The Tao of Passing the PMP® Exam

Haroon is an independent consultant in Mississauga, Ontario.

The hard copy of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)—Fifth Edition that I ordered online sat on my study table. I looked at it like a caveman looks at fire the very first time—with curiosity and fear.

With my sleeves rolled up, I started with enthusiasm at the table of contents…but that faded away with every page I turned. Tables, figures, foreign vocabulary and concepts, plenty of complicated diagrams, and particularly tools and techniques I never came across (earned value management, expected monitory value, precedence diagramming method) added to my anxiety as I skimmed through the whole book, leaving me baffled.

I had more than 10 years of international development project management experience under my belt, and I had attended various trainings on project management conducted by esteemed institutions like the UN and KfW Group (German Development Bank). But that knowledge and experience resonated meagerly to this in-depth document, which was developed using a multi-sectoral approach.

Myths floating around about PMI’s project management standard added to my anxiety. For instance, this standard was only applicable to IT, construction and manufacturing projects, developed only for profit-making institutions, and recognized only in the United States, right? Wrong!

However, to challenge myself to improve my …

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"Conventional people are roused to fury by departure from convention, largely because they regard such departure as a criticism of themselves."

- Bertrand Russell