To have a PMP as a title is very good for recognition as a project manager in the business world. The project management standardisation and certification process started in the 90’s and became increasingly important especially in the last couple of years. Since PMI launched the PMBOK Guide 4th Edition in 2008, it became the standard for project management, similar to ISO9001. In January 2013, PMI launched the PMBOK Guide 5th Edition with a range of improvements and add-ons.

If you work in the project management industry and you want to work in large-scale or Government projects, a PMP certification is mandatory or definitely an advantage. In my opinion, being PMP certified does not state that you are a great project manager, however, it shows others that you have a basic understanding of project management and the processes involved. Industry knowledge and experience are key elements for a project manager and personal leadership is of the upmost importance as well.

In this article we will go over the steps for obtaining your PMP certification.

There are a few criteria to fulfill and some steps need to be completed in order to become PMP certified. The first criteria is the required work experience. A four-year degree (bachelor’s degree or the global equivalent) and at least three years of project management experience, with 4,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education.

Without a degree, it requires at least five years of project management experience with 7,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education. You can find all the details on the PMI.org website. To become PMP certified, you do not need to be a member of PMI, however if you register as a member, you will have access to free downloads of the PMBOK’s and your exam fee will be cheaper.

From personal experience, when I did my PMP several years ago, the best is to prepare a study plan for your PMP. In other words, use project management to manage your project management study time. =)

First, set a goal for when you want to take your exam. An ideal timeline for your study plan is about 6 to 12 weeks before you take your exam. In that time, you need to read (at least once) the entire PMBOK Guide and undergo the 2 to 4 days PMP preparation training. I suggest that you do plenty of exam questions and at least one mock up exam to get the feeling of how it will be to answer 200 questions within 4 hours and to also receive feedback in which areas are already well known and which topics may require deeper study. If you have achieved 70% or more in your mock exam, and you study further on the weak points, then you will have no problem passing the actual exam! Your mock exam should be planned about 3 weeks before your real exam in order to have some time to make up for the weak points.

During your PMP preparation training, you may actually feel when you are ready for the test and usually the trainers can give you some hints or support you in setting your exam goal. That’s the time when you register your PMP with PMI.org, log your work experience, log the 35 hours contact hours for preparation and find your nearest exam provider for a computer-based exam.

For additional support towards your PMP exam, there are several videos online or you can book an online PM coach to cover your specific requirements or gain confidence to pass the exam on the first attempt.

To your success,

Peter Wyss

Peter Wyss, PMP and Scrum Master
​Website:  http://summso.com ​
Peter Wyss is an expert on: Railway Projects, System Integration, Renewable Energy Projects, Project Management, Scrum Master, Agile Project Management, Risk Management, Rescue Troubled Projects, Contract Management, Project Consulting, Project Management Office, Project Management Training, Project Assessments, EPC(M) Projects, Program Management, Project Management Coaching, Virtual team management in Global projects. You can find him at his website and Linkedin.