Project management is the set of selected techniques, skills and tools often used to achieve predefined objectives of a project. The project manager owns the responsibility to complete and deliver the project on time and within budget securing all the interests of client and stakeholders. When the growing competition, advent of new methodologies, cost-cutting pressures, tight timeline, stringent quality parameters are making the challenges for a project manager more complex, getting PMP certification becomes imperative for every growth-oriented project manager.
What is Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification?
PMP certification is issued by the Project Management Institute (PMI) to the experienced project managers when they successfully pass the exam. The certificate acknowledges individual’s experience, skills, and achievement. The worldwide recognized PMP certification benefits the individual and organization both.
5 Top Reasons to Get PMP Certification:
Before racing to get any qualification, ‘why’ roams your mind; and, it should be. Therefore, before diving deeper into the areas like eligibility, objectives and preparation etc, go through the following 5 reasons that answer – ‘why’.
1. 22 million new jobs would be created for PMPs in just 11 countries including India by 2027. By deciding to get PMP certification, you eye on the global requirement of 88 million PMPs in different sectors. (Report by Anderson Economic Group)
2. PMP certification is, at times, a contractual requirement when working on large client engagement in many sectors. Any industry like manufacturing, construction, information services, publishing, finance, insurance, management, professional service, oil & gas or service is going to have only PMP certified project managers because of additional challenges to perform in the more volatile global market.
3. According to 9th PMI salary survey (2015), PMP certification gives the instant boost of 20% salary hike; the survey covered approx. 26,000 project managers working in 34 countries; and, 1,197 respondents were from India. The statistics confirm that PMP certified manager gets about Rs. 17 lakh P.A. while a non-PMP certified manager gets 12 lakh P.A.
4. PMP qualification certifies your insights and expertise in project management besides certifying your achievements in profitable project management.
5. As the respected member of a worldwide community of PMP certified project managers, you are seen more credible to follow the particular codes of ethics.
Eligibility to get PMP Certification:
1. If you hold the four years degree:
- Minimum 36 months of non-overlapped experience in project management.
- Minimum 4500 hrs experience of leading the projects in the capacity of project manager.
- 35 contact hours of formal PMP certification training.
2. If you don’t hold the four years degree:
- Minimum 60 months of non-overlapped experience in project management.
- Minimum 7500 hrs experience of leading the projects in the capacity of project manager.
- 35 contact hours of formal PMP certification training.
5 Simple Steps to Complete PMP Application Process:
After checking the eligibility to get PMP Certification, the next step is to initiate the application process. To simplify, I make it a five steps process:
Step – 1: Sign up at pmi.org and create your professional profile.
Step – 2: Attend formal PMP certification training for 35 contact Hours.
Step – 3: Apply for PMI membership to enjoy the special discounts while scheduling the exams. The PMI membership allows you to access online publications and resources to get the latest edition of study materials like foundation standards, PMBOK, framework & practice etc. Although getting PMI membership is optional but I recommend everyone to have it.
Step – 4: Fill the application online within 90 days and submit it. PMI takes 5-6 days to intimate about acceptance of the application.
Step – 5: Download (PMP) examination handbook.
You can schedule the exam according to your preparedness at the nearest test center by depositing specified fees.
The Budget for PMP Certification:
The cost is a vital component to drive you for getting PMP certification. The following figures are subjected to change as per PMI regulations.
The paper-based test option is available only for the candidates living more than 300 miles away from the test center, or if the PMP exam is company-sponsored.
The other costs involved in getting PMP certification are:
- The cost of study material
- The cost of formal PMP certification training (35 contact hours)
How to Schedule for PMP Certification:
The strategic planning with in-depth knowledge and by heart commitment are the driving forces to schedule for PMP certification. You need considerable time to understand the standards and norms mentioned in PMBOK. According to my experience, minimum 3 months and maximum 5 months are sufficient to appear for PMP certification exam; however, it largely depends upon existing job nature, work schedule, personal circumstances etc that decide how much time per day you can spend for the PMP exam preparation. I would suggest not to extend the preparation period more than 5 months otherwise you may feel down and wear out.
Top 6 Tips for PMP Exam Preparation:
Project Management Professional (PMP) exam needs extensive preparation for the months. The plenty of study material is available online and offline; the main task is to absorb the gained knowledge for practical application. The task is challenging but the following 6 tips will simplify the PMP exam preparation:
1. Survey and Research the Material That You Plan To Cover:
Motivate yourself before starting the journey. Survey the study material that you need to cover. Familiarity with all the topics to be covered gives you the better understanding to find the right content.
2. Make PMBOK® Guide Your Road Map:
The PMP exam is largely based on PMBOK® Guide. To make the PMP preparation simple and scalable, you should break down the different knowledge areas of the latest PMBOK® guide version and its Appendix; and cover the topics in the planned period. The concepts, focus & concentration are the key elements of grasping the knowledge for long-lasting benefits.
3. Attend PMP Prep Workshops:
The numbers of PMP training organizations conduct PMP prep workshops to facilitate the registered PMP exam takers check their preparation. The other major advantage of attending these workshops is that you get an opportunity to join the community of exam takers; and, use this opportunity to know the gaps in your preparation.
4. Appear in PMP Exam Online Simulators:
Online PMP simulators are the model PMP exams designed with same standards to test the applicants. You also get acquainted with exam environment; so, you feel more comfortable during the PMP exam.
5. Don’t Underestimate The Value Of Flash Cards:
Downloadable electronic flashcards are the most cost-effective and time-tested way of preparing PMP exam.
6. Be the Member of Discussion Forums
Numbers of PMP discussion forums allow you free access to the online discussion. The participation helps you help others and get help from others.
The 200 multiple choice PMP exam paper includes the questions of different categories – short situational, formula based, knowledge-based, complex situation etc but the through the study of good material with the best practices empowers you to finish the line with good score. To judge the PMP preparation, test your skills to answer at least 85% questions; if you can do it – you are ready to crack the nut. Best of luck!