What does it take to become a PMP?

Finally, a long project with many obstacles and challenges is done. I have passed the PMP exam, so I can call myself a PMP!

Preparation, what did it look like?

It all started in March 2019 when I had an occasion to join the PM(Project Management)@Bilfinger training program. Its objective was to provide knowledge on project management and prepare for the project management exam. The entire training program was organized by Bilfinger Academy. 

Module 1: Initiation and planning of projects according to PMBoK standards

The first module took place in Prague, 27-29 March. Main topic was the initiation and planning of projects according to best practices and PMBoK standards. We had an occasion to get some knowledge and, what’s more, take up some activities during the training to test whether we understand the way projects should be prepared before execution. We also had some time during evening dinners to do some networking with Bilfinger Tebodin employees from various countries in CEE, exchange knowledge and experience and see how projects are realized in different countries. Learning was not the only purpose of the training; we also had some sightseeing in the beautiful and very interesting city of Prague.

Module 2: Execution, monitoring and controlling of projects

From 1-3 July took place the second module of the training. This was held in Warsaw. It was time to speak about execution, monitoring and controlling of projects. Once more, more exercises than lectures and more networking and exchanging knowledge than listening were part of the module. It was a great opportunity to find out that many projects. In fact, in different countries we have similar problems that must be solved.

Module 3: Communication

Communication was the main topic of the third module that took place in Oberhausen on 8-9 October. We found out that communication, interpersonal and soft skills are core skills for a good project manager. Interpersonal aspects are the thing that we, as project managers, have to deal with on a daily basis. We must be aware that working with people means different points of view, different approaches and sometimes even conflicts. Our job is to solve them and get the best of our teammates.

Module 4: Exam preparation

Finally came the fourth module, Oberhausen 10-11 October. The module was supposed to prepare us for the exam. We did many tests and were presented on how to approach the exam. We were provided with best practices and solutions how to pass the exam.

The training was finished and now it was time for own work and the exam itself.

I finished my exam on the 10th of December. I must admit the whole preparation was a hard journey. I did about 100 hours of preparation, getting acknowledged with the methodology and solving tests. Finally, the exam was not easy, the most demanding was the fact that it lasts 4 hours and is held according to very strict rules and control measures to prevent cheating. The atmosphere on the exam might be really stressing and exhausting, not only should you be prepared for the exam technically but also mentally.

Finally, after nearly four hours of hard work on the exam, I clicked the finish button, and after a few seconds, white screen with congratulations on passing the exam appeared. It was great news, I felt happy with the fact that the whole journey is finished and I am PMP certified.

In the end, I am thankful to all the organizations and people that were involved in the preparation. I would like to thank Bilfinger and Bilfinger Tebodin for the PMP training. It was a real  pleasure to attend. Volker Schönichen, thanks for all the lectures, you are a great trainer that knows how to spread the information and knowledge in the clear and interesting way. Priscilla Graupner, thank you for the organizational work you have done to prepare for us such a great training environment.

Being a member of PMI Poland Chapter I am looking forward to take up new project management activities, new projects and further trainings on this topic. I recommend everyone connected with project management to prepare and pass the PMP exam or at least join the PMI organization for personal growth and training.

Аuthor: Marcin Blew