Thursday, October 24, 2013

PMI-PMP Exam Prep: When Your Class is Not So Sure

Each program that I anchored for PMI-PMP exam prep, is unique in certain aspect. There are many people with whom you interact, ranging from experience level of 5 years upto 20+ years and they do bring in good amount of professional experiences and their understanding in the realm of project management. While kicking off the program, I always realize, how profound their earnest need from the program is and what they really want from the course orchestration. 

Recently, at Bangalore, I was conducting a program on PMP and the nervousness aspect on the class in the beginning was visible.  Not one team member was sure that they can remember a huge material such as PMBOK in just 4 days. To be fair, in their shoes, I would think and feel the same way. Also, as couple of participants pointed out, in previous preparatory programs  related to other exams which they attended from other providers, the expectation was very low. The enormity of PMBOK, just added to their woes. 

So, what you do as the course anchor?

Here are a few things: 

1. Asked them to have a high expectation from myself and above all, from themselves. Having high expectations is a good thing. It improves performance.

2. Constantly reminded them that it is not just one person who is learning, but a group of individuals, who can collaborate and help each other. 

3. Asked them to come to the whiteboard or as the Japanese say do some "Genchi Genbutsu"! The more they came forward and participated, the more they learned and remembered. 

PMI-PMP Exam Prep, Classroom Session - Bangalore, India (Sept/October - 2013)

The result was there to see in the end. The team wrote down in a graphical table format - all 5 process groups, 10 knowledge areas and 47 process areas - without missing single one of them. They spoke on how they interact with each other along with the oft used ITTO, as illustrated in PMBOK 5th edition.

The relief shown at the end of the program was visible on their faces and the team which was initially nervous, broke new grounds in team participation, co-working dynamics and lively discussions. 

Is not that we all call the joy of learning and applying what you have learned? In the end, the team wins inspite of having grave doubts in the beginning. Nothing gives more satisfaction than that.