On Friday Prince William married Kate and I passed the PMP. While much of the world was watching the pagentry of the royal wedding and the associated festivities, I was busy answering questions on the PMP exam.
For many years I've wanted to take the PMP exam (Project Management Professional) from PMI and Friday I took the exam and passed it. Since a little time has passed now, the elation level has dropped but I'm still pretty excited about it. It has been a long term goal to get my PMP, but life seemed to always get in the way. In true project management fashion, I'd just like to say that I'll schedule my lessons learned session for another time but for now the serious lessons learned about actual test preparation and strategy are out of scope.
Last Summer I became aware of a virtual PMP preparation session being offered at my company. A different Knowledge Area is covered every week and you review the material with colleagues scattered in different locations online and via telephone conference. I thought that it would help give some structure to my studying efforts and would help me to stay motivated. They've been doing this for a few years and I had heard that a few collegues had used this as a part of their preparation. I was glad that I was able to get a spot in the wave that started in September. I'd say that this is when my current journey really started and I became serious about taking the exam.
As often happens in the project world and with life in general, my projects heated up and I was too busy to study very much during Decemeber, January, and well into February. The nature of my projects meant that I needed to work several weekends and some pretty long weeks. My orginal timeline had been to take the exam in December or January, but I had to rebaseline when my project load was so crazy. When I could see some light at the end of the tunnel, I scheduled some time off and the exam for April 29th.
I bought a copy of the PM Prepcast. in August. This is an multimedia series of audio and video programs that can be played on your iPod or other devices. I listended to the various episodes when I was driving around by myself and watched episodes on my computer. It is a good way to prepare for the PMP, because you can make use of non-tradtional study time and listening (watching too) helps to reinforce your learning. For those of you that have a hard time focusing on dry text books, this is a really good way to cover material you need to know for the exam.
I was on cloud nine when I saw that I had passed. Just to make sure that there wasn't some kind of malfunction at my testing unit, I confirmed with the guy running the part of the testing center where I took the exam that I had passed, he gave me a print out that showed how I did in the areas where your performance is reported.
I knew that my father would be happy for my accomplishment and was ancious to get a hold of him and spread the good news. At first I only got his answering machine and he returned my call about an hour later or so. He was so excited, you could really hear it it in his voice. I know that this brought back his own memories of taking his first certification, all those years ago. I know that he remembered how my mother helped him study for his exam and the pride that he feld when he was certified in his profession. I have to thank my wife and kids for putting up with all my studying the last few months. They really supported me more than anyone can expect their family to do. If they had not been behind me, there is no way that I would have been able to do it.
It wasn't too long after I scheduled my exam date that I realized that there was also this little wedding going on at the same time. That just makes the passing the PMP all that more special for me. Lots of people have taken and passed the PMP, but how many people can say that they did when Prince William got maried? So it is with great pleasure that I now add those initials after my name.....
Until next time.
Darryl Heron PMP
Photo Credit: "Success, succeed, business, money sign" courtesy of lockstockb.
P.s. Be sure to check out my Systems-Overload Blog and look for me online at some of the usual locations.
Sunday, May 1, 2011