Wednesday, August 18, 2021

PMP Success Story: Have the Right Project Management Mindset Across the Value Delivery Spectrum

By Sandeep Jacob, PMP


I have been managing teams for quite some time and have always had this dream for many years – to be a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) from Project Management Institute (PMI®). 

However, I couldn't make it due to various reasons. But I never gave up on my dream.

PMP Coaching Experience

Satya Sir is going to surprise you with his training. He doesn’t need any support of the content or material. The entire content is completely imprinted in his mind. In his class, it was amazing to see the seamless flow of concepts. 

The 35 contact hours learning proved to be a great asset. It’s not the provider that mattered, but the content that I learned from him and easy explanations of the concepts.

The notes that I prepared during his training are the best that I have prepared. It had the gist of the entire training and I could refer throughout my PMP preparation cycle.

The best takeaway is that I could memorize all 49 processes from the PMBOK guide. It was hard to believe at the beginning of the session, but I could remember!

Own Study

The new exam pattern, with a lot of emphasis on Agile Management, was enforced from January 02, 2021. 

I wasn’t confident initially because of additional content from Agile. Thanks to Satya sir who motivated me to retake the test! 

My primary reference material for the new pattern of the PMP exam were two:

The current exam pattern is more aligned with Agile hence I took a conscious decision to give more importance to Agile topics. The combo edition of the PMBOK guide comes packaged with the Agile Practice Guide (APG). 

Also, I recommend buying an additional exam simulator(s) available in the market, which is/are really useful. This is just to prepare you for the exam since most of the questions in the exam are scenario based. Very few questions, if at all, will be direct.

Book Review - I Want To Be A PMP

Right after the training, I decided to go for this book. The main reason was because of the clarity of concepts I experienced in Satya sir’s classes. And, my assumption was correct. The chapters were aligned with the PMBOK guide structure. But it was much easier to follow. 

The interconnections between the processes through his unique diagrams is something which I consider the most valuable. You will find numerous exercises, flow diagrams, flow diagram exercises in this book. 

The revision tips and chapter end questions were of great help. The diagrams were very helpful to revise the concepts effectively. 

His book has also the new and relevant content to Agile.

What's New - I Want To Be A PMP, Second Edition

Project Management Mindset

One thing I would like to emphasize for aspiring PMPs is this: Project Management varies depending on the context. There are many ways to deliver a project and do project management. It can be in a predictive, adaptive (agile) or hybrid mode. This adaptation of mindset is key in passing this test as the majority of questions are on Agile or Hybrid. 

Please take all the full-length mock question sets from Satya sir’s book. You will find a lot of similar questions in the actual exam.

PMP Exam Experience

I scheduled the exam on July 11, 2021 and went for the Online proctored exam. The explanations and links provided by Satya sir in his book, helped me here as well. 

Below are some of the points I want to highlight for the aspiring PMPs.

  • There are two breaks in the exam, 10 minutes each. It did help me to reset and focus on the next set of questions without really worrying about the previously answered questions. 
  • About 60 to 70% of the questions were from an Agile Management perspective. There were a few questions on Hybrid, mostly as how a PM would respond to a situation from traditional to Agile transition. 
  • I have received a few drag and drop questions. 
  • In the beginning of the exam, the proctor warned me about the movement of my head (I was thinking!). I had to ensure not to make that mistake although it was a bit challenging!
  • I completed the exam within the stipulated time, but was not sure of the result. 

I cannot forget that moment when the “Congratulations…” message was displayed on my screen. I scored Above Target in all three domains. 

Suggestions for PMP Aspirants


  • Focus more on Agile concepts, specifically with the right PM Mindset. 
  • Use elimination as a technique to arrive at the correct answer. 
  • Time and stress management during the exam will be very important. Ensure to have practice on it. A good number of questions can be answered using the right PM mindset. 
  • Timely completion of each section is a key factor. As earlier noted, there will be two breaks in this long-duration exam.


  • Do not ignore to have sufficient rest and sleep before the exam. Sound sleep before the exam day is essential. 


I would continue to apply the needed PM mindset on the projects that I manage. From my experience, I consider stakeholder engagement and communication management as the most important aspects of Project Management.   

Brief Profile: 

Sandeep Jacob, PMP

I have been working as a Senior Manager, Testing at Cerner Healthcare Solutions India Pvt Ltd.  I am currently managing a Quality Assurance (QA) team.

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