Is a PMP worth it? Nathan K Ellison


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Nathan K Ellison, PMP, Project manager
Should I get a PMP?
Is a PMP worth it?
What is a PMP?

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Is a PMP worth it? Nathan K Ellison

  1. 1. On past interviews I haveoften been asked about myPMP. Surprisingly I was oftentold by interviewers thatthey want the certificationbut haven’t had the time tostudy for it. They ask me if itwas worth it.I thought it might be a goodidea to answer this question.
  2. 2. The main topics in project management are:Scope ManagementCost ManagementHuman Resource ManagementProcurement ManagementQuality ManagementRisk Management
  3. 3. has to do with collectingrequirements. One of the most valuabletools I learned about was the WorkBreakdown Structure. A few of its benefitsare scheduling, budgeting, accountability andgetting buy-in from stakeholders.ProjectDeliverableWorkPackageWorkPackageDeliverableWorkPackageDeliverableScope Management
  4. 4. In I learned to arrange andsequence tasks in a project in the mostefficient way possible to keep the project onschedule.
  5. 5. For those of you who hatemathematics brace yourselffor ! Thereare lots of formulas thatneed to be learned which areuseful to get a temperatureof your project. Luckily, anapplication like MicrosoftProject does all thecalculations for you.However for the purpose ofpassing the exam theseformulas have to be learned.Cost Variance=EV-ACSchedule Variance=EV-PVCost Performance Index=EV/ACSchedule Performance Index=EV/PVEstimate at Completion=AC+(BAC-EV)To Complete Performance Index=(BAC-EV)/(BAC-AC)Estimate at Completion=EAC-ACVariance at Completion=BAC-EACCost Management
  6. 6. was the easiest to study.At almost every job I’ve had, I’ve always had to workwith a Quality control or assurance department. Ifound this material interesting because I learned whatit is they do and why it’s important. I now understandquality management terminology and how tointegrate these folks into my projects more effectively.Quality Management
  7. 7. Probably the most interesting topic I hadto study for the exam wasHuman Resource Management
  8. 8. What I found mostfascinating wasreading aboutrecognition andreward systems,team building,conflict resolutiontechniques, groundrules, virtual teamsand stages of teamformation andDevelopment.
  9. 9. The most useful lesson I learned inwas how important face-to-face communication is. In thepast I always wondered why companies spend thousandsof dollars on airline tickets and hotel rooms to bringtogether employees from different divisions in differentlocations.Communications Management
  10. 10. In my opinion sets apart the prosfrom the amateurs. In an ideal world ourprojects run smoothly without a hitch. As weall know, we don’t live in an ideal world.Risk Management
  11. 11. A sponsor on another projectneeds your star player.
  12. 12. One valuable point I learned was how advantageous it is todiscuss risks at meetings instead of getting status updates fromteam members. Status updates can be collected by email orperhaps in a central repository. But keeping the team focused onanticipating and reacting to risk is crucial in keeping a project ontrack.
  13. 13. The most valuable topic infor me was learning about different contract types:fixed price, time and material and cost reimbursablecontracts. There are advantages and disadvantageswith all these contract types and it is important to knowwhen to use each and how to attach incentives to acontract.Procurement Management
  14. 14. Another surprise to me was that passing the PMP was only thebeginning of my journey.To keep my certification I need to earn 30 PDUs every three years. In myopinion this requirement is what gives the PMP its true value.There are so many ways to earn your PDUs and all of them aim to teachyou how to become an even better project manager.
  15. 15. You can earn PDUs by going to your local chaptermeetings and meet project managers like youand listen to great lectures from experts in thefield.
  16. 16. Aerospace andDefenseEnergy, Oil, Gas andPetrochemical Information Systems New PractitionersAgileEthics in ProjectManagementInnovation and New ProductDevelopmentOrganizational ProjectManagementChangeManagementFinancial ServicesIndustry International Development PharmaceuticalChina ProjectManagement Global Diversity IT and TelecomProgram ManagementOfficeConstructionIndustry Global SustainabilityLeadership and ProjectManagementProject ManagementQualityConsulting GovernmentLearning, Education andDevelopment Project Risk ManagementEarned ValueManagement Healthcare Legal Project ManagementRequirementsManagementeBusinessHuman ResourceProject Management Marketing and SalesYou can go online and earn PDUs by listening to projectmanagement webinars on topics such as:
  17. 17. You can even book a reservationat a hotel and spend days inclasses or do volunteer work andearn your PDUs.And that’s just the tip of theiceberg.
  18. 18. The information learned is practical and not theoretical.In contrast to a masters program like an MBA I don’t needto fulfill liberal arts requirements or study for entryexaminations.My certification has given me confidence that I can manageany project in any industry.PMI provides quality resources to help me keep evolvingand improving as a project manager.Was it worth it?Absolutely!