The Big Time

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Managing any project successfully is all about Team Work combined with years of Accrued Expertise. It is an asset to have an educational background that compliments your field of expertise but "education" without "experience" is like an "arrow" without a "bow." You can never make a perfect shot with a temporary arrow unless you have a permanent bow called: "Life's Experience." Remember, you can never teach experience but you can always teach from experience.

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Certifications Wall of Fame: Joke to Reality !

Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO II) Certification

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Construction

Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP®)

Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP®)

Certifications Wall of Fame: Joke to Reality !

During a conversation with a friend last week as we were working on a private project, he threw a joke that I should create a Certifcations Wall of Fame given that I earned lots of valuable certifications over the years. The joke turned into a serious conversation and thinking about it later, I concluded it would actually be a good idea so I decided to turn the joke into reality.

As I look at all those badges all consolidated in one view, I feel so proud of those accomplishments. I can’t even express how much each and every one of those journeys added value and helped me grow both personally and professionally. 

It took lots of dedication, commitment and hard work to build this concrete wall and guess what, I am ready for the next one. When there is a Will, there is a Way !

Posted on: November 26, 2019 03:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (42)

Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO II) Certification

I am proud to share that I passed the Professional Scrum Product Owner II Certification exam and glad to add this certification to my Scrm Backpack: 

 

 

 

As usual, I would like to share some tips that may benefit future aspirants: 

Preparation 

1- Follow the same steps (Combined) for PSM ISPS , PSPO I

2- Follow the PSPO II Learning Path - Lots of valuable information there in the blogs and articles. 

3- Do the open assessments on scrum.org website such as Scrum Open, Product Owner Open, Scrum Measurement Open & Open Nexus.

4- Scrum (A Pocket Guide) by Gunther Verheyen is a highly recomended reference.

5- Read the Evidence-Based Management Guide in details. 

Exam

1- Exam is 1 Hour and consists of 40 Multiple Choice / Multiple Answer Questions. 

2- Passing grade is 85%. 

3- The tests your experience and knowledge beyond any guide. It is a very tough exam  so you need to have experience and know Scrum in depth. 

4- Most questions are scenario based or require in depth analysis. 

5- I found this exam comparable to the PSM II Exam in terms of diifficulty so one should be well prepared. 

Knowledge

During this journey, I learned a lot about: 

  1. Evidence-Based Management 
  2. Business stratergy
  3. DiSC Model 
  4. Product Vision
  5. Product Value

Good Luck to all New Aspirants ! 

Posted on: November 23, 2019 07:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (11)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Construction

I came across an article on LinkedIn today which I found very interesting. The article gets into the details of the benefits of AI in the Construction Industry:

The Benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Construction

The article gives 10 examples of how AI can contribute positively towards construction projects of which most are related to Project Management, not the actual physical work on site. 

What are your thoughts on this ? 

Posted on: October 29, 2019 07:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (21)

Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP®)

 

I am glad to announce that I passed the Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP®) Exam on July 15, 2019 with Above Target in all domains and very proud to be one of the 713 members of this elite group of professionals.

As usual, I am happy to share my lessons learned with the community members hoping that future candidates will find value in them. 

STUDY PLAN

PMI Resources: PMI Standard for Portfolio Management - 3rd Edition. The 4th Edition was issued last year but there was no announcement that the exam changed to reflect the new edition so I mainly thoroughly studied the 3rd edition and briefly went through the 4th edition - If you are a PMP and/or PgMP, the Portfolio 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: It is important to go through it at least once to have an idea of the exam content and other details. 

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 it fully self-study. 

Application: The application was very lengthy and rigorous unlike any other PMI Certifications Applications (Except for PgMP). It took me a while to complete my application (A total of 16 Hours of work) - After submitting my application, I got initial approval in 10 days time, I paid the dues ($800) and the application went for Panel Review which took around 3 more weeks before receiving final approval. 

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 fews 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: There aren't many resources out there in terms of simulation exams for PfMP so I only went through Rania Al-Mughrabi Questions Bank. There were useful for review only but not close to the real exam at all. 

Colleagues Advice: I connected with a few PfMP's who gave me solid advice and boosted my confidence a lot and I am very thankful for them. They are a good example of people who shares knowledge without boarders. 

EXAM EXPERIENCE

I am going to talk about my personal exam experience (Without going into details or specific questions):

Level of Difficulty: The level of difficulty could be easily compared with PMP. In general, the questions were short in nature but I have to say they were very tricky and the answers were even trickier. I kept hearing that the exam is easy from people posting their personal experience but I assure you, it is not easy at all and you need to have an absolutely excellent and thorough grasp of every word in the standard.

Exam Questions (General): Most of the questions were situational (Short Questions) but very tricky. You need to understand the ITTO's, and which part of the output gets updated in every process and above all you need to have a deep understanding of all tools and techniques. It is worth mentioning that you will encounter around 10% questions from outside the standard related to PfMP, PgMP and PMP. 

Exam Depth: The exam tests your understanding of every single aspect of the standard and the portfolio management in general. It goes above and beyond the text book. 

Exam Language: The language of the questions and answers was moderate, You might end up reading the question and answers 3 times. Again, they were short (1 - 2 lines) but very confusing and the answers were even more confusing so ensure you understand everything, without memorizing and ensure you read every question in details. 

Exam Time: The timing was  than enough. I finished the exam in 3 Hours 10 Minutes and then took 50 Minutes to review all questions I marked for review. 

Elimination Strategy: Unlike other PMI exams, in many questions, it was not easy at all to eliminate answers. 

Exam Experience with Pearson Vue: To be honest, I was not as comfortable  with Pearson Vue as I was with Prometric. They had to take the palm prints of both hands and if you want to take a break, someone has to come log you out of your exam session, you have to give your palm print, go out, then palm print again, then they log you in and this is all time wasted at your expense. I find this a bit extreme considering that candidates who apply for exams like PfMP are professionals in managerial positions. I also find not having at least one break allowed for a 4 hours exam somehow unfair and in a way annoying. The purpose of the exam is to test your knowledge and experience, not to test your self control and stress level so I believe candidates should be allowed a 10 min break at the 2 hours mark. 

Good Luck to all future Aspirants !

Posted on: July 16, 2019 01:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (26)

Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP®)

I am glad to announce that I passed the CBAP Exam on May 05, 2019. It was a journey full of unexpected challenges both on a professional and personal levels. 

STUDY PLAN

IIBA Resources: BABOK V3 is the only resource and is more than enough. 

Course: IIBA mandate that you take a course that includes a moderator or facilitator, even if it is online. 

IIBA Application: It is pretty straight forward (Similar to PMI's Applications) except for the fact that if you were not chosen for audit, your application will be approved immediately. Application Fee = $125 + Exam Fee = $325 for Members plus applicable taxes (Membership is optional and will cost you $125 which you will save on the exam fees). 

Study Time: At a normal pace, I would say 2 months (2 - 4 Hours / Day) should be enough. The material is very dense, the language is not easy and there is lots of info to take in so cramming won't help. Compared to other exams, I found this exam material the most difficult to study. One important thing to mention, if you are a PMI-PBA, it won't help much in your CBAP. 

Simulation Exams: One great resource for simulation exams was Watermark Learning. They have a great questions bank and although the exam questions are very different, still, Watermark's simulation exams provide you with great ideas and explanations. It is worth also noting that their fees were reasonable as well (It was about $129 USD for 2 months access). There aren't many simulation exam resources for the CBAP but Watermark is certainly one of the good ones. Passing the exam without going through some simulation exams, regardless of the source, would be difficult. 

EXAM EXPERIENCE

Level of Difficulty: The level of difficulty is comparable with PMI-PBA but the style of questions is totally different.

Exam Questions (General): The exam is 120 Questions and the timing is 3.5 Hours. All the exam questions were scenario based  some of which were short, others were very lengthy (At least 35%). The lengthy questions are one page questions that have lots of info and the scenario will cover 3 - 4 exam questions. 

Exam Depth: The exam tests your understanding of Business Analysis very deeply beyond any text book. You need to ensure you fully understand all principles, processes, models, techniques and so on. 

Exam Language: The language of the questions and answers was moderate. You might end up reading the question and answers multiple times. 

Exam Time: Time is important to watch. Although you are given 3.5 hours to answer 120 Questions, some might think it's plenty of time but in reality, it is not so watch your time. 

Elimination Strategy: You will find it easy to eliminate two answers but very difficult to chose between the remaining two. You need to deeply think of every word in the questions and answers to properly get to a conclusion in terms of which choice is the best. 

Good Luck to all future Aspirants !

Posted on: May 08, 2019 02:24 AM | Permalink | Comments (29)
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