Friday, September 22, 2017

PMP Success Story: Journey Was Worth The Time and Effort

By Krishnadas CK, PMP

Getting recognized within my organization as a credible Project Manager was the primary motivation behind pursuing PMP®. 

Roadmap to get PMP certified
My initial idea was to obtain 35 contact hours by e-learning and then cover the PMBOK® Guide before appearing for the exam. After completing an initial round of e-learning, I changed my plan and decided to attend classroom coaching to ensure that I pass the exam in the first attempt itself!

PMP Coaching Experience
I registered for classroom training with one of the providers in Bangalore for a June 2017 weekend batch (4 days in total). Given amount of project management knowledge required to be certified as PMP, I wasn’t expecting much from 35 hours of classroom coaching apart from getting the needed contact hours. Contrary to my expectation, Satya Narayan Dash (who was our coach) covered all the important concepts and knowledge areas within limited time, in the best way possible.

The key takeaways from the class were:
  • Understanding key concepts to be aware of while becoming a Project Management Professional.
  • Areas to focus on while preparing for exam.

What helped me the classroom session were:
  • Real-life examples shared during interactions.
  • Examples given on blog (  clarifying concepts.
  • Advice on a having a structured plan to approach the exam.

Own Study
I took approximately 6 months (March to Aug 2017) to prepare and get certified as PMP. Initial 3 months were e-learning with an average dedication of 10 hours per week. 
Next 3 months were used to read reference guide and books. I used:

  • PMI PMBOK Guide 5th Edition
  • I Want To Be A PMP by Satya Narayan Dash
  • PMP Exam Preparation 8th Edition by Rita Mulcahy
  • Various blogs/articles – Microsoft Project User Group (MPUG) at , etc.

Also, took 3 full mock-tests with other practice questions adding up to another 3 full tests before appearing for the exam.  During the latter 3 months, average time dedicated was 20 to 25 hours per week. 

PMP Exam Experience
After covering the topics once, attending classroom coaching and planning my further study in detail, I scheduled the exam one-month in advance. I scheduled the exam at Bangalore in the morning of 28th August, 2017.

Though I referred and was advised of various approaches, based on mock-tests I realised, I am more of a person who would spend quality time the very first time. Hence, decided to stick to one question per minute approach. Exam was completed and submitted with 5 minutes to spare.

During the exam, I struggled more on the questions related to Initiating process group where exam demanded you to attend to situations directly with the senior management without the involvement of sponsor. There were also questions that required to have a clear understanding of Risk register and Issue register. There were only 4 or 5 mathematical questions and they weren’t very difficult ones.

Suggestions for PMP Aspirants
  • As with the project management approach, understand the requirements for exam, narrow down the scope, prepare an overall realistic plan and then a detailed one suiting your personal and professional constraints before executing it diligently.
  • There are different approaches to pass the exam, find or create one that suits your personality. For instance, I was told that we need to read the book 3 or 4 times in many online success stories but I was more of a person who will dedicate time to understand the concept first time I read it. 
  • Try to understand the concepts thoroughly and keep it in memory. I read different books which helped me to view it from different perspective and also saved from reading the same contents.

I look forward to improve both professional and personal life by putting in practice the knowledge gained through the PMP certification.

Thank you to all, who supported me in this journey! And All the best to those who are going to pursue PMP certification, it was worth the time and effort ;-)

Brief Profile
I am Krishnadas CK, a Japanese bilingual Project Management Professional with more than 7.5 years of experience in IT Service industry. Currently performing PMO role in Fujitsu Consulting India, Bangalore.

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