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)®

 

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)

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)

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)

Attitude: Coincidence or Not !

 

                        

 

Attitude is the most important value on a Personal Level, Social Level and in Project Management as well. If you do not have the right attitude, you will encounter endless issues with the different stakeholders involved in your project which will definitely reflect negatively on the project. 

Even if you have the knowledge and you are hardworking, your achievements can never reach 100% without the right attitude and below is a simple mathematical proof:

 

IF:               A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

EQUALS:    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Then:

KNOWLEDGE = 11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%

HARDWORK = 8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%

ATTITUDE = 1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

Is this a Coincidence or Not ..... Who Knows ! 

 

Always Remember: "Bad Attitude is like a Flat Tire, if you don't change it, you'll never go anywhere !" 

Posted on: January 25, 2016 04:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

Japanese Approach to Project Management !

I would like to share a unique experience of mine back from 2005 till 2009. I worked for around 5 years hand in hand with two of the largest Japanese Corporations (JGC:Japan Gas Company & Chiyoda). They both were clients of ours on different projects but I will tackle one of the projects in this blog.

JGC were our client / owner representative for one of the largest Gas to Liquid Projects in Qatar called: Pearl GTL Project. Frankly speaking, I learned a lot from them and this was the most outstanding management experience I have ever had. The project was >$1 Billion US, very complex and running on tight schedule. 

Over the years, I've dealt with many large international companies from different countries. They were all very professional but dealing with the Japanese took my experience to a totally different level: 

1- Team Work: Although they were the client, they worked with us hand in hand as if both are one team which resulted in significant positive added value to the project. We never felt they were clients.

2- Openness and Honesty: They built a level of comfort among everyone which resulted in openness, honesty and trust which are important values to achieve in any project. 

3- Efficiency: They were always very efficient, to the point, hard working, very loyal to their company, committed to their work.

4- Attitude: They had an outstanding positive attitude and they were very diplomatic in a positive way to the extent that if they told someone "Go to Hell, he would look forward for this trip". 

5- Precision and Accuracy: Their drawings had minimal discrepancies which obviously minimized any re-work, change orders and variations.  

6- Organizational Chart: They always respected the level of authority within their organization and ours. I've never seen them for even once, by passing anyone. 

7- Punctuality: Always punctual, from higher management going down to the inspectors and they used to be the first to report to work every morning because they believe that you have to lead by example. 

8- Humble and Smart: They were very smart, highly educated and very humble - I've learned a lot from them because when you ask them something, they do not leave you before they make sure you understand. 

9- Meetings: Their meetings were always to the point, that's why during most of our meetings with them, we used to end up with fruitful results in a very short time because they all come prepared to the meeting with one idea (I've seen other companies who would come to the meetings with each attendee having his own agenda and the meeting could take forever). They all spoke as one team, regardless whose idea was it. 

10- Sense of Ownership: If anything went wrong in the project even if it was from our side, they used to take the blame themselves and work with us immediately on finding a solution because they do have sense of ownership and this enhanced the quality on the project a lot. 

11- No Arguments: They do not argue. This is a strength because they do concentrate on being productive rather than being just busy. 

This was a very unique experience. The project went on smoothly and was delivered on time and everyone was happy and looking forward to report to work everyday - It was definitely a win-win situation.

I have high respect to the Japanese culture, their management style and for them as individuals. 

Always Remember: "Unity is Strength and when there is Teamwork and Collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved" - Mattie J.T. Stepanek

Posted on: January 19, 2016 04:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (37)
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