Passing the PMP exam was a huge relief. It was a difficult exam in terms of the amount of information you have to process within each question. The PMBoK is fairly straight forward and even with the limited Project Management experience I have, I was able to apply each Input, Tool, Technique and Output to something that I had seen, or produced in the recent past.
Many people in the UK seem to take the Prince2 Certification, however, not many people have taken both the Prince2 and PMP. When mentioning that I had passed the PMP exam to other Project Managers in the office, they seem to be quite impressed. A Senior Project Manager colleague of mine in the US said "Wow! You passed THE BIG ONE!", when she heard that I had passed the exam.
I remember a friend reading a quote from "Lord of the Rings" to me once, which went along the lines of "There are many people who claim to have started this book, but very few who can say they have finished it". I think a similar thought when I think about the PMP exam, in that "Many people look at taking the exam, but few people actually commit to taking it". In this respect, I almost feel it is like a badge of honor.
Personally, I feel I have achieved the first stepping stone into the world of Project Management. I only have 3 years experience at the time of writing this, so I consider myself still very early in the life cycle of my Project Management career. I feel that the huge amount of knowledge gained from the two books that I read from cover to cover, plus all of the testing, forums, white papers and blog articles I used to gain the knowledge for the exam, have all given me a substantial amount of Project Management Knowledge. I know a little knowledge can be dangerous, but I know this and can use my knowledge along with the experience for the greater good.
I feel that I know the right way to do things - even if my company has it's own processes. I know how to fit these corporate processes into the PMP mindset and I was even lucky enough to help re-write the corporate Project Life-Cycle documentation in the first couple of weeks that I started.
I feel a sense of community with becoming a member of the PMP. There is a Chapter in the UK, which I will look into in the New Year. I try to communicate with the community on a social media level, including LinkedIn, Twitter and this Blog.
I still have the feeling that I have a considerable amount to learn. This is another reason that I like the PMP requirements of ensuring that each member continues to study to maintain their accreditation. I am a big believer in Education, as a previous post dictates, but to HAVE to continue my education to maintain my PMP just seems the right thing to do.
Part of the philosophy of the PMP accreditation is to "give back". This is something that I respect. I have come from a very technical background and mentored several people throughout the years, which give me a huge amount of satisfaction. I have already mentored a Project Manager, who was apparently more senior than me, but just did not have the full depth of understanding. Now, I can see that Project Manager is starting to produce some quality output, which is pleasing to see.
I will try to post on this blog, various articles to pass on my limited knowledge for you all to see. I hope some of the articles are of use.
I know I still have much to learn, but time will only help. I enjoy the fact that I have my "Badge of Honor" and I will do battle in the world of Project Management with all of my fellow PMPs.