my PgMP experience to help PgMP aspirants …
However I found the exam preparation more complex because resources and experiences are still limited and/or not perfectly known. This makes the learning process sometimes uncertain and ambiguous …
This journey is a great opportunity to develop knowledge with passionate colleagues from all over the world who believe program management can really help organizations to capture more benefits and develop further the world !
Overview of my journey
It took me about 6 months and I think 150-200 hours to prepare the certification (2 or 3 times more than PMP).
But I could have saved many hours, by working together with other world wide applicants and building my own artifacts from the very beginning…
- Read the standard first to link PMI perspective to your experience
- Develop an excel sheet for your experience, to calculate hours per domain
- Make sure that all your references are OK to certify your experience
In writing your application :
- Position yourself from a ‘strategic perspective’, despite why you might first think you have done it, express the WHY, your strategic approach
- Use the “I” style instead of the “We” in order to point out precisely what YOU did
- Ask somebody (if possible a PgMP) to read it to check if it is understandable without knowledge of your context
Other comments :
- This exercise took much more time than for PMP, and is a very good way to reflect one’s experience and think
- It helps to do it directly on line (words counting) and you can save drafts your application until complete.
- A challenge I faced : In my program management experience… I did not complete all programs I had started because of moving to other roles or maternity leaves : I simply referred to the experience I effectively worked on and wrote that I executed a hand over to another program manager.
- My application was accepted in less than 10 days, without audit.
A few personal comments about uncertainty and ambiguity sometimes in preparation …
- The standard is very synthetic and some concepts are ‘implied’, not always
- There are sometimes some differences between standard & ECO
- There are sometimes non consensual questions and interpretations…
- Questions available on Internet are not always correct
- Experience helps, but before relying on it for the exam, PMI way should be
- The scope of knowledge is wider than just the standard and can refer to PMBOK or other PMI sources when applicable to program management
Make your synthesis of key concepts
Each time I understood something new, I updated my artifacts.
- “Define” benefits <> “Identify” benefits
- “Close” or “terminate” the program <> closure
- Staffing management plan is mentioned in PMBOK and PMI lexicon
- In my job, I started using new words, implementing new things
- I shared with my team an introduction to program management based experience.
- I struggled with ECO until I realized tasks were not sequential (except initiating and closing) and most of the questions where asked on task basis. I finally made a puzzle decomposing each task « what, how, what for »: this helped me a lot
« Blank sheets » very helpful the week before the exam to refresh knowledge every day and last gaps…
Other Programme Managers have shared their experience on DantotsuPM. You may want to read their posts (in French):
- Un article sur la certification en management de programmes du PMI est à lire sur le nouveau site de PMI France.
- Martial Bellec
- Marc Burlereaux
Or this testimonial in English: The PgMP® (Professional Program Manager) certification of PMI, an interview with Martial Bellec