The PMP Certification
PMP: Project Management Professional. A certification for experienced project managers.
Requirements for exam eligibility depend on the applicant's degree:
Whoever applies online with PMI for a certification exam has to prove their project management experience and training. This experience has to be structured in a certain way. There are five Performance Domains, also called Process Groups, consisting of tasks which have to have been executed by the applicant in the past:
- Monitoring and Controlling
In the case of an audit, meaning an assessment of the data made in the exam application by Project Management Institute (PMI), a contact person has to be named. This person can be a manager, a project sponsor / customer, or similar.
Why the PMP certification?
The certification is a piece in the puzzle of a project manager's professionality.
And why exactly the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification of PMI? There are some reasons:
- PMI, the certification body, is the largest international professional association of project management experts.
- The PMP certification has existed in the US since 1984. When PMI decided in 1998 to offer it internationally, this resulted in a continuous growth in the number of certified individuals, which is still persisting.
- The PMP certification process is following the norm ISO/IEC 17024. PMI therefore continuously ensures a high level of quality in the exam content and design.
- A PMP certification signals that experience and knowledge in leading and directing project teams and attaining project goals within given time, money, and resource constraints have been proven.
- On your way to a professionalization as a project manager you will take several steps (see image) - the PMP certification exam is especially helpful in the last step. It is targeted for experienced project managers.
When should you get certified?
The best time for getting certified depends on the life situation. Whoever leads a project that is right now in its "hot phase" should maybe wait until things have calmed down a bit - but not too long: Most PMP candidates need three to 18 months to get certified.
Some projects always seem to be in hot phases. Then, a certification becomes even more advisable: With its help, managers of such projects can prevent a burnout by being able to act in a more structured way instead of constantly getting projects out of trouble.
What happens after exam application?
If you have decided to apply for the certification exam and have been found eligible by PMI, you have one year to eschedule your exam at a test center of your choice that the company Prometric operates. A computer-based test will cost members 340 Euros and non-members 465 Euros. A PMI membership costs 105 Euros for the duration of one year, therefore paying off in the year of the exam and beyond - because members receive a lot of other benefits as well.
For the exam preparation (100 hrs are recommended) – attendance of a preparation seminar followed by mentored, self-directed learning has proven as a strategy. This means that exam applicants use literature, attend seminars, use sample questions, apps, and podcasts about the topic, among other things.
The two most important single documents you should know to pass the exam are the following:
- The Project Management Professional Examination Content Outline
- The Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge 5th Edition (PMBOK® Guide, as a paid purchase directly from PMI or in book stores; free download for members)
Note: Starting from mid-2017, the new PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition will replace the currently valid 5th Edition as a reference. The certification exam will be renewed accordingly in early 2018.
The following image shows a way to the certification exam that has been well-proven, including the recommended amount of time:
How many correct answers should be aimed for in sample tests??
Collections of sample questions with a higher level of difficulty, where a majority of questions is not inspired only by contents of the PMBOK® Guide, but of other source literature as well, the target should be a result of 75% of correct answers. In some rather simple tests, meaning those that are tightly connected with the PMBOK® Guide, at least 82% should be answered correctly.
If these results are reached during the preparation process, the exam may likely be passed on the first try.
Then, the PMP certificate is awarded for a period of three years. After this time, it has to be renewed by showing evidence of certain activities―details can be found here.