Categories: Agile, Benefits Realization, Career Development, Communications Management, Cost Management, Earned Value Management, Education, Ethics, Human Resources Management, Leadership, Lessons Learned, New Practitioners, Organizational Transformation, PMI Standards, Professional Development, Program Management, Project Management, Protfolio Management, Risk Management, Schedule Management, Scope Management, Stakeholder Management, Time Management
I am glad to announce that I passed the Program Management Professional (PgMP®) Exam on November 29, 2021 with Above Target in all domains and very proud to be join this elite group of professionals.
This credential was on my radar since 2019 but with the pandemic, some priorities changed and I had to postpone it. However, now achieving it marks an important milestone in my professional development journey as I did complete all 8 Main PMI Credentials and 9 Micro-Credentials.
As usual, I am happy to share my lessons learned with the community members hoping that future candidates will find value in them.
PMI Resources: PMI Standard for Program Management - 4th Edition. If you are a PMP and/or PfMP, the Standard will be more than enough provided that you read it several times in details. You will be surprised, but every time you go through the standard, you will discover something new in between the lines.
Exam Content Outline: I can't emphasize the importance of the ECO. You need to deep dive and understand every single task, why and how you do it.
Course: There is no course required as a pre-requisite for the application. However, it does not hurt to take a course if you feel the need to do so but I personally did self-study.
Application: The application was very lengthy and rigorous unlike any other PMI Certifications Applications (Except for PfMP). It took me a while to complete my application (A total of 15 Hours of work). After submitting my application, I got initial approval in 5 days time, I paid the dues ($800) and the application went for Panel Review which took around 3 more weeks before receiving final approval (This was in 2020).
Study Time: It took me a bit more than a month to study. One month might seem light but I used to study 4 hours a day and 6 hours on weekends in addition to that I took a few days off work to study extensively so it was more of a Bootcamp Personal Plan. At a normal pace, I would say 2 - 3 months (2 - 4 Hours / Day) should be reasonable.
Simulation Exams: I purchased a couple of simulation exams available online on Udemy and others for training purposes. They were good in terms of boosting your level of confidence but again, the key is to deeply understand every aspect of the standard.
Colleagues Advice: I connected with a few PgMP's who gave me solid advice and boosted my confidence a lot for which I am very thankful. They are a good example of people who share knowledge without boarders.
I am going to talk about my personal exam experience (Without going into details or specific questions). In general, I found the exam to be somehow easier than other PMI exams. I might have found it easier given how much experience and credentials I have or maybe not. Either way, below was my experience:
Level of Difficulty: The exam was not very difficult. In general, 75% of the questions were short in nature but I have to say that some were tricky so again, you need to have an absolutely excellent grasp of every word in the standard.
Exam Questions (General): Most of the questions were situational (Short Questions). You need to understand which artifact gets updated in every phases or change, what happens when and by whom, and above all you need to have a deep understanding of all tools, techniques and program activities. It is worth mentioning that you will encounter around 10% questions from outside the standard related to PMP.
Exam Depth: The exam tests your understanding of every single aspect of the standard and the program management in general.
Exam Language: The language of the questions and answers was moderate. You might end up reading some questions twice but for the majority of the questions, it took me 30 seconds on average to read the question and answers and if you have a good grasp of the material, once is enough.
Exam Time: The timing was than enough. I finished the exam well ahead of time including the review of the questions I marked.
Elimination Strategy: Surprisingly, and unlike other PMI exams, I was able to easily eliminate 3 answers for many of the questions.
Exam Experience with Pearson Vue: Unlike my experience during the PfMP exam which was not very pleasant, this time, it went much smoother and I had no issues at all except for some difficulty in exam booking but this is totally understandable given the current pandemic situation.
Good Luck to all future Aspirants !