The PMP Certification Exam
In This Chapter
ᮣ Examining why project management is important
ᮣ Getting ready for prime time with PMP certification
ᮣ Obtaining your PMP credential
ᮣ Taking a look at the exam
ᮣ Tracking your study plan as a project
his chapter introduces you to the Project Management Professional (PMP)
Certification Exam. Our goal is to enable you to pass the certification exam and be recognized in your organization and in the business world as a certified PMP. This chapter gives you an overview of the exam, introduces you to the organization behind the exam, and discusses the generally accepted principles and methods of modern project management. You discover why project management is important, how project management differs from general management, and how having the project management (PM) skills described in this book can help you pass the test and enhance your career.
You find out about a formal methodology for leading a successful project team in the real world — all the while picking up tricks for passing the exam.
As a sample project, you find out how to prepare a study plan that matches the methodology you need to know to pass the exam. We strongly recommend that you develop your own study plan and monitor your progress by using these tools and techniques. Putting theory into practice helps you master the core principles that are covered on the exam.
Although taking a professional certification exam may seem intimidating, we simplify the process for you. We give you a secret road map to the process.
How the PMP Certification Gets You
Ready for Prime Time
The PMP certification is proof that you have the ability to manage a project.
The exam was designed specifically to measure the knowledge, skills, tools,
Part I: PMP Certification Exam and PM Overview and techniques that are utilized in the practice of project management.
In today’s competitive job market, white-collar managers need a way to differentiate themselves.
The recent boom-bust cycle in dot-com companies is a good example. Not so long ago, anyone who could create a simple Gantt chart with Microsoft Project called himself a project manager. These were typically project leads, or senior programmers, for small- to medium-sized development teams. Most of these
“project managers” had little practical experience in projects and practically no formal PM methodologies. They’re called accidental project managers.
When the dot-com bubble burst, their resumes poured into human resources
(HR) departments. How could an HR staffer know the difference between a battle-scarred project manager with hard-won PM experience and an accidental project manager with a similar title and no real experience?
The answer is that HR recruiters couldn’t tell the difference. Nor could the actual hiring managers make the distinction. The accidental project managers flooded the IT market, and corporations were swift to take advantage.
Employers dropped the rates they were willing to pay for project managers’ salaries by 25 to 45 percent.
The best way to distinguish yourself from the growing list of project managers is to become a certified Project Management Professional — the coveted PMP designation. According to recent salary surveys, achieving PMP certification brings an average salary increase of 8 percent across all industries — as high as 14 percent for IT managers. To employers who hope their projects aren’t among the 83 percent that fail, PMP certification is now a preferred riskreduction tool for screening job seekers and making promotion decisions.
Why PMI is the PMP overlord
The profession of project management is becoming a formal discipline.
To ensure that project managers have a core level of professionalism, project management has its own rigorous certification exam — much as accountants have their Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.