Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Next Exam - Here we go again

If you having been reading this blog, you will know I am keen on the PMP principle of Continuous Learning.  I like to take an exam or two every year and have done this since my university days.  I am currently working on the Project Management theme, after many years as a software developer and passing many of the Lotus and IBM Certified Developer Certifications.  I achieved the Prince2 Foundation and Practitioner Certifications in 2011 and then completed the PMI Project Management Professional exam in 2012.  In addition, I passed the ITIL Foundation exam towards the end of 2011, but I have chosen not to pursue this stream of qualification any further as I just wanted an understanding of the methodology.

I have been trying to decide on the exam choice for 2013.  Being a Project Manager, I like to have things organised and planned, both at work and at home.  I like to learn and therefore I have been trying to decide what I will achieve next.

I have just applied to the PMI to take the Risk Management Professional exam.  I am currently working for a company that place risk at the highest of priorities.  I am working with the RAID log on a daily basis and working with the project team and the business to mitigate Risks and Issues, as and when they arise. 

I am interested in Risk Management and have been since my university days, where we regularly reviewed risks when developing software.  My degree was Computing for Real-Time Systems, which was programming control systems that would be used in a number of applications, from a coffee machine to a flight control system.  The risk mitigation for a Real-Time system is realistic and is vital for each application we wrote, as you can imagine.

I have applied to the PMI and am awaiting on the outcome.  For now, I am starting to work on the risk management professional exam.  I will plan to commence the in depth learning plan in January, after a short Christmas vacation, but for now, I will plan to read and re-read the Risk Management Knowledge Area of the PMBoK guide to ensure I understand it inside out.  I want to be able to explain this section to all levels and feel that if I can explain this in plain English to my Mother, my CIO and other non-Project Management professionals, then I will have fully grasped the subject.

In addition to the PMBoK, I have purchased a book from Amazon, which is a study guide for the exam.  Hopefully this will go into a little more detail and explain some real-world examples and scenarios that will be useful in the exam.

I will then follow up this study with some exam questions, in a similar methodology to preparing for my initial PMP exam.  I found many test questions on various forums and websites, which allowed me to prepare well for the exam.  I also prepared a "Brain Dump" single sheet of paper that held details such as keywords, acronyms and important formulas.  I think I will probably use the same "brain dump" for the PMI-RMP exam.

As mentioned earlier, I have only just applied to the PMI to take the exam.  There is no question that I have enough experience in the Project Management world specifically to Risk Management.  Over the last three roles that I have worked in over the last 5 years, I have been a Development Team leader or a Project Manager, delivering over 200 projects all over EMEA to between 2000 and 25,000 users.  The projects have all varied in size, but they all have had many Risks and Issues to mitigate, accept, avoid and to transfer.  I have developed a standard RAID log, as few companies have a standard repository that can be shared with the project team and the stakeholders.

The second requirement for the exam eligibility is the official training.  For this, I have included some hours from my Prince2 course and some hours from a course that I completed called "Project Management for Software developers".  Both of these courses requirement a complete section and many references to Risks and Issues and therefore I felt that they should count to my requirement.  The final component of the official learning was my degree.  My degree was 4 years in length and constantly referred to risk mitigation, management and control for Real-Time programming.  Between the three courses, I have the required 30 hours of official training, so I hope these are acceptable to the PMI.

For now, I look forward to the Christmas break - but I will re-read the Risk Management Knowledge Area in the PMBoK guide a couple of times.  I will let you know if the PMI deem me as an acceptable candidate for the exam.  Fingers crossed.

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