Tuesday, July 10, 2018

PMP Success Story: Smart Preparation Helps

By Shreya A S, PMP



Introduction
PMP has always been a glorious tag which I looked upon with respect since the beginning of my career. As I started getting involved in many projects in my current role, I thought it would be right to go ahead and do my PMP® certification as it helps my work life. 

PMP Coaching Experience
Once I decided to go ahead with the certification, I wanted to finalize my coaching centre. I was very clear on having a good coach as it becomes a decisive factor on my learning. Satya’s classes had good reviews and it didn’t prove wrong at all. Classes were realistic and cleared many of my concepts. He also provided guidance on PMP application methods and several tricks which were crucial for the exam. 


Own Study
I was aware of my main constraint – Time. I started off by reading a book. Then I attended Satya’s coaching. I became PMI® member and submitted my PMP application. 

Bingo – my application got selected for audit, which takes some applications randomly. 

The whole process of audit slowed my preparation down. But, I had started with reading the PMBOK® Guide. I read PMBOK twice completely and then picked topics to read at random which I thought I need more clarity. (Meanwhile I cleared PMP audit). 

I used to practice questions from Satya’s "I Want To Be A PMP" book at the end of each chapter. I ensured that I do my preparation daily even it’s for a time as less than 15 minutes. I did not want to lose the continuity. I also practised mock questions, including provider's preparation materials. 

My simple motto was - utilize all the available time for preparation. This included my cab commuting time, waiting time in queues, weekends! 


Book Review - I Want To Be A PMP
I did not prefer too many references or Google (to be frank) as it might confuse me and I knew my time constraint. However, when my application was selected for audit, I thought, I need to be more cautious as I proceed, luck dint seem to be favourable ;-). 

I was so relaxed by the content of “I Want To Be A PMP” –  because it’s exactly what I needed with sample application forms, practice questions, videos, highlighted tips. The practice questions did help me to embrace the bigger one.

PMP Exam Experience
I never got a 4 hour stretch opportunity to sit down completely and do a mock test. Hence, I used to split and take questions within the set time. My scores used to be in and around 70 %. Hence, I had planned to finish off each question as early as possible. 

I chose afternoon slot as I am never a morning person. Prometric location was familiar, I kept munching food until I reached the centre as the very thought of going hungry and loosing concentration was frightening. I was very nervous, fear of losing had gripped me. However, it just vanished as I started my test. I took a break and returned and had to undergo the same security check again. I finished in 3 hrs 15 min and was quite confident of passing, again mock tests helped. 

When it appeared ‘Congratulations’ and ‘Above Target ‘, I thanked Almighty and near ones for their prayers. 

Suggestions for PMP Aspirants
Dos 
  • Choose a book that suits you. Choose wise and minimal.
  • Do lot of credible practice questions in time frame.
  • Be physically prepared to take 4+ hours test and be ready to take breaks if needed.

Don’ts
  • Choose right practice questions. PMBOK Guide is the Bible, I feel nothing comes outside of it. Do not spend time practicing questions if its out of context of PMBOK. It helped me. 
  • Do not panic, keep calm and take the test as it comes. 

Conclusion
I feel proud to be PMP certified and wish to leverage the same in my career for bigger opportunities. These are really good project management practices which needs to be imbibed in organization. It was not achievable, if not for you both - Reyansh and Sandeep! 

Brief Profile 
Shreya A.S, Senior Analyst, Lowe’s Services India Pvt. Ltd.
7+ years of experience in Change, Release, Operations Management. 



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