The Journey to getting certified in Project Management Professional was not easy. After hearing stories from my various friends and colleagues, it was time to upgrade myself to get certified in PMP.
It all started from my uncle who is the only certified PMP. During my 9 years of technical experience as a developer, I was given the opportunity to work as a team leader and also as a single contributor to certain projects. While leading a team, I realised I was better in understanding my team member’s mentality and approach towards their work. This helped me tailor my thought process to various extents to get my assigned work delivered with the help of my team. The various dynamics that the team possessed challenged me to implement my management skills for which I was never trained before but I could realise that I was in the process of making a winning team deliver projects.
Not only one has to deliver on the basis of technical expertise but also how you manage the desired deliverable with the skill set your team possesses is a challenge. The key to all was good communication. Frequently talking to your team helps one create a mind matrix on managing your team members.
After realising this, I decided to take up and validate my experience with PMP certification.
The journey started in Feb 2020. The world was just hovering over the news of coronavirus and a nation-wide lockdown. The opportunity was great and with a perfect time to work from home the challenge to get certified was accepted.
In Feb 2020, I started with the Udemy course by Joseph Philips for 35 PDU points to become eligible for the exam. Meanwhile, i ordered a PMBOK 6 from amazon but it was not opened.
After completing my 35 PDU’s i started procrastinating in finalising my date for PMP exam. Until June, I finally decided to finalise my date for the exam in Aug 2020. I committed myself to the next 90 days to focus as much time as possible for my exam along with my work. Along with this, I was also asked to gain my expertise on PHP-LARAVEL framework to deliver an office project which was equally important. Hence my entire time went into learning technical and managerial skills both.
On weekends I dedicated almost 12-13 hours to studying for PMP. I started off with reading the PMBOK guide thoroughly and took approximately 4 weeks to complete all the 49 processes that included 5 process groups and 10 knowledge areas of Project Management. The trick to reading PMBOK was amazingly explained by Ricardo Vegas in one of his YouTube videos.
After completing the guide reading once, I hopped onto some free online tests and I miserably failed. I realised, getting a fact check is so important and better envisaged my vision to get certified. I once again started reading PMBOK and this time I covered it in less than a month to try and give more online mock tests. I also bought some tests from Udemy and downloaded an android application for PMP solving at least 20-30 random questions. Once again, after completing some mock tests and seeing improved scores, I started reading again the PMBOK guide but this time skimmed it in 15 days. I finally went for a mock test offered by PMI and to my surprise the score was law again. The confidence came crashing down as I had just 1 week to go before my exam. I re-evaluated my answers and skimmed through the PMBOK guide in the next 3 days and repeated all my online mock tests from the start until the exam day.
I booked my online exam slot from home (due to covid-19 restrictions) for 4AM. The idea was to have as few distractions as possible and morning time is favourable. As I started with my online exam in the next 30 minutes, the electricity went-off. Luckily I had my Mac connected on a portable wifi device and the laptop screen light was enough to make my face visible to the online moderator. As i continued my exam for next 3 hours without electricity, i finished it and closed my exam 30 minutes before time. And there was a flash message. “You have successfully completed the PMP certification.”
I couldn’t believe it, I made it to one of the most coveted Project Management Professional certification.
Trivia: As I write this blog, it is a coincidence that the electricity supply has went-off again. Maybe the superior power is making me reminisce about the best days working hard as I continue to do so.