Wednesday, March 21, 2018

PMP Success Story: If There Is A Will, There Is A Way

By Koyel Mukherjee, PMP

Market demand, scope of work and skillsets inspired me to take up PMP® certification. I was not ready for it due to my work life balance but thought of taking it as a challenge and a project off course.

One thing I learnt that thought process without action is just nothing, and people around me helped me to put my thoughts into actions for this challenge.

PMP 35 Contact Hours Experience
I have decided first to understand PMP and concept through experienced classroom trainers.

Virtual classroom sessions were not an option for me as I believe in interactive communication. After lot of review study and recommendations I opt for Satya’s Classroom training.

My inspiration to become a PMP got stronger after I attended Satya’s classes, where he proved project execution is important and strategy works if you know the basics and ground rules very well. I followed all his instructions religiously and his book: I Want To Be A PMP, was my base study material.

I have religiously noted his points in the class which I referred 1 day prior to my exam as my revision points.

Own Study
Last day of our Class, we have attended a short mock test, and Satya told me that I need 3-4 months preparation. 

My exam preparation path was as follows.
  • Everyday study minimum 4-5hrs.
  • Sent my application to PMI®, no audit luckily in my case.
  • I first finished Satya’s book. Then as referred Rita for other readings.
  • Then next round was Rita and PMBOK® and Satya’s book together for each process.
  • I have attempted 4000+ questions to train my brain and understanding my knowledge.
  • My score was always between 75 – 85% and it was consistent.

My core references mock exams were: 
  • Satya’s Mock sets.
  • Rita’s questions.
  • Pmzest, pmstudy and Scrodo’s PMP Greenbook questions.

Book Review - I Want To Be A PMP
The base of my study was “I Want To Be A PMP”, which I finished in 5days.

This book follows the PMBOK guide chapter organization and thus it was easier for me to read the guide.

The KEY ITTOs and Yogic Vision Tips were the most helpful sections. Also, the chapter end questions helped me to understand my initial gaps.

The videos are really important and helped me to visualize the concepts, especially Earned Value Management (EVM), Risk Response Strategies, Network diagram analysis.

PMP Exam Experience
I scheduled my Exam for Bangalore Centre by December for March, when my first-round reading of all the 3 books/guides were done. Next, I attempted few mocks and I was scoring nearly 75%.

I had already trained my brain enough to sit for 4 hours. My strategy was to find keywords and eliminate the given options.

PMP question standard is excellent. It is all about language and also the sequence of the situations. 
Questions types I got are as follows. I have got mathematical questions which I did without using calculator.

There are were about 2 questions on Communication channel.
  • 7 questions on Earned Value Management (EVM).
  • 4 questions on Network Diagram.
  • One question on type of contracts and also very tricky two-liner questions.
  • ITTO and Dataflow based questions and few direct questions from Human Resource Management, Quality Management, Risk Management and Communications Management. 
I completed 200 questions in 3 hours and 20 mins. I reviewed my answers in the remaining time, but I have not changed my first answer. I only re-read and reconfirmed with my own knowledge.

My target was 70 questions in first one hour and continue with that. I always prepared myself to read questions carefully in first go and select keywords and not to repeat the same. So, my pace was pretty fast. No breaks taken and no result expectations I kept when I started my 4 hours journey.

I clicked END button and took the survey and was praying helplessly when screen appeared with Congratulations and with Above Target score.

That feeling is really very special and I informed everyone who was part of my PMP journey, specially Satya who built the foundation of my PMP knowledge, to whom I owe my success credit as well.

Centre facilitators were very nice and helpful, whole environment was peaceful for me.

Suggestions for PMP Aspirants
  • Strategy is the key to pass PMP. I would suggest you to plan your complete Study journey with target dates.
  • Give mocks with only one intention, i.e., to train your brain but don’t expect same questions in the exam ;-).
  • Daily study is must and revision before exam for 2 weeks should be part of your strategy. Before exam only refer PMBOK for the language and content.
  • Don’t refer too many materials and take your coach’s suggestions.
  • Don’t panic, don’t take too many suggestions and stick to your own plan.

PMP is what I need for my current role and also, I want to get involve in PMI chapters soon to share my knowledge.

I also will be mentoring people during weekends as suggested by my Organization for sixth edition PMBOK.

Brief Profile: 
Koyel Mukherjee, PMP
9+years working as Global Lead with Accenture. Experience includes Program Control Service Management/ Revenue Management/ Leadership and Client Reporting and Business Operations. 

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