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PMP (Project Management Professional) is an internationally recognized project management certificate offered and administered by PMI – the Project Management Institute. The course leading to the exam follows the syllabus laid out in the PMBoK which stands for the Project Management Body of Knowledge. It offers a comprehensive syllabus that is structured after the full implementation of a typical project.

As it is internationally recognized, the PMP certification and the methodology it advocates are accepted across the world as is often seen as the pinnacle in project management education.

One thing that any prospective PMP student should know is that to sit for a PMP exam, several prerequisites need to be met of which there are 2 options. The first option focuses on academic achievements whilst the second option focuses more on actual on the job experience with less stringent academic requirements than the first option.

The first option requires the candidate sitting for the exam to have a four-year degree certificate along with 3 years of project management experience during which 4,500 hours of leading and directing projects must have been completed.

In the second option, the academic requirement drops to a secondary degree, with 5 years of project management experience required during which 7,500 hours of project management experience should be completed.

In both cases, 35 hours of project management education must be completed before sitting for the exam which will be acquired in the duration of your studies for the PMP certification as offered by knowledgehut.

Project management experience can vary from one student or another so rather than let this dissuade you, think about those times that you managed something in the context of a project and list them down as you go along; recognizing your experience is very important and more often than not we have more experience than we think!

Once the prerequisites have been met and accounted for, students can sit for the exam but first, let’s talk about how PMI tackles the syllabus that makes up the PMP certification.

The syllabus follows a typical project implementation going through each of the 5 performance domains as follows;

  • Project initiation
  • Project planning
  • Project execution
  • Project monitoring and control
  • Project Close-out

With the project management experience required to be able to sit for the PMP certification, you should already be familiar with each of these performance domains.

By following the methodology presented in PMP you will be able to standardize each aspect of your project management skillset, and thus be able to implement a project in various scenarios, regions, and industries.

By having a standardized implementation blueprint, you can be sure that as you work with different stakeholders each and everyone will be able to follow a common set of rules and standards to ensure successful completion of the project being undertaken.

PMP is seen as a highly desirable certification across many industries, often ranked in the top certifications by different institutions. So, what makes the PMP certification so highly desirable?

Working with stakeholders from different regions; from suppliers to developers to team members, a structured and organized methodology becomes not only desirable but essential.

Successful communication is a big factor when it comes to successfully implementing a project and having a common language with a common set of rules goes a very long way in ensuring everyone’s message gets through.

More so when one considers the available literature based on PMBoK guidelines that standardize many aspects of the day to day activities. One such example is reported which as any project manager should know can make or break a project implementation.

Whilst the PMP examination places different weights on each of the 5 performance domains during the exam, each one should be given its due consideration. Each phase of a project plays a very significant role in the grand scheme of things, building on top of the previous one and laying down the groundwork for the phases to come.

As an example, unless the project initiation phase is completed successfully, you will not be able to move on to the planning of the project. Even though in some cases you might be able to, rest assured that if the correct requirements are not gathered and made clear to all parties, the planning will not only be futile but will back-fire.

If the project requirements are not all taken into account in the execution phase they will surely be uncovered during the monitoring and control phase, at which point you will either have to go back to the drawing board at the cost of missing deadlines and budget or declare the project a failure.

Each project will ultimately have different requirements and whilst the PMP certification will go a long way in ensuring these requirements are approached in a standard and professional manner, it is up to the project manager to assess and decide how to manage the project from initiation to closure.

UX Designer working on a freelance project

It is also important to keep investing in your education as a project manager; by staying abreast of the developments in the PMBOK standards as well as investing in the interpersonal and soft skills required to deal with different people who might hold very different views of what the project being undertaken should accomplish.

Once you are ready to sit for the exam to earn that much-coveted PMP certificate, remember that the actual exam is closed-book meaning that no books or supporting material are allowed during the examination time.

Typically, an exam has 200 questions, 25 of which are sample questions that are not taken into consideration when giving out the final grade.

This means that only 175 out of the 200 questions carry marks however you will not know which ones so always answer to the best of your abilities. For those taking the computer-based exam, the result will be available immediately after completion, cutting down the anxiety-inducing time as you wait for the result of your studies to nil.

If you are looking at making a career out of project management, a PMP certificate is almost indispensable. Not only will it decrease your frustration, but it will also allow you to preempt difficult situations and take corrective action before a minor issue becomes a full-blown disaster that might threaten both project and the success of your career.

Project management, albeit a fun and rewarding career, is not without its downsides and this certificate goes a long way in making sure you have more ups than downs.  

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