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Here’s why 2020 is the best year to get PMP certified! – Expert Experience Story

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“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”
― Mark Twain

The world of PMP is changing. Changes being the only constant in ever pacing and dynamically changing global learning, the same applies to the profession of project management as well.

This year of 2020 is so far one of the most dynamic year with biggest change of the century (COVID-19) that happened to us and have changed the entire business and education and economical landscape altogether.

Let alone the classic world of PROJECT MANAGEMENT PROFESSION whereby the changes are so visible to the most strategic certification “PMP”

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  1. Working from home has become a new norm
  2. Remote project management gaining a real ground
  3. More than ever worldwide there are changes happening in the project management profession
  4. We do have more time at hand to spend if we really plan and strategies it very well, it depends on us how to utilize this available time to the best of our ability
  5. Most importantly PMI (Project Management Institute) has come out for the first time with a new initiative of doing the PMP certification “FROM HOME” (that was never done before) whereby now you don’t need to travel to the PERSAON VUE examination center to give the most coveted PMP exam and you can have a luxury and comfort of giving this exam from home.

PMP examination format is getting changed from January 2021 onwards.

“Now or never”. This is THE right time to become PMP

In 2006, after having almost a decade plus of experience in the world of projects, I got to know about this coveted certification and noble institute named “PMI”. I got associated with “Project Management Institute Mumbai Chapter” through a known acquittance and I tried studying about PMI more and more, did my own in-depth research about the activities, engagements, trainings and certifications being offered by PMI. More that I learnt, more I got interested in this so called “Not-for-profit” institute serving the “Project Managers Professional Community” across appx 200 countries across the globe and being run purely on volunteerism.

I started doing volunteer activities in Mumbai chapter in terms of playing active role in the geographic expansion of the chapter and more and more towards the certification and training.

In 2007, The organization came out with a mandate that all the PMs need to be PMP Certified. I leveraged this opportunity whereby I took my PMP Preparation Course in the organization I was working as “Project Manager”. The course was done in house within my company by an instructor from PMI Mumbai Chapter and around 20 people attended this course. I started doing my exam preparation as well. However due to a Hugh work pressure and almost 25 projects that I was doing alone, the exam preparation went on backseat. We say that it needs around 2-3 months of time (across 200-300 hours of average preparation), however somehow the focus was lost and I had to drop the idea of getting PMP certified to do the due justice to my projects, many of them were going live in next 3-6 months. My dream to become first PMP certified Project Manager was shattered and I couldn’t catch up to my dream.

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My engagement in volunteerism started gaining ground and I got motivated further by this great institution (PMI) which started in 1969 in Houston, US by five great like minded people. I watched a nice video and the value of this PMP certification across the globe, especially how this most coveted certification is helping out the businesses across various domains across geographies, whereby I got to know the real importance of this certification and for a moment I thought that even if I have to change my job, my company, my domain or my country then this “THE CERTIFICATION” which can really help me further to boost my professional career which I had started a decade back.

Lost time never comes back. However, I had my whole career in front of me, I leaped over this opportunity and started preparing from PMP exam once again, by reading the PMBOK daily basis. Initially it was very boring, however as I moved “page-after-page” became more and more interesting and I really started applying those processes in my projects. I downloaded lots of freely downloadable materials on the internet on exam preparation and few mock tests as well.

Initially the material reading, and sample questions were difficult, and I scored not more than 50% in my mock tests, however thanks to my intrinsic motivation and encouragement from the experienced professionals, my reading further intensified, and I started preparing with a firm timeline. The project plan was developed for the exam preparation and an end date of the exam. I read lots of material alongwith PMBOK and those days lessons learnt from other PMPs across the globe were very popular and I literally tried utilizing them.

I scheduled my examination for September 2007 and took a “Week’s leave” from my work just before the exam so that I can fully focus on exam and studied almost 12-14 hours a day during this week, thereby revising PMBOK content, Flash cards, summaries, definitions, processes, ITTOs etc. I had my own notes too.

At last come 24th September 2007 (Milestone date that I will never be able to forget in my life) and I appeared for the PMP and passed in first attempt. It was a great moment and I literally danced in that “coveted moment in my life” which I dreamt from a year. At last the dream came true. I was the first PMP Certified professional in my department (Portfolio and Program Management Business Unit) and that was a very proud moment for me. All the hard work, efforts and blessings came through. My Organization where I was working, was globally distributed (being US based company) and had a presence across the globe. People appreciated this achievement, and this also had a indirect impact on my future growth and prospects in my career.

The mistake that I made by procrastinating for a year and not appearing for the PMP exam, not being strategic enough in my thought process of “Importance of being the first PMP certified professional in India in my division” whereby I could have very well saved that year.

We all have high pressure, work commitments and projects and that will never go off until you take final breath of your life. As The great Benjamin Franklin said, “You may delay, but time will not.” And, well said by the Great Oscar wilde “I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do – the day after.”

Finally wrapping up this with my advice from my experience: Never procrastinate, this is “THE right opportunity and time available with you at hand” to finish the PMP certification this year (2020).

  • Put your vision and mission in place
  • Define your core objective and strategic goals and write them down
  • Think about this as if you are owning up one of the most strategic projects in your career
  • Create a “Project plan” for the exam preparation with the milestone date that you “MUST” achieve to be successful in your life and career
  • Think about this like a “Fixed price contract” that you have signed with your life which will have a great amount of incentive (of promotion and increased remuneration – if not immediately, over a period of 2-3 years post doing PMP).
  • With an attitude “Come what may” and “Do or Die “seriously march towards the preparation and implement your project plan” (if you wish, you can have your plan peer reviewed)
  • At last, believe in THE GOD, and trust your gut instincts, in your abilities and hard work. Efforts always pays off.
  • Believe in yourself. Wish you all the best.

Signing off by my last quote:

“God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination.”
― St. Augustine of Hippo

 

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