 2 months, I also worked on weekends for online mock tests (about 5 hours).

I took a lot of notes, I reproduce a lot of graphics and small drawings. That’s how I durably assimilate information.

My point of attention has always been to fill the gaps in my learning from previous days. The important thing is not to learn the processes but to understand them and how they interact with each other. I never learned the list of inputs / outputs for each process. I simply draw several flows to understand why we used this input / output rather than another.

Finally, these long weeks of learning allowed me to assimilate surely all the English vocabulary that I did not know before.

The mock tests allowed me to gain confidence about the types of questions / answers that were formulated during the exam. These 4-hour exercises also help me to manage my time. They are therefore very important.

Last but not least : From the start, I also subscribed to several groups related to PMP on Facebook. Every day, while waiting for my train, I took the opportunity to read the remarks, the questions of other aspirants to this certification. This is so important ! It allowed me not to give up. Between the day’s work, the evening family life, the kids, the weekend hobbies, and all the rest, it’s very easy to lose track of the preparation for the exam and to give up quite simply. So for once, I thank Facebook!

The last week of preparation and D-day :

A suivre …

Philippe MARTINS

Philippe MARTINS is a certified Project Management Professional (PMI-PMP)® and also a certified Professional Scrum Master (PSM)®. Its target is "GETTING THE THINGS DONE !"
The next challenge for Philippe is to achieve the Risk Management Professional certification (PMI-RMP) on 2019.

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