By Maggie Harney
Project management is a capability of M Powered Strategies (MPS) where many of our consultants possess expertise that they apply in the federal consulting and IT spaces. The Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification involves intensive studying and preparation for a four-hour-long exam containing 180 questions.
The Project Management Institute notes, “PMP certification validates that you have the project leadership skills employers seek,” cultivating knowledge in three key approaches: predictive (waterfall), agile and hybrid. PMP-trained project managers are highly conscious of how to lead teams of people well, carry processes through to the finish line and facilitate a business environment fueled by organizational optimization.
In order to support staff wanting to pursue PMP certification, MPS initiated a PMP bootcamp, organized with curriculum from Velociteach. “The purpose of the bootcamp was to take the knowledge that we had already learned from the textbook and apply it in a way which was going to be easier to remember on the exam,” says Julianna Driskel, Human Capital and Operations Manager, who coordinated the initiative. “Every single person who has sat the exam since doing this bootcamp has all passed with three [Above Target scores].”
Julianna had a month to read the textbook, spending an hour each day reviewing and sitting practice exams, prior to participating in the bootcamp. Earning the PMP certification herself has allowed her to “speak the same language” as prospective project and program management professionals. Understanding the methodologies has equipped her in the responsibilities of interviewing and hiring candidates with this professional background.
Consultant Courtney Burum shares of her experience, “I used a prep course paid for and organized by MPS, as well as YouTube videos. Hopefully, the PMP will allow me to get more senior positions. The need for thoroughly planning things in advance resonated with me.” Within two months of attaining her PMP, Courtney was promoted to a more advanced, project-oriented role.
Since the bootcamp, other MPS staff have also studied for the PMP exam using another approach that lends itself to further employing integrative tools. Consultant Brian Carr had previously passed the CAPM exam, which he describes as one of the trickier exams he has seen. In getting ready for the PMP, he notes, “I attended the [two-week-long,] after-work prep class (Go MPS!) and spent another two weeks in daily study. I took several full-length practice tests and multiple shorter quizzes, including a warm-up the day of the actual exam. The most challenging part of the studying I found to be finding the time/privacy to delve into the material.”
While sitting the exam can be a daunting process, MPSers understand the future career benefits and skill-building the certification provides. Brian shares, “This certification will best help me daily in aligning my PM experience within the accepted systematic approach and appreciating the long-term vision of project management as a whole.”
At this time, all bootcamp attendees have sat and successfully passed their PMP exam on the first try. MPS celebrates the hard work and achievements of our team who have earned their certification! Way to go to our recently-certified PMPs – Courtney Burum, Brian Carr, Wes Cronkite, Linda Downing, Julianna Driskel, Melissa Farzin, Patrick Hendrickson, Vadim Kulmatetskiy, Katerina Triantos, and Jonathan White!