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 Developer Foundation Course

 

In my last blog Citizen Development from the Eye of a Non-IT Project Manager , I discussed what Citizen Development is, it's benefits and an overview of key roles in Citizen Development. This blog will be about the Citizen Development Foundation course which is the first in four planned courses related to Citizen Development. 

Below is some basic information on the course: 

  • 90-Minute Self-Paced course 
  • Course Fee is $79
  • Upon completion of the course, you earn a PMI Certification.
  • You earn 2 PDU's (1 Technical + 1 Leadership)
  • No exam, no expiry date


My passion for CD started after taking this course. I highly recommend everyone to take advantage of this opportunity and take this course.


Feel free to reach out to me for the Reigstration Link


The foundation course is mostly about what CD is with an introduction to the CD Canvas. It includes three modules, as follows: 

A) Basics of Citizen Development

B) Citizen Development Canvas

  • Project Delivery
  • Capability Development
  • Operating Model
  • Organizational Alignment
  • Maturity Model

C) Ideation 2.0 

 

In the next blog, I will go into the details of the CD Practitioner Course, so stay tuned ! 

 

Posted on: July 09, 2021 02:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)

PMI Affiliate Program

Glad to announce joining the Project Management Institute (PMI) as an “Official Affiliate” for their recently launched PMI Affiliate Program.

Joining this program was by direct invitation from PMI and it revolves around supporting PMI with their new line of products from course offerings, micro-credentials and other exciting products that will be coming soon. 

Stay tuned for more announcements to come regarding exciting courses and products that PMI recently launched and which I truly believe can add value to Professionals and Organizations.  The advise you will receive on those products is coming from first hand experience as I have gone through them personally. 

                 

Posted on: April 26, 2021 12:21 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)

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 (46)

Agile Project Management (AgilePM®)

 

First Professional Development Achievement in 2019 - and it's just the start !

I am re-writing this blog because I made a spontaneous decision right after obtaining my AgilePM Foundation certificate to sit for the Practitioners Level exam and I passed the exam so I thought of sharing my experience in one combined blog hoping that it will help others who are thinking about sitting for the exam.

My spontaneous decision probably stemmed from confidence in my experience and Agile knowledge. 

My interest in the DSDM Framework came from the fact that it works best alongside the traditional approach in construction projects because it is a complete framework that looks at the whole lifecycle of the project rather than just the iterative development part. The combination of both under Traditional-DSDM Hybrid Model works very well ! 

Those certifications are offered by the Agile Business Consortium and the exam is administered by APMG International. The DSDM AgilePM handbook is very well detailed and written in a very comprehensive manner.  

AgilePM Foundation Exam

  • Purely Knowledge-based 
  • Closed book
  • Online proctored exam.
  • You get 50 Multiple Choice questions that you have to complete within a 40 Min time frame
  • Exam Fees are around $260 USD
  • References: DSDM Handbook 2014 & APMG Sample Exam

AgilePM Practitioner Exam

  • Purely scenario-based 
  • Open book but you are only allowed to use the DSDM Handbook
  • Online proctored exam.
  • You get 80 Multiple Choice questions that you have to complete within a 2 Hrs 40 Min:
    • The exam is unique as you get a full project scenario on the first page that you will use to answer all 80 questions.
    • Questions are divided into 4 Sections, with 20 Questions per section.
    • Each section tests you understanding and experience in the application of certain parts of Agile & DSDM. 
    • In each section, they add more events to the original scenario so it builds up.  
  • The exam was tough. It is comparable in difficulty to PMI exams. 
  • Exam Fees are around $380 USD
  • References: DSDM Handbook 2014 & APMG Sample Exam

The practitioners exam is a good example of an online, open book, proctored test that tests your knowledge & experience beyond any handbook. I did not even need or have time to open the handbook because to answer every question you have to tie many loose ends from different chapters and sections to resolve a problem or handle an issue so even though you are allowed to use the book, do not take the exam lightly or count on the fact that it is an open book. 

General Facts

A few facts about this journey: 

  • It was my first experience doing a proctored test from home and it was a great experience - Less pressure for sure. 
  • The exams were pricey but definitely worth it. It is a very reputable certification. 
  • Upon passing any exams offered by the Agile Business Consortium, you will receive one year free membership but it is limited once per person per lifetime. 
  • I did not buy the exams directly from APMG. Instead, I bought a training (Which covers the exam fees) from Cupe International. Great organization and great customer service. 
  • I can't disclose any exam details for confidentiality reasons but funny enough, the project scenario I got in the exam was a Construction Project and my expertise is in the construction industry. I am not sure if it was intentional but either way, I thought it is a funny coincidence to disclose. 

 

Good Luck to all New Aspirants ! 

Posted on: February 13, 2019 04:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (12)
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