Friday, 31 March 2017

Benefits of CAPM Certification


CAPM® certification provides you with a globally recognised project management credential. CAPM® will automatically indicate to prospective employers that you are well versed in global project management processes and terminology.

It doesn’t matter, if you're new to project management, changing careers, or already serving as a subject matter expert on project teams, the CAPM® can get your career on the right path or take it to the next level.

The knowledge a practitioner gains from earning the CAPM® certification can be applied to on-the-job experiences which help develop growing levels of competence in the practice of project management. As per PMI, there are huge benefits by gaining CAPM Certification. Some of them are mentioned below:
  1. Professionals will gain skills to initiate a project.
  1. CAPM® certification will enable professionals to monitor, execute, control and complete a project efficiently.
  1. Proficiency in Project preparation and planning.
  1. Estimating activity costs
  1. Proficiency in hiring, leading and managing a project team
  1. You can motivate your project team by foreseeing and planning for the unexpected.
  1. It helps in maintaining the Quality of the product at every stage of the project and also helps with performing quality assurance.
  1. If you are new to the Project Management, CAPM® certification help you to grow your career and take you in the right path.
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Thursday, 30 March 2017

About CAPM



The CAPM exam is your first step in project management. CAPM exam is designed for entry-level professionals or professionals who have very little project work experience.

The eligibility requirements of this exam are more lenient than the PMP exam because of the above reason.

If you are a diploma holder with no experience you will have to attend the training. If you have worked in project management for at least 1,500 hours you won’t be required to attend any training.

This post is all about the eligibility of the CAPM certification exam requirements.

Eligibility Requirements for the CAPM Certification Exam?

To apply for the CAPM certification exam, you will have to fulfil two eligibility conditions defined by PMI. If you do not fulfil these requirements, you cannot apply for the CAPM exam.

These two eligibility requirements fall into two categories:

1)  Education

To be eligible for the CAPM exam, you must hold at least a high school diploma or any global equivalent education.

2)  Experience/Training

If you have project management experience for at least 1,500 hours. You can apply for the CAPM exam right away. You don’t have to attend any training program.

However, if you are a fresher or have no experience in project management, you will have to attend 23 contact hours of formal project management education. Once you earn these contact hours, you can apply for the CAPM certification exam.

Two pieces of advice here:

1)  The first advice is to try to get your contact hours training program, through any reliable/registered education provider. Please verify, if they are following the course content as per PMI.

2)  The second advice is to get 35 contact hours instead of 23 contact hours. Although the CAPM requires you to attend only 23 contact hours, if in the future you decide to apply for the PMP exam, you will have to attend another program to complete the 35 contact hours.

Therefore, it is in your best interest to attend a 35 contact hour’s program and prepare yourself for both certifications.


**Please refer to the CAPM Handbook for the latest updates.

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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

PMP Experience Requirement: How to gather required experience?



If you don't have enough project management experience, you may face some difficulties in meeting the required PMP experience. What should you do if there is a significant gap between the eligibility criteria and where you are now? Here are some tips that could help you overcome that obstacle.

PMP Experience Requirement

The experience requirement is 4,500 or 7,500 hours of leading and directing projects, depending on you having a four-year degree or not.

If you don't have it, you're not eligible yet. So let's take a look at different options, we have for you:

1. Full-Time Project Managers

Beginning with the most obvious one: if you don’t have enough hours, and your current role at work requires you to lead and direct projects full-time (e.g. your title is Project Manager or similar) then it's easy, just keep doing what you’re already doing. With time you’ll gather the required number of hours.

2. Not Really Full-Time Project Managers

It gets a little trickier if you don’t have enough hours and in your current role you DON'T lead or direct projects. For example: maybe you are an SME (subject matter expert) and you mostly participate in projects as a team member and/or while somebody else is in charge of managing these projects. 

This case also covers the situation where you do lead and direct projects but only a smaller part of your working time. For example: you “participate in several projects at the same time” but you are in charge of “leading and directing just one of them”, while others are being managed by other people.

In both situations (not managing projects at all, or managing project part-time), you are collecting hours of experience at a slower rate than if you’d work on managing projects full-time. Let's see how to increase that rate.

*   Changing Your Role

The most effective solution is to change your role so that you increase the amount of time spent on managing projects. 

Maybe you can demonstrate initiative to your superiors and offer to take charge of more projects. This can be a part of your wider discussion about your career development, where you can state clearly that you would like to provide more value to your employer by leading and directing projects.

If you succeed, and from PMP-eligibility point of view the best case would be to become a full-time project manager, then you’re on your way to collecting the hours as quickly as possible. Even if you don’t reach the full-time PM role, every increase would be helpful in getting you closer to meet the PMP experience requirement.

*   Changing Your Company

Another possibility, if you can’t or don’t want a different kind of responsibility within your current company, is to change the company you’re working for. Maybe you can find a more PM-like role in another company, which would be particularly nice if you manage to negotiate better terms and conditions than you’re having in your current company.

However, depending on your preferences and current job market, it might be too difficult for you to change your role and/or company, so these solutions may not work for you. Then what? How do you gather more project management experience then?

*   Volunteering

One option is volunteering. Donate your project management services to a non-profit organization. It’s a win-win situation: you get the experience and eligibility hours, not to mention the feel-good sensation of helping others, and non-profit organization gets things done for free.

This kind of relationship could have other potentially beneficial aspects for you, like more and better networking opportunities.


If you're considering this option, I would recommend you to look for volunteering opportunities at your nearest PMI chapter. Additional benefits of volunteering for PMI are numerous and we intend to cover that in some future article.

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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

About: PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition


The PMI is offering you a great incentive to attempt the PMP exam this year, if you have done a Project Management Professional (PMP) ® exam preparation course and have yet to take the PMP® exam.

The PMP® exam will change in the first quarter of 2018. We have not been given an exact date though. However, the new exam will be based on the 6th edition of the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide).

After a quick glance through the 6th edition, we were relieved to see that there are still five process groups and ten knowledge areas. However, there are three new processes added and one retired. Also, two of the knowledge areas now have new names. More worrying for students is the way generic inputs and outputs, such as Project Documents have been expanded to list exactly what Project Documents are involved. A similar exercise has been done with some of the tools and techniques.

If you have not made a decision yet to pass the PMP® exam, it would be an excellent idea to add it to your list RIGHT NOW. At least, the exam you face this year will be based on 47 project management processes. Come 2018, you will have to deal with 49!

We will revise our course materials to align with the new edition this year. We will also ensure that our PMP exam simulator reflects these changes.

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Monday, 27 March 2017

Once you are PMP CERTIFIED, How do you get that SALARY HIKE?



Our panel of senior PMP trainer’s suggest that you approach your employer about sponsoring the boot camp training and exam fee prior to beginning the certification process. This is also a good time, they say, to ask about the raise that reflects the additional accreditation, which will give your organization that much more standing with stakeholders and clients.

It’s possible your current employer may opt to pay for training and the test, and not necessarily give you that big raise immediately. However, the certification is great leverage for the next annual review and raise. And it should be even easier to receive that 15% to 20% raise with your next employer.

To show the value of the PMP certification to your company (especially if you are one of the few to attain it), consider giving an internal presentation to the executive and account teams so that they, in turn, can play up your company’s project management PMP offering as a key differentiator.


Finally, make sure to update your resume and your LinkedIn profile with your PMP credential information, and add any key things that resonate with you about the certification in your current role and industry. Make sure profiles on other networking groups mention it as well.

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Friday, 24 March 2017

Factors that could affect Project Manager PMP salary



As with most jobs, there are many factors and criteria that can affect a PMP project manager’s salary. According to sites like Pay Scale, Glassdoor and the PMI website, there are several variables:

Years of Experience: A PMP certified project manager with five and ten years of experience will make an average of $25,000 (approx.) more than one who has been working under five years. Someone with more than ten years’ experience will, in turn, make an additional $15,000 (approx.)

Industry: As discussed above, some fields like technology and insurance/finance pay more than non-profit’s or travel industry project manager PMP positions.

Supply and Demand: As with any workforce skill set, there can be a glut in one area and a shortage in another. In India, for example, a sharp increase in the demand for PMP project manager’s means that professionals in the field there, are making 45 percent more than their counterparts who lack certification.

Geography inside the U.S.: Salary ranges are higher for PMP project manager’s in big cities and along the West and Northeast coasts, according to some popular websites. In Washington, D.C., PMP’s can make upwards of $130,000 a year.

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Thursday, 23 March 2017

Why Is “PMP certification” worth 20% hike in salary?




Why is it that this PMP certification carries such weight in organizations and companies? Our senior training faculty has to say this - “Project management is a way of doing things. It’s because it codifies what a project manager is and how a project manager works”. The PMP gives you a framework.

There are 5 phases of a project, which anyone with a PMP certification will know how to perform, irrespective of organization and industry he or she works for.

Initiating a project: The project manager should ideally play an active role in the initiation and prep work for any project before kick-off.

Planning: A PMP project manager will know how to take a critical look at the project from the beginning and throughout its lifecycle and request the appropriate resources such as people or equipment.

Executing: This is where the work begins and gets done. The project manager will guide the team through accomplishing project tasks and hitting milestones.

Controlling and monitoring: Change will affect every project. The PMP teaches project managers how to keep project deliverables on track and how to adjust course, if things change.

Closing: The project manager delivers the assets of a project to the stakeholders or clients, wraps up the budget and does any necessary follow-up.

Since PMP certification ensures that a project manager knows what needs to happen in each of these five phases to ensure consistent delivery of a project on time and on budget, the certification has earned its value, say our expert panel of trainers.

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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

“10 Common mistakes in Project Management”




To err is human and Project Managers are no different when it comes to making mistakes. However, knowing which mistakes are quite common might help you prevent a failure. Below are 10 common mistakes most often made by leaders and Project Managers that can put the success of your client’s project at risk.

1. Mismanaging Team Member Skill Sets 

Your team resources are crucial. Matching them to do the right work is critical for the success of a project. A good leader knows how to get the optimal results out of the people working for him (or her), and they know exactly how to best match team members’ skills and abilities with the task at hand. For example, it’s no longer enough to know that you have three web developers on your team that are “jack of all trades”. Knowing their strengths and weaknesses between database development, business layer coding or user interface (UI) scripting will allow you to optimize your team’s abilities.

2. Inexperienced Project Manager in-charge 

Taking charge of a project is hard. It’s even harder if the person in charge doesn’t have enough experience. For highly visible projects, projects with complex activities or projects with more than 10 team members; it’s best to have a Project Manager who is experienced in everything from status meetings to managing risks and expectations. Do not compromise on Project Manager experience when it comes to critical project activities. If the project at hand is a complex web development activity, do not assign a Project Manager with zero technical experience. In theory, a competent Project Manager should have the ability to execute across subject matters. In reality, successful Project Managers frequently have a background in a specific expertise.

3. Mismanaging Project Scope

Scope doesn’t always have to be set in stone. It does sometimes require compromise and project managers should have a scope management process in place for handling requests that change scope; and know and understand exactly how the request will impact everything from budget to schedule. A project manager then needs to make a call on whether or not the request can be accommodated. Contrary to popular belief, the most common issue in managing a project’s scope is NOT accepting unplanned requirements; it’s when project managers do not accurately communicate those new requirements via the project schedule and budget.

4. Poor Scheduling 

Project schedule are there for a reason, they help the project stay on course (and finish on time), and are one of the most crucial measures of project success. It also helps avoid the domino-effect, which results in project tasks falling behind. Project managers need to run a tight ship when it comes to scheduling, and ensure ALL project stakeholders are aware of the project timeline and any changes that occur. One of the most common “surprises” that cause issues on a project is when a client is unaware of scheduled deadlines, so be sure the project schedule is always front.

5. Ego Issues

Project managers should never have an ego that discourages team members from making suggestions. While the final call will always rest with the project manager, taking an approach of “my way or the highway” is dangerous and often results in valuable feedback from team members not being laid out on the table. It also appears condescending to the client, cultivates poor team morale, and over-values the role of the project manager. The project manager’s role is to ensure team members work optimally to achieve project objectives, not to be a “king” of others.

6. Underestimating Project Effort

Project managers have to ensure they remain realistic about what the project requires in order to prevent problems further down the line. Often times during planning activities, project managers are keen to appease their client and ensure there are no conflicts regarding the cost, schedule, or budget of a newly awarded project. This can sometimes lead to a “sunshine policy”, where new project managers are hesitant to accurately reflect the effort involved with project requirements. This type of underestimating is especially problematic, because the burden falls on team members to ensure work is performed faster or cheaper.

7. Letting Small Issues Evolve into Big Problems 

When project issues surface, they need to be addressed straight away. Whether it is a project requirement that was misunderstood by a team member, and requires re-work, or a mistake in the project budget; it is the job of the project manager to clearly address these issues (and own up to them) as they arise. Many projects fail because small issues turn in to huge problems, causing distrust among the client and project team. As soon as an issue rears its head, tackle it directly.

8. Not knowing when to ask for Help

If you are stuck as a project manager, ask for help. You do not need to know everything and being arrogant and not asking for help can put a project at serious risk. If it is technical or subject matter expertise you need assistance with, start by asking your team for advice. If you need assistance managing your client or project, reach out to a colleague or upper management. Most importantly, be honest and positive with your request and you will find others will respect your ability to ask for help.

9. Saying Yes to Everything 

As a project manager, you should be flexible and visibly eager to assist your client. But saying yes all the time is a bad habit that can ultimately lead to projects that spiral out of scope, and team members who are over worked. As a project manager you need to know when enough is enough, and most importantly, how to diplomatically reject client requests that do not allow for more time (or budget).

10. Ignoring Team Mistakes 

Mistakes happen, its human nature. As a project manager, it’s up to you to spot team member mistakes and deal with them immediately in a diplomatic, positive fashion. If the client is affected, inform them of how you plan on fixing the mistake, and (most importantly) how it will be prevented in the future. Failure to address team mistakes results in a culture where resources no longer care about quality, and this can poison a project.

As project managers, our highest priority is our client’s success. As such, this can sometimes lead to decision making that, while good intentioned, does not result in a well-run project or happy team resources. Being a project manager is no easy task and while mistakes will happen, knowing what the most common errors are could help you nip them in the bud before they derail your project.

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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

PMP Forums – Join online forums for help with your PMP Studies



Online forums are one of the best sources of information you have at your disposal today. You will have access to extremely valuable suggestions, opinions and information on these forums and they often provide you with specific examples and personal experiences which will help guide you in your quest for knowledge and instruction/s. Let’s look at some of the benefits….

Will help in understanding the PM (Project Management) Concept

Most of them might be wondering, why and how is it beneficial? It is because these online forums can actually help you prepare for your exam. If you are facing any issues understanding a specific project management concept, there could be someone on these online forums who can elaborate or explain it in such a way that could help you understand the concept better. Likely chances are that they ran into the same problem during the course of their own studies. This will save you a lot of time and hard work. The good thing about this is “instead of just memorizing” you will understand the concept.

Post questions on Specific PMP Exam Prep Topics and get Advice

You could use these internet forums in several ways to your advantage. The different methods you use will depend on the specific type of information you are looking for. This may include asking specific questions, for example: using a “search and scan” technique for additional or more detailed information or even soliciting advice on specific PMP Exam Prep topics. You will find many Project Managers (who are Project Management Professionals in their own right) are active participants in these types of forums. They are normally open to answering your specific questions, willing to provide you with information searching tips, and also enjoy sharing information from their own experiences to PMP certification.

Get answers to Specific PMP Exam info from different Project Managers

If you wish to post/ask a specific question concerning preparation for the exam, most online forums have an easy-to-follow process to submit your question. The best part about this is that you are most likely to receive answers from different Project Managers, who may offer a variety of perspectives and experiences. This will help you in selecting the best answer from the lot as it pertains to your specific question/situation.

“Search and Scan” – Targeting your specific PM Exam Question

For self-starters who prefer to do their own research, online forums can make this very easy. All or most of these online forums include a strong search engine for you to quickly “search and scan” the forum content to find the information that you are specifically looking for. Since you will be reviewing online forums specific to PMP Exam Prep, your search will be that much more targeted

Get advice on the best way to complete the PMP application process

Great thing about this online forums is that - you will find participants on these forums who have already finished the entire study process for the exam and/or PMP’s who have successfully passed the exam. One of the major reasons these PMPs spend their time on these forums is to help aspiring PMPs become successful so that they too can use these skills to give back to their local communities.

The PMP application process can be very tedious and time-consuming and is probably the most difficult part of the entire certification. Forum members will give advice on the best way to complete the process, sometimes by providing templates and tools to make this process easy for you. You will find expert advice on how to properly complete the PMP application process.

Preparing for the PMP Exam – Find some “Do’s and Don’ts”

Find advice on how to study for the PMP exam in online forums. There is a wealth of information on these forums about specific study tools such as PMP Exam Prep courses, books and guides, audio/visual aids, tips and tricks, and the all-important exam simulation practice questions. You will learn exactly what happens from the moment you walk into the exam room until you leave - from the point of view of someone who has actually been there. PMPs could also suggest the best time to take the exam, as well as letting you know the specific “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of effective exam preparation.

As you can see, there are many benefits to participating in PMP Exam Prep internet forums that will help you prepare for the exam, take the exam and successfully pass the exam in your first attempt by preparing yourself using above tips. You must be wondering as to - how can these forums can help you after you have successfully passed the exam and obtained your PMP certificate from the Project Management Institute (PMI)? By actively participating in these forums during the exam preparation stage, you would have established and grown your Project Management network base, which will lead you to many opportunities - both personal and professional growth in the discipline of Project Management.

Conclusion…

We are sure and it is obvious that by joining a PMP Exam Prep internet forum you will save both time and money, avoid frustration, and be thoroughly prepared for successfully passing the PMP Exam. Then it will be your turn as a PMP and an internet forum participant to pass on your knowledge and experience to future generations of aspiring Project Managers.

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