Project Management

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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Program Management Professional (PgMP)®

PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)® Certification Updates

Organizational Transformation Series

Citizen Developer Practitioner (PMI-CDP)

Citizen Developer Foundation Course

Program Management Professional (PgMP)®

 

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. 

STUDY PLAN

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. 

EXAM EXPERIENCE

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 !

 

Posted on: December 02, 2021 01:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (19)

Citizen Development from the Eye of a Non-IT Project Manager

Recently, I’ve taken two courses that introduced me to a very interesting and valuable new concept called “Citizen Development”. My passion about this topic started when I took the foundation course after which I participated in the pilot for the CD Practitioner’s course. 
 

Being a new concept to many, I decided to write an introduction blog about Citizen Development before I dive into the details of each course I’ve taken. In this blog, all figures are quoted from PMI Resources. 
 

Citizen Development is a very interesting initiative and concept. In the beginning, I thought that it only applies for professionals with a background in IT but after deep diving into the subject and taking couple of courses, my view completely changed in that Citizen Development can be beneficial for all individuals and organizations.  
 

The Citizen Development Movement



Introduction to Citizen Development

The below slides provides a brief overview of what Citizen Development is, why it is important and what are the benefits of CD: 



Transformative Benefits of Citizen Development


 

Citizen Development Canvas and Maturity Model


 

 

Citizen Development Courses

PMI are working on a series of courses related to Citizen Development: 

  • Citizen Developer Foundation - Released 
  • Citizen Developer Practitioner (PMI-CDP): End of May 2021
  • Citizen Developer Business Architect: Q3 - 2021
  • Citizen Developer Strategist: Q4 - 2021 


What is the difference between a Practitioner, Business Architect and Strategist ?  (The below definitions are quoted from PMI Resources) 
 

CD Practitioners: Those who do the work by creating apps and using them in their day-to-day work. They range from students to project professionals to SME's. They could be but not limited to, the following:

  • Business Analysts
  • Project Managers
  • Business Consultants
  • Sales Executives
  • Marketing Managers
  • HR Managers
  • Finance Analysts
  • Operations Analysts. 


CD Business Architects: Architects manage Citizen Development teams, the governance process and the collaboration between stakeholders in IT and the business. They facilitate access to relevant tools and methods. They can come from IT and may already be enterprise architects or may come from the business as an agile coach or product owner. They could be but not limited to, the following:

  • Lines Manager 
  • Enterprise and IT Architects
  • Demand Managers 
  • Portfolio Managers
  • Agile and Scrum Specialists 
  • IT Managers and Team Leaders 
  • Business Transformation Consultants 
  • Organizations Design Consultants 
     

CD Strategists: Strategists manage and lead the creation of the operating environment that allows Citizen Development to thrive, instilling the cultural practices and mandates that foster adoption and scaling of Citizen Development and drive organizational transformation by harnessing the power of Citizen Development application platforms. The are members of the senior management team and can include, but not limited to, the following: 

  • Chief Executive Officers
  • Chief Strategy Officers 
  • Chief Information Officers
  • Chief Transformation Officers 
  • Digital Transformation Directors 
  • Organizational Designers 


What are your thoughts on Citizen Development ? 

In the next blogs, I will discussing each of the courses separately in details so stay tuned. Meanwhile, feel free to reach out to me for the courses Registration Links. 


Posted on: May 03, 2021 01:34 AM | Permalink | Comments (12)

PMI 50th Anniversary Commemorative Book

Joy and happiness filled my heart upon receiving a paperback copy of PMI 50th Anniversary Commemorative Book as a Thank You Gift from PMI. What an amazing gift to kick-off the year. It means a lot to me because I was part of those first 50 years of growth. 

From cover to cover, the book looks amazing and is very obvious that there was lots of thought put into it. It includes all the story from the day PMI started and with the limited no. of princted copies, this will be a great souvenir to keep forever. 

Being part of PMI and this great community for many years, I estabished a strong sense of ownership and commitment towards the profession, PMI, the Community and it's members. I enjoy volunteering and giving back to the profession and as the famous Elizabeth Andrew say: 

"Volunteers don't necessarily habe the time, they just have the heart."

Giving back to the Profession and Comunity is a noble thing to do and what motivates me most is seeing the people around me succeed.

Looking forward to be part of PMI during the next 50 years and contribute to their growth and success.

I wish you all a fantastic 2020 full of happiness, health, wealth and success ! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on: January 07, 2020 11:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (30)

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 (31)

Networking & Building Relationships

Recently, I've seen so many discussions about how increasing your network adds value. Some think its a waste of time, others see it the other way around. In this blog, I will be sharing my personal experience and point of view.

Increasing your Network Connection base is very beneficial in so many ways so for those who are wondering what the purpose is or what's the added value, I would like to give you a brief of how I personally found it useful: 

  1. Mentoring / Assistance: In many cases, I connect with people and they send me a thank you message for connecting with them and say that they are new on this platform and wonder how they can start on so I help them out get started here. Some people feel shy or not comfortable taking a first step so why not we take the first step. 
  2. Enhancing the Community Engagement: Item 1, leads to enhanced member engagement within this community as soon as they get their head around it and understand how much of an amazing platform and community it is. I feel that everyone of us should have a sense of ownership towards this community.
  3. Connecting on other Platforms: In many occasions when I connect with people here, they send me a thank you message and tell me that they are not very active here and ask to connect on LinkedIn and share expertise. I did benefit a lot from so many people.
  4. Connecting in Person: In many occasions, I connected with people on person via connecting through this platform and some of them (To be specific 2), we became friends although they are not very active here. 


In summary, Networking has so many advantages of which one of them is Building Relationships. You just need to look at the positive side of things and look whats beyond that number. I am not saying I am connecting with all my connections but I certainly connected with a decent number of people. (If you connect closely with 500 people out of the 100,000, this is a great achievement - This maybe a small percentage but it is certainly a big number). 

For me, it is not about adding connections to show off the number. It is about the whole package of me being a member of this community, leading by example, contributing, helping, connecting, learning and the list goes on.

Thank you for everyone who gave me the honor to connect with them. There are lots of great people out there, so connect with people and start building relationships. 

Network and let your Relationship Ship Sail towards Building Relations ! 

Posted on: December 13, 2018 05:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (32)
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