Each year we develop goals as a company and individually to help us focus on the direction we are heading and how we can improve ourselves and the company.  This year one of my personal goals was to obtain a PMP certification.  This certification is granted through the Project Management Institute as a way to recognize project managers who are familiar with the accepted standards and processes that enable them to be more qualified to lead teams.  As a new project manager I felt that this certification would not only add to my professional credentials but also give me valuable information and training.  This will help me improve the current projects that I work on and be more confident when starting on future projects.

To get ready for the certification exam I decided to take a prep course available through a local company, Enterprise Consulting, which was recommended to me by a colleague.  Even before the class official started I could tell that it was going to be incredibly beneficial.  They provided a PMP prep manual that they created as a supplement to the PMBOK.  This manual turned out to be very instructive and understandable in explaining the concepts.  During the class they not only helped with the type of questions and information that I would see on the exam but were very helpful with the requirements for the application process.  In order to qualify to take the exam an application must be submitted with information on project management work experience, training and education.  Just the application alone can take many hours to complete and can be stressful as 25% of all applications get audited.  After following the instructions from the prep course I submitted my application and luckily did not get audited.  The exam was stressful but I felt confident after taking the prep course and weeks of studying that I was prepared.  Fortunately it is a computer based test and you learn your score within minutes of completing the exam…and I passed.

In order to maintain the PMP credential there are continuing professional development requirements.  These are available by attending local PMI chapter meetings and additional training.  The meetings and additional workshops will help me to continue to develop as a project manager.  I look forward to using many of the new skills and ideas that I learned during the prep course and continuing to improve through future training.

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