I challenged the PMP exam without having any project management training. I just studied the exam questions like I studied for any other public exams. When I got my PMP credential, I joked that I don’t have any practical knowledge of a good project manager, but I sure can talk like one.
After many painful project schedule slips, my company finally realize the importance of project management and sudden jump on the project management bandwagon. Everyone who has to lead something in the next project is sent to take a 2 days project management training off-side in a nice hotel. Breakfast and lunch are include but too bad that we have to pay for our own parking.
The training is really useful, even to a certified PMP like myself. The training is not sitting there all day long and flipping through some boring slides. We learn program management through a series of exercise designed to get us familiar with project management concept and introduce us to some best practices. We are divided up into 4 groups and were told to come up with a mock project to work on. Other groups simply use their existing project for the exercise. My group is more creative, we come up with a fake project which trying to get a better replacement for a tool everyone hates. It turns out using a fake project is better than a real project. It frees us from distraction from personal bias or irrelevant technical details. We can focus on the project management process without worrying about the work piled ahead and have some fun.
Everyone got a certificate after completing the two days training, but I am the only person in the class care about that piece of paper. I can use the training for the continue education requirement for my PMP credential renewal. I get 16 PDU credits and the company pays for them. This training spent most time on the planning phase. I wish the company will give us another training for project tracking and monitor phase. Not only we have problems in planning the project right, but also we have problems keeping track of our progress through out the project. I can also earn more PDU credits and have more free lunch!