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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Project Management for Development Professionals

PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®

PMI Schedueling Professional (PMI-SP)®

The Added Value of Certifications

Scrum & Personal Professional Development

PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®

 

I am glad to announce that I passed the PMI-ACP Exam with Above Target rating. It was an interesting journey and very different than any of the other certifications. I thought to share my journey so that future aspirants can benefit from it. 

Study Plan

  • ACP Exam Prep Book by Mike Griffiths: Excellent reference that will help you fully understand every single detail related to the exam and agile projects. I consider this like the PMBOK, a great reference for Agile so I am positive I will always refer to it in the future. 
  • Agile Practice Guide by PMI: Not very detailed but contains some good information about process tailoring, pain points and their trouble shooting, flow based vs. iteration based agile. 
  • Exam Content Outline: Very Important to go through it in details as it might help you get some clues in the exam. 

Personally, I believe Mike's book is a must to pass the exam. Read Mike's book twice, the agile guide as well and highlight the most important items in addition to the exam outline. 

  • Simulation Exams: Solved simulation exams (Whizlab, PM Prepcast & RMC Fast Track). They were all helpful but the exam is way different so do not rely on those simulation exams. They might help you though with eliminating some wrong answers. 

Exam Experience

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

  • The level of difficulty could be easily comparable with PMP, if not more difficult. Although the exam was very tough but PMI did a great job putting this pool of questions together. 
  • You do not need to memorize anything at all. All the exam was scenario based questions some of which are short, others were very lengthy (At least 40%). Forget about memorizing - Some might find it hard to believe but it is the truth. 
  • The exam tests your understanding of agile very deeply beyond any text book. You need to ensure you fully understand agile and have an agile mindset. 
  • The language of the questions and answers is not easy at all. You might end up reading the question and answers 3 times. 
  • It is the first time I almost run out of time. I finished the last question 10 minutes before the end of the 3 hours and then went and reviewed some of the questions I marked but could not go through all of them again. Watch your time - Some would think that 3 Hours for 120 Questions is a lot but trust me, it is not. 
  • You will find it easy to eliminate two answers but very difficult to chose between the remaining two. You need to deeply think and adopt the agile mindset to properly get to a conclusion in terms of which choice is the best. 

Good Luck to all future Aspirants ! 

Posted on: July 10, 2018 02:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (49)

Closed Book - Open Stress Exams

 

Do you believe that closed book exams where you have to go to a center to sit for the exam is the best way to offer and run certification exams ? 

I personally think that it is not practical at all especially that we are now in a era of advanced  technology.

Why Closed Book ? 

In real life, if you encounter an issue or you forgot something, you can google it and/or refer to your library for seeking information. How is this any different for an exam that is based on your experience in a certain domain ? Why does it need to be a closed book ? 

If the exam is experience based, then I suspect that no matter how many references the candidate has open in front of him / her, they won't be able to complete the exam within the given time frame if they do not deeply understand the material and have solid experience in that domain. 

Why the Stress ? 

The stress of taking a day off, reaching to a testing center, get checked as if you are crossing boarders has a negative impact in so many ways. 

Does the Closed Book / In-Person Strategy add credibility to the certification ? 

It might but in my humble opinion it will be very minimal. The credibility of a certificate stems from:

  •     Strict Application Pre-requisites & Audits. 
  •     Education required for Renewal.
  •     Exam Difficulty & Passing Mark.
  •     Exam Fees (In a sense that if fees are high, you wil need to study hard enough to make sure you do not fail)

What made initiate this blog is that yesterday, I sat for my PSM II Exam. It was an online exam (30 Questions - 1.5 Hours) and I passed but I assure you that I barely had enough time to finish the exam and did not have any chance to open any reference book as even if I did, it won't be of any added value if I did not understand the material in depth and had experience in that domain. 

People might say, 30 Questions in 1.5 Hours is veru reasonable. Well, let me tell you something: You can't take the number of questions as a measure for time when you get a question with 4 or 5 choices and you need to analyze each choice in details in order to conclude the best answer - The questions were much more difficult and tough than most of the exams I've ever written as it tested my knowledge & experience beyond any text book. On the other hand, I had the luxury to do the exam on a weekend out of my own place and in my own comfort zone which makes a big difference. 

When the exam is mostly experience based, what would you prefer: 

Closed Book - In Person 200 Questions Exam 

OR 

Online Test with X Number of Question that truly tests your knowledge depth and experience ? 

Many highly reputable organization like scrum.org offer online exams & I think PMI too are heading towards that direction in terms of giving candidates the option of sitting for the proctored exams online from home (With certain rules and regulations). They implemented this on for the CAPM Exam which was a great initiative. 

What is your opinion on this ? 

Posted on: March 19, 2018 07:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (28)

Happy New Year 2018 !

On Behalf of all of our Project Management Team at Field & Marten Associates, I would like to wish you all in this community and your loved ones a Blessed Merry Christmas & Prosperous New Year 2018.

Years go by fast so may this year & all the coming years be full of Great Expectations, Good Health & Collaborative Working Relationships. 

It was another great year being part of this growing community. It was full of challenges, learning opportunities and contributions. I look forward for another year full of achievements & giving. 

Happy Holidays Everyone ! 

 

 

May 

Year.

Posted on: December 21, 2017 03:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (12)

Say "Yes" to Project Success

I am proud to be one of the Global 108 Project Management Experts who participated in the recently published book: “Say Yes to Project Success” which is now one of the best sellers on Amazon !

A Great Book by Karthik Ramamurthy   &  Priya Narayanasamy.

Thank you for this opportunity and for your efforts. A Great Project Management Effort ! 

Posted on: December 20, 2017 01:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (21)

Teamwork Works !

We were interviewed for a podcast by M Powered Strategies a while back and now it is online - The main subject was about Teamwork (Below is the link): 

Influencers Part V: Teamwork !

What is your personal experience with Teamwork and what strategies proved to enhance teamwork in your projects ?

Posted on: June 26, 2017 02:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)
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