Thursday, September 10, 2020

RMP Success Story: Risk Management Will Be A Vital Part of Life and Business After COVID-19 Experience, My Recommendation for PMI-RMP Aspirants

By Shahpour Kakaei, PgMP, PMP, ACP, RMP, ITIL, Attended Harvard Business School

I have lived with and grown up in large enterprises in Telecommunications and Information Technology. With rapid and ever-changing technologies in all aspects, it is vital to deal with managing people, business, projects and systems in an enterprise.

My focus is mainly on enterprise changes, program management and business development and operations. Hence, Risk Management plays a significant role in all these areas. Although I had foundational knowledge of risk management processes for both at project and enterprise levels (programs and portfolios), from my experience and my previous PMI® credentials such as PgMP®, PMP® and PMI-ACP®, I was enthusiastic to complement it with the PMI-RMP® credential. 

Own Study

I decided to be proactive during the COVID-19 restrictions, so gained my previous online courses for the 30 training hours and applied for PMI-RMP Certification in early April 2020 and planned to study during April to June 2020 for one to two hours daily. 

As I had a fresh understanding from PMI reference books for my other PMI credentials, I only had to go through the chapters related to Project Risk Management, Communications Management, Stakeholder engagement, Procurement Management, Integration Management in the PMBOK guide, 6th edition. I also studied the “Practice Standard for Risk Management” and “The Standard for Risk Management in Portfolios, Programs and Projects” two times.

While reading the above, I purchased and completed reading the book I Want To Be A RMP, 2nd Edition, by Satya Narayan Dash two times. I found the book to be very resourceful.

I found that RMP covers a broad range of knowledge and experience, so preparation for this exam needs serious planning and diverse efforts. 

RMP Exam Experience
I scheduled my exam on the first available appointment in a Pearson VUE test centre near my location in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on July 18, 2020. However, it was cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic. I rescheduled the exam three more times on July 26, August 04 and August 23, but each time the exam was cancelled due to COVID-19.

I finally re-scheduled it on September 06, 2020 and passed it with the “Above Target” in all 5 domains in my first attempt!   

During the exam, I tried to spend only one minute on each question and marked the questions, where I had doubts about the correct answers or questions that needed too much time for math. In the end, I reviewed the marked questions. With this strategy I was able to manage my time and avoided the risk of losing the chance or getting panicked by tricky questions.

Types of Questions 
The exam covered various types of questions mostly situational cases, mathematical, tricky, and trapping questions. It requires a deep study and practical experience to understand the situations in the questions and then apply your knowledge. You have to adapt your understanding with respect to the proper process, tools and techniques in Risk Management. 
  • Most of the questions were somehow those I had seen in the above sources especially in Satya’s book, although the wording was different. 
  • There were many questions on PMP and RMP processes, i.e., from the ITTOs and specially tools and techniques in the seven Risk Management processes. 
  • There were also questions on risk management framework, risk response strategies. 
  • I faced questions on Monte Carlo and Latin Hypercubic simulations and analysis.
  • RMP exam questions were also from Agile/adaptive approaches, and enterprise risk management. In the latter case, there will be scenarios of risk in a project as a component of a program or portfolio.
  • I faced questions on types of contracts, organization types, decision tree analysis and different data analysis techniques. 
  • I was expecting many math questions on EVM, but the EVM questions were mostly understanding of the concepts, e.g., what type or portion of budget such as forecasting ETC or EAC will be addressed in the question.
  • There were many questions evaluating your understanding on where to use contingency reserve or management reserve, along with plenty of questions on stakeholder engagement and communications management.

Book Review - I Want To Be A RMP, 2nd Edition
I decided to buy this book because I found Satya very proactive and up to date with PMI® standard editions by looking through his published papers and sources of information. 

I found the book to be significantly unique in covering all requirements for the RMP exam with tips and revision tips, reminders and referring to previous sections. It takes examples from the real world and has practice tests that address new changes and updates to the PMI literature in enterprise project management and risk management.

The book has two series of 170 questions each and they are like the real RMP exam questions. In fact, I would say the questions are a bit more difficult than the real exam questions. The book has complementary video contents, papers, exercise, and flow diagrams, which are helpful for preparations for the RMP exam.

Satya’s support and engagement in the process of exam preparations with the students and readers of his book are of significant value.

Suggestions for RMP Aspirants 


  • Fully read all three PMI references guides related to risk management.
  • Refer to a complete Exam preparation book like Satya’s I Want To Be A RMP, 2nd Edition Book. I strongly recommend this book and will ask the RMP aspirant to read at least two times.
  • Practice at least a thousand different questions from fresh resources before taking the exam. Many available sources of Project Risk Management practice tests are quite old and are referenced to PMBOK earlier editions.    
  • Have a good sleep on the night before the exam. 
  • Don’t start the practice tests before completely reading the book; start with practicing questions only when you reviewed the book at least once. Next, practice after reading each chapter for the second or third time. 
  • Practice questions as part of your daily life at least 2-3 hours per day for the 3 weeks right before the exam.
  • Don’t take outdated practice tests referring to the old reference guides and books.

I will pursue my learnings on RMP especially ERM as an unavoidable part of my profession, we will live with change management and risk management in this century and in each aspect of our life Risk Management has a vital role.  

Brief Profile: 
Shahpour Kakaei, PgMP, PMP, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP, ITIL, Attended Harvard Business School. 

I am currently Sr. Program Manager in developing business and managing operations of AWITEL INC in Canada. I have lived with and grown up in large enterprises in Telecommunications and Information Technology like Ericsson and Mobile operators with more than 20 years of experience in managing large scale programs/projects and organizations. 

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