I was reminded by my wife to complete my series on PMP when I passed the certification last Sept. 23. Instead of doing five separate series, this post would be comprehensive on the What, Why, When, How much and How to become a Project Management Professional. PMP is a professional certification much like Engineering board exam, Nursing board exam, or any other professional course. But unlike our board exams here, PMP is globally recognized by 20 countries.

As of Sept 2005 PMI Factsheet, There are only 128,328 PMP’s around the world with 62% in the United States and 26% (about 33,787) in Asia Pacific. Imagine, I’m the only DIAZ certified PMP based in the Philippines according to the PMP registry. This is increasingly required by US companies and you too can be a PMP Certified project manager if you are in the IT/ Consultancy Project Management Business. The best part of it, you can already add a suffix to your professional name! ( I wonder if there would be a problogger certification course in the future? )

Engr. Jose Antonio Diaz, PMP

1. Apply for Eligibility for the PMP Certification.
For me this is the hardest part of becoming eligible because you need to dig down your files and get all the relevant information. Once you are past this, exam preparation is the next hurdle you will take.

  • You need to have a College Degree
  • 4500 hours of having a responsibility in leading and directing project tasks not necessarily a project manager role (about 3 years)
  • 36 months of project management experience. (3 years essentially)
  • 35 hours of training (this translated to 5 days of PM training — either PM training in the company / university plus the PMP preparation course )
  • It should be within 8 years from the date of the application.
  • Be prepared to provide proof by certified authorities for each of the qualification when you are audited.

If you think you’re eligible, apply online now.

>> More information on PMP Certification Eligibility

2. Become a PMI member ($149)

  • Apply online to become part of the globally recognized Project Management Institute.
  • Individual Membership ($119), PMI Application Fee ($10), and Chapter Membership ($20)
  • Why? (a) members can avail of certification discounts, (b) get connected with latest PM information globally, and (c) download PM BOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge (PM BOK) – 3rd Edition

3. Attend a PMP Certification Training ($1,300)
This is essential because each company or individual has its own project management methodology and terminologies. You might be brainwashed by now and you need to reprogram your mental model to speak in terms of the global standard for Project Management contained in the PM BOK 3rd Edition.

I attended a PMP Bootcamp course certified by the Boston University and with our instruction to less than Luis Alvarez, PMP, CEO of Aldion Consulting. This is a compressed version of the 5-day course into 3 full days and costs ~$1,300 per participant. For our company, Luis’ track record is 100% passing rate. He normally gives this course in Singapore but we had 15 or more critical mass to invite him over in Manila. Look for PMI Certified Education Partner.

4. Schedule your PMP Exam ($405).

You should schedule your exam within 2-4 weeks after your training so that the concepts are still fresh. The CBT exam would costs you $405 with PMI membership discount already (if not it costs $555) . Your should received your eligibility ID before you can schedule your exam within 5 days from your application.

>> More information on preparations for the 2005 PMP Exam.

5. Study for the Exam ($56)
Just study two books:
1. PMP Exam Prep by Rita Mulchany (Fifth Edition) $56 from Amazon
2. PM Body of Knowledge (PM BOK) Third Edition (download from pmi.org members section)

This is tried and tested approach. I crammed my PMP exam within 1 week and Rita Mulchany’s book saved my life. The key to studying is that:
— You need to understand the sequence of the processes and what are the inputs and outputs
— You need to learn how to answer the PMP certification multiple choice questions. Most of the answers are right and you need to choose the best one.
— Read the PM BOK so reinforce your knowledge and understand PMIsms.
— Learn by heart the PMP Code of Professional Conduct.
— Also, practice answering 200 questions and time yourself. You need to get the hang of answering 200 questions before the actual exam.

6. Take the Test!

As usual, sleep early, don’t burn the midnight oil before the exam. Bring your exam confirmation and passport, then take the test confidently. You need to clear your head and take your time. Answering 200 questions in 4 hours is just about 1 minute per question. So you won’t have time to review all of your answers so use the markers for the question adequately.

Passing score is now 81% which is you need to get 141 questions right out of 200. They raised the bar last Sept 2005 from a passing rate of 70%. That is why I took the test on the last day (sept. 23)! Although, based on my scores, I could have still passed at 81% except for the PMP code of conduct section 🙂

Overall ~$2,000 investment to become a PMP and two months of preparation. Leave a comment if you have some questions.