The PMP® Exam is Changing: Here’s What You Need to Know

Please note that the launch of the new PMP Exam has been delayed until June 30, 2020

 

By J. LeRoy Ward | Executive Vice President of Enterprise Solutions, IIL 

In June 2019, the Project Management Institute (PMI)® announced that significant changes are coming to the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam. In this post, I will provide important information about the new PMP® Exam and answer the following questions:

  1. When is the PMP Exam changing?
  2. Why is the PMP Exam changing?
  3. What is changing in the new PMP Exam?
  4. How do I prepare for the new PMP Exam?

Having been active in PMP Exam prep for many years, the first question almost everyone has when they hear about PMP Exam changes is WHEN? So, let’s start with that one.

When is the PMP Exam changing?

The new PMP Exam will make its debut on December 16, 2019.

The last day to sit for the current version of the PMP Exam is December 15, 2019.

There is no overlapping period of time when both versions of the exam will be available. The current version is available through December 15th and the new version starts December 16th.

So, if you have already started preparing for the current exam, my suggestion is to complete and file your PMP application ASAP. Remember, if you file online (and most folks do), PMI® has five calendar days to review your application and notify you if you’re eligible to sit for the exam. The five days is moot if you’re selected for an audit (you have a very low chance of that happening).

By submitting your application ASAP and being notified that you’re eligible to sit for the exam, you will be able to immediately contact the Pearson VUE testing center of your choice and (hopefully) select the date and time when you prefer to take the exam.

Be advised that whenever the PMP Exam changes, there’s always a mad rush to take it which can cause problems securing the center, date and time you want. In any given month, there are roughly three thousand folks earning the PMP credential. In the months leading up to a change, that number can be much larger because people want to take the exam before it changes, AND SO DO YOU! Don’t delay — apply and sit for the exam ASAP.

Now that we know when it’s changing, let’s see why.

Why is the PMP Exam changing?

Many folks ask, why does PMI have to change the exam? Can’t they leave well-enough alone? The answer is it has to be changed because PMI has published a new PMP Examination Content Outline[i] (the “Outline”).

What’s the reason for the new outline? Well, PMI’s professional certification examination development process is accredited against the internationally recognized ISO 1704[ii] Standard, as well as other industry best practices. A key component of these standards is that PMI is directed to use a Role Delineation Study (RDS) as the basis for the creation of the examination. Basically, PMI identified, through a wide range of surveys, the knowledge, tasks and skills required to perform to the industry-wide standard in the role of project manager. That content is contained in the Outline which is used as a basis for, and validates the outcome of, the PMP Exam. Each question on the PMP Exam is tracked to at least two academic references (which PMI does not reveal) and to the Outline. This is why it is such an important document.

The current Outline[iii], published in June 2015, includes the five domains of Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing. PMI also identified forty-two tasks across all five domains that competent project managers perform. The Outline also provides a “blueprint” for the exam in that it identifies the percentage of questions in each domain that will appear on the PMP Exam. The June 2015 version is the one tested on the PMP Exam through December 15, 2019.

PMI updates the Outline every four to six years to determine what has changed in the world of work for project managers. After all, in this world of ours, things can change, and change rapidly, and project management is no different.

As a result of redoing the RDS, PMI identified significant changes and trends in our profession that are not addressed in the current PMP Exam. So, in order to ensure that the PMP credential remains relevant, accurate, and current, PMI had to make changes to the Outline, and many of these changes have notable differences with A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition.

You see, the volunteer taskforce involved with the Outline were not bound by the PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition. This taskforce was charged with outlining critical job tasks of individuals who lead and direct projects based on their experience; information which can go beyond that which is covered in the PMBOK® Guide. Based on their work, the taskforce identified three domains and thirty-five tasks that competent project managers are performing today. It is the June 2019 version of the Outline that will be tested on the PMP Exam starting on December 16, 2019.

Now that we know the when and the why, let’s look at what is changing in the PMP Exam.

What is changing in the new PMP Exam?

The new PMP Exam will focus on the three NEW domains of People, Process, and Business Environment.

People: This domain is all about leading a team, including supporting, empowering, training, and building a team. Managing conflict and collaborating with stakeholders are also important components of this domain.

Process: Just think of the ten knowledge areas in the PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition. That’s what this domain covers, as well as a few other topics.

Business Environment: Covering the link between projects and organizational strategy, this domain also includes compliance and organizational change management.

Below is the blueprint for the new PMP Exam that starts on December 16, 2019.

new pmp exam blueprint

But changing from five domains and forty-two tasks to three domains and thirty-five tasks represent only one aspect of the change. The new Outline also says about half of the examination will represent predictive project management approaches and the other half will represent agile or hybrid approaches.”[iv] You read that correctly: half the exam, 50% of the questions, will be on agile and hybrid approaches!

This is a major change not just to the PMP Exam, but to the PMP credential itself. PMI is making a major bet that agile is not just here to stay; it represents a significant shift in the way projects are, or should be, managed. And in order to earn the PMP credential, PMP candidates are expected to know all about agile.

But does a PMP candidate need to have experience using agile, as well? After all, the questions on the current PMP Exam are written such that one needs to have experience in managing projects to answer many, if not most, of them correctly according to PMI. If the PMP Exam is changing, will the PMP application change as well?

Here’s what PMI writes on its website:

“The PMP application will also change in December, but if you submit your application before then, please continue using the current application. We’ll share more information here as it becomes available.”

As of today, we will just have to wait and see how PMI will change the eligibility requirements for the new PMP Exam. Visit PMI’s website regularly to monitor any and all changes.

How to prepare for the new PMP Exam

As I recommend above, if you can sit for the current PMP Exam, do it. In this business, the known is always better than the unknown. However, if you can’t sit for the current exam, don’t worry. You simply have to develop an effective approach to learn the material you need to know to pass the exam.

If you’re a “do-it-yourself” kind of person, you need to obtain and study a minimum of three publications. They are:

  1. The new PMP Exam Content Outline
  2. The PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition
  3. The Agile Practice Guide

(You will receive the Agile Practice Guide when you purchase the PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition.) You can also supplement your reading with online practice exams and other publications which you can find through a simple online search.

But if you’d like help using a more structured approach, which is what I’ve recommended for many years, we at IIL have developed a PMP Certification Prep course that will help get you ready. We offer this course in three modalities: instructor-led, virtual classroom, and on-demand (video based). The course includes:

  • 35 hours of education (required for the PMP application)
  • PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition and the Agile Practice Guide[vi]
  • Access to IIL’s Project Management IQ (1,000 PMP Exam practice questions)
  • IIL’s PMP Certification Prep course workbook
  • Access to IIL’s on-demand Agile and Hybrid Foundation course
  • Supplemental readings and reference materials

Regardless of your study approach, we stand ready to assist in helping you prepare for, and successfully pass, the PMP Exam.

Let us know how we can help. Email us at learning@iil.com or visit our website at www.iil.com.

Project Management Institute, PMI, Project Management Professional, PMP, and PMBOK are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

About the Author
J. LeRoy Ward (PMP, PgMP, PfMP, CSM, CSPO) is IIL’s Executive Vice President of Enterprise Solutions and a recognized thought leader, consultant and adviser in project, program and portfolio management. With more than 39 years of experience in the field, his insights, perspectives and advice have been sought by hundreds of companies and government agencies around the world.

 


[i] Project Management Professional (PMP)® Examination Content Outline, Project Management Institute, June 2019

[ii] ISO 17024: Conformity Assessment-General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification of Persons.

[iii] Project Management Professional (PMP)® Examination Content Outline, Project Management Institute, June 2015

[iv] Project Management Professional (PMP)®< Examination Content Outline, Project Management Institute, June 2019, p. 2


Can the Words "Innovation" and "Project Management" Be Used In The Same Sentence?

By Harold Kerzner, Ph.D. | Senior Executive Director for Project Management, IIL

INTRODUCTION

Companies need growth for survival.

Companies cannot grow simply through cost reduction and reengineering efforts.

Companies are recognizing that brand loyalty accompanied by a higher level of quality does not always equate to customer retention unless supported by some innovations.

According to management guru Peter Drucker, there are only two sources for growth: marketing and innovation [Drucker, 2008]. Innovation is often viewed as the Holy Grail of business and the primary driver for growth. Innovation forces companies to adapt to an ever-changing environment and to be able to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

Companies are also aware that their competitors will eventually come to market with new products and services that will make some existing products and services obsolete, causing the competitive environment to change. Continuous innovation is needed, regardless of current economic conditions, to provide a firm with a sustainable competitive advantage and to differentiate themselves from their competitors. The question, of course, is “How do we manage innovation needs?”

INNOVATION AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT

For years, there has been a debate as to whether the words “innovation” and “project management” should be used in the same sentence. Some researchers argue that project management and innovation management should be treated as separate disciplines.

Innovation requires:

  • An acceptance of significant risk, more so than in traditional project management
  • A great deal of uncertainty
  • A focus on strategic goals and possibly no business case exists
  • Unknown constraints and assumptions that continuously change
  • Decision making in an unfamiliar landscape
  • A creative mindset
  • Collaboration across all enterprise organizational boundaries
  • Significant interfacing with customers in every market segment
  • A different leadership style than with traditional project management
  • A set of tools different than what is being taught in traditional project management courses

Some tools typically used when managing innovation include:

  • Design thinking
  • Storytelling
  • Decision-making flow charts
  • Value proposition
  • Business model thinking
  • Wall of ideas with post-it notes
  • Ideation
  • Prototyping, perhaps continuously

Innovation management, in its purest form, is a combination of the management of innovation processes and change management. It refers to products, services, business processes, and accompanying transformational needs, whereby the organization must change the way they conduct their business. The change can be incremental or radical.

Project management practices generally follow the processes and domain areas identified in the Project Management Institute (PMI)® A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). Strategic innovation follows other processes such as strategizing, entrepreneurship, changing and investing [de Witt & Meyer, 2014].

But now, companies are realizing that innovation strategy is implemented through projects. Simply stated, we are managing our business as though it is a series of projects. Project management has become the delivery system for innovation activities, but the integration is complex and varies with the type of innovation project.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT IS A BUSINESS DELIVERY SYSTEM

Today’s project managers are seen more so as managing part of a business than managing just a project. Project managers are now treated as market problem-solvers and expected to be involved in business decisions as well as project decisions. End-to-end project management is now coming of age. In the past, project managers were actively involved mainly in just project execution with the responsibility of providing a deliverable or an outcome. Today, with end-to-end project management, the project manager is actively involved in all life-cycle phases including idea generation and product commercialization.

For decades, most project managers were trained in traditional project management practices and were ill-equipped to manage innovation projects. Today, attempts are being made to integrate all of this into a single profession, namely innovation project management (IPM).

PROJECT MANAGEMENT LITERATURE

There exists a plethora of literature on project management. Unfortunately, most of the literature focuses on linear project management models with the assumption that “one size fits all.” While this may hold true in some industries and for some projects, the concept of “one size fits all” does not apply to projects involving innovation. Innovation varies from industry to industry, and even companies within the same industry cannot come to an agreement on how innovation management should work.

The situation gets even worse when companies try to use traditional project management for business processes such as business model innovation, where you have the greatest degree of risk and uncertainty, where traditional risk management planning will not work, and where a great deal of flexibility is needed for decision making. Different project management approaches, many requiring a higher level of flexibility, will be dictated by the level of technology, the amount of product versus product changes, and whether the impact is expected to disrupt the markets.

Project managers need flexibility in their ability to select the appropriate tools for their projects and customize the processes to fit the needs of the projects. This holds true even for those projects that do not require innovation. The future will be flexible project management models such as those used in Agile and Scrum projects.

“Managers need to recognize the type of project at the start, resist institutional pressure to adapt traditional ‘rational’ approaches to all projects and apply an appropriate approach – one tailored for the type of project” [Lenfle & Loch, 2010]. Traditional project management does not distinguish between types of projects. Articles are appearing in literature that propose a methodology to classify projects to guide the design of a suitable project management model [Geraldi et al., 2011].

We have learned from Agile and Scrum that flexible project management approaches are necessary for many projects. This same thinking will be required for innovation projects. We will need different tools and different skill sets than most project managers currently use. 

Have a question for Dr. Kerzner? Leave your comment below.


About the Author
Harold Kerzner (M.S., Ph.D., Engineering, and M.B.A) is IIL's Senior Executive Director for Project Management. He is a globally recognized expert on project management and strategic planning, and the author of many best-selling textbooks including Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling and Project Management 2.0. Dr. Kerzner has previously taught project management and business administration at Baldwin-Wallace University, engineering at the University of Illinois and business administration at Utah State University. He obtained his industrial experience at Thiokol Corporation where he held both program management and project engineering responsibilities on a variety of NASA, Air Force, Army, Navy and internal R&D programs.

REFERENCES

Drucker, P. F. (2008). The Essential Drucker. Reissue Edition, Harper Business, New York.

Witt, B. de, & Meyer, R. (2014). Strategy: An international perspective, Cengage Learning EMEA, Andover.

Lenfle, M. & Loch, C. (2010). Lost roots: How project management came to emphasize control over flexibility novelty, California Management Review, 53 (1), 32 - 55.

Geraldi, J. G., Maylor, H. & Williams, T. (2011). Now, let’s make it really complex (complicated): A systematic review of the complexities of projects. International

Journal of Operations & Production Management, 31 (9), 966 - 990.

PMBOK and PMI are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.


We Asked People Why They Earned the PMP® Credential

By J. LeRoy Ward,  PMP, PgMP, PfMP, CSM, CSPO   |   Executive Vice President – Enterprise Solutions, IIL 

Why do people earn the Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential? Is it because, as the Project Management Institute (PMI)® reported in its 10th Annual Salary Survey, that PMPs earn 23% more than those who don’t hold the certificate? Perhaps.

Is it because it is the most ubiquitous and desired credential on earth, with PMI Today® reporting that as of April 30, 2018, there were 871,893 active PMPs?  Maybe.

Or is it because, as PMI® suggests, it is not based on any specific methodology and it can be easily transferred between industries, market segments, and geographic locations? Is it because  PMI conducts in-depth studies to ensure the PMP reflects current skills, knowledge and best practices; and, the credential encourages professional growth through a continuing credentialing requirement? Of course.

But to understand why people earn the credential, we need to ask them. That’s just what I did.

A while ago, I posted the following question in one of the many LinkedIn groups I belong to: What do you think is the main benefit you realized as a result of earning the PMP? 

Here’s a selection of responses from real people:

“Was [a] culmination of proof to myself that I have the knowledge to do the work”
“Don’t forget the ongoing education (requirement). There’s a degree of commitment to the PMP that adds to its validity.”
“It changed my perspective of handling projects. It gives a structured way to approach pretty much everything we do.”
“To stay competitive in the job market. Period.”
“…the certification…will…get rid of various addictions, to recycle and learn the practices another way.”
“Not all carpenters are alike. The certification gives those hiring you a comfort level that you’re serious about your profession.”
“..when I prepared for the certification, I learned about some topics …I didn’t know about. Gave me self-confidence..in spite of certifications being considered ‘a paper’ for some clients.”
“The greatest value for me was learning a more systematic approach than the way the Army was doing things.”
“Wanted to shape a project culture in the company and talking all with the same language.”
“The PMP gave me a guide to follow.”
“..most of all, it gave me the confidence to look for a new job. And of course, it helped me get that next job….and the next.”
“The association with PMI chapters brings greater value for your career.”

Based on all the responses I received, I can say with confidence that there are two primary reasons real people earn the PMP:

  • They see it as a challenge to meet the highest levels of professional standards
  • They want greater access to jobs and higher salaries

You can’t blame them, can you? Look at it another way—can 871,893 people be wrong?

Ready to earn your PMP? IIL can help. Learn more about our PMP Certification Prep course or request a free consultation

PMP, PMI and PMI Today are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. 


J. LeRoy Ward is a highly respected consultant and adviser to Global Fortune 500 Corporations and government agencies in the areas of project, program, and portfolio management. With more than 38 years of government and private sector experience, LeRoy specializes in working with senior executives to understand their role in project and program sponsorship, governance, portfolio management and the strategic execution of projects and programs.


What is Project Management?

By J. LeRoy Ward,  PMP, PgMP, PfMP, CSM, GWCPM, SCPM   |   Executive Vice President – Enterprise Solutions, IIL 

What do the Panama Canal and the development of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner have in common?

At first glance, you might say “absolutely nothing.” But, they have a lot in common. Both were the outcomes of projects. And although vastly different in every respect, the Panama Canal, and the Boeing 787 share two characteristics:

  1. Each is unique. There’s only one Boeing 787 Dreamliner and there’s only one Panama Canal.
  2. Each is the result of a temporary endeavor. In short, each had a definite beginning and an end.

Once completed, of course, the Panama Canal became operational, and once developed, the Boeing 787 went into service with many more being manufactured as I write this. In short, the design and construction of the Panama Canal, and the design and manufacture of the Boeing 787 were projects.

And these projects were led by competent and highly trained individuals, appropriately named Project Managers, who applied knowledge, skills, techniques, and tools, to all the project activities to produce the end result that met the requirements. That’s called Project Management.

Let’s get a bit more formal. According to the Project Management Institute’s (PMI)® A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), project management is defined as "the application of knowledge skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements."

Projects have been around for thousands of years. Ever see a picture of the Pyramids of Giza? That’s a project. How about the Great Wall of China? Yup, another project. What about the International Space Station? You guessed it…another project.

Projects come in all shapes and sizes. Have you planned a summer vacation lately? Well, that’s a project. And, how about all those home “projects” that take up our evenings and weekends? The name says it all, doesn’t it?

What are you doing at work these days? Are you working with a group of folks to get a particular product to market, developing a new app, or launching a marketing campaign? If you are, you’re working on a project. Projects are everywhere.

As projects become larger and more complex we break them down into various phases such as Initiating, Planning, Executing and so forth. Every industry has their project “life cycle” as it’s called. We do so because it’s a lot easier to estimate and control our work when we break it down into pieces, rather than trying to grapple with the whole thing at once.

We might even use certain sophisticated tools to help us schedule our project, or analyze risk to avoid trouble. All these activities are part of project management.

If the work you’re doing conforms to the two characteristics above, guess what, you’re working on a project, whether you call it that or not. And, the activities you’re engaged in to get the job done successfully is called project management. Finally, if you’re “leading the charge," you’re the Project Manager.

So, welcome to the wonderful world of projects and project management. You’re in good company because there are millions more just like you - people who are working on projects every day, and may not have knowledge of formal project management methods. Take the next step by exploring our other blog posts on Project Management, and enrolling in introductory Project Management course from IIL.

New to Project Management? Start with a Project Management Fundamentals course from IIL

J. LeRoy Ward is a highly respected consultant and adviser to Global Fortune 500 Corporations and government agencies in the areas of project, program and portfolio management. With more than 38 years of government and private sector experience, LeRoy specializes in working with senior executives to understand their role in project and program sponsorship, governance, portfolio management and the strategic execution of projects and programs.


Why Earn a Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification?

By Ed Lively, PMP, PRINCE2 Practitioner, MCITP   |   IIL Senior Consultant and Trainer

About the PMP® Certification

The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is the most recognized and important industry certification for project managers. It doesn’t matter what organization you are currently employed with, PMPs can be found to be leading projects in virtually every industry and every country worldwide. The PMP certification is truly global.

According to the most current study on project management salaries from the Project Management Institute (PMI)®, Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey, Ninth Edition, the average annual salary for PMPs is $111,969. This is $20,000 or 22% more than non-certified Project Managers in the U.S.

Another PMI® study, Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap 2017-2027, indicates that in the next decade there will be 2.2 million new project-oriented roles each year through 2027. The analysis in 2012 found that the future demand for project management jobs would grow to 52.4 million by 2020, but by early 2017 the number of project management jobs had already reached 65.9 million.

Other than being a globally acknowledged certification and the potential to significantly increase salaries, the PMP certification also offers benefits like:

  • Expanding your market reach and scope
  • Job opportunities
  • Greater visibility to recruiters
  • Security even in economic downturns

For current employers, the benefits of PMP-certified Project Managers far outweighs the cost. In PMI’s 2017 Pulse of the Profession: Success Rates Rise…Transforming the high cost of low performance, the executive summary states:

[trx_quote style=”1″]For the first time in five years, more projects are meeting original goals and business intent and being completed within budget. There has also been a significant decline in dollars lost. Organizations are wasting an average of $97 million for every $1 billion invested, due to poor project performance—that’s a 20 percent decline from one year ago.[/trx_quote]

While this is a move in the right direction, organizations still have a long way to go. The percentage of organizations providing training and development has been stable for the past five years and this is encouraging. According to the 2017 Pulse of the Profession:

[trx_quote style=”1″]Three in five organizations provide training on project management tools and techniques, and just under half have a formal process to develop project manager competency and a defined career path for project managers.[/trx_quote]

Only one in three organizations reports high benefits realization maturity, the new measure of true project success.

In 1994, the Standish Group’s Chaos Report indicated that the number one reason for project failure was inaccurate requirements gathering (this report continues to be quoted partially because the 2015 Chaos report changed its definition of success and the factors that contributed to success.) In 2017, PMI looking at the problem globally, reported that the largest contributing factor in project failure was a change in an organization’s priorities.

However organizations view the reasons for project failure, it is clear that they still have a long way to go to improve project performance … well-trained and qualified Project Managers is the way forward.

How to get PMP certified

  1. Fulfill Eligibility PMP Requirements

Begin by downloading the Project Management Professional (PMP) Handbook from:

http://www.pmi.org/~/media/PDF/Certifications/handbooks/project-management-professional-handbook-pmp.ashx .

This will provide you with the most current prerequisites for the certification. Currently, if you have a bachelor’s degree or global equivalent, you will need 3 years (36 months) of unique, non-overlapping professional project management experience during which at least 4,500 hours were spent leading and directing the project. In addition, you will have needed to complete 35 contact hours of formal project management education.

It is a good idea to take a training class that will prepare you for the certification exam. Some training companies offer this in a two to three day “boot camp” which may not be sufficient to adequately prepare you for the rigorous 4 hour, 200 question exam. I would suggest a minimum of a 5-day class and plan on about 40 hours of additional study to review the material before you attempt the exam.

  1. Complete the PMP Application

For purposes of ease and expediency, I suggest filling out the online application, as opposed to paper. The online application typically takes about five days to process. Once you start the application you cannot cancel it. You can save it unfinished, come back to it later, and edit any information you already entered. The application will remain active for 90 days. You will need to record your experience and education on the application. Be sure to record projects individually regardless of the number of projects you include.

One item to consider is whether you wish to join PMI as a member. The current cost of membership is $139 (USD). This will save you $150 (USD) on the exam. The current cost of taking the exam for members is $405 (USD) and for non-members it is $555 (USD). In addition to saving you on the PMP® exam cost you will receive the following benefits:

  1. You will receive a free digital copy of the PMBOK® Guide
  2. You will have access to tools and techniques
  3. You will have access to webinars and articles, and
  4. You will receive the following publications
    1. PM Network
    2. PMI Today
    3. Project Management Journal

Occasionally, an application is randomly selected to be audited. They may request copies of your diploma, signatures of supervisors attesting to your experience, copies of certificates, etc. PMI gives you 90 days to respond to their request.

Once submitted, your application remains active for one year from acceptance of the application (if audited this means once you have satisfied the audit requirements and have your application accepted.)

*In some cases, training companies will help you with the application process.

The online application can be found at:  http://www.pmi.org/certification/project-management-professional-pmp.aspx

  1. Payment

Make payment through PMI’s online certification system. Once you’ve made payment you’ll be emailed an eligibility number that you’ll use to schedule your test appointment. You will be eligible for one year and you may take the exam up to three times during that year.

  1. Schedule the Test Appointment

Go to www.prometric.com to schedule your examination. You will need your eligibility number that PMI sends you. Choose the date and location you would like to take this computer-based test. Be sure to allow enough time to adequately prepare for the exam.

  1. Exam

On the day of the exam you will need to provide two forms of identification that match exactly with the name you registered under. One of these must be a government ID with a picture. The exam has 200 questions and you will have four hours to complete the exam. Of the 200 questions, only 175 will be scored, 25 of the questions are field tested to check the statistical validity of the question before they go “live.” You will not know which 25 will not be scored. There are no scheduled breaks, but you may take a break if you wish. The clock will NOT stop.

While challenging, passing the exam will be extremely gratifying and provide you with an entry into one of the most rewarding careers of your life with unlimited potential.

When you’re ready to get PMP certified, IIL can help.

Three ways to learn:
Self-paced online – 35 hours
Live Virtual Classroom – starts October 30
5-day-Day Traditional Classroom – scheduled around the world

Register with code SOCIAL for 10% off!

[trx_infobox style=”regular” closeable=”no” icon=”inherit”]

About the Author

Ed Lively brings a wealth of experience to the project management field as a practitioner, presenter, mentor, and author. His multidimensional skills allow him to teach 52 different classes in three core subject areas: negotiation and conflict resolution skills, all aspects of project management and team leadership.[/trx_infobox]

Suggested PMI Publications:
Project Management Professional (PMP)® Handbook
Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap | 2017-2027
Pulse of the Profession: Success Rates Rise, Transforming the high cost of low performance
A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)—Fifth Edition

*Note: The PMBOK® Guide—Sixth Edition will be released September 2017. The PMP exam is changing in the first quarter of 2018. Anyone taking the exam prior to Q1 2018 will receive the current version of the exam that references the PMBOK® Guide—Fifth Edition.

PMI, PMBOK, and PMP are marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.


Capturing Project Knowledge

By: Greg Bailey

As the saying goes, “failure teaches us more than success”. But when we consider the number of projects that fail, and project managers’ struggles to capture learning as they implement projects, it seems project management may be an exception.

A 2013 survey found that 50 percent of businesses had an IT project fail during the previous year. What’s more worrying, however, is that not much changed in the following three years. A 2016 survey by the same company found that the statistics have in fact gotten worse: with 55 percent of businesses reporting they had worked on a project that had failed. While project managers are clearly working hard, there appear to be systemic problems in how common issues are being resolved across the industry.

The key differentiator is that learning from failure implies learning from our mistakes. To do that, we must identify and acknowledge challenges, obstacles and human mistakes during the project lifecycle. And to do that, we must consistently capture project knowledge. Without capturing the mistakes (as well as everything else) we encounter along the way, how can we as project management professionals learn from them?

Failure is a result of mistakes 

It is highly valuable to understand how mistakes arise, so you can then do something about them. Common issues that arise include:

  • Adding more people to a late project. When a project is behind, it’s tempting to add more people to the project to speed up completion. But filling new additions in on the situation will likely take more productivity away from existing team members than will be added by new ones.
  • Overestimating savings from new tools or methods. Productivity is rarely improved in giant leaps, no matter how many new tools or methods are adopted. It is a gradual process, yet the project aims do not reflect this.
  • Insufficient risk management. Failure to proactively assess and control the things that might go wrong with a project can cause projects to fall behind and go over budget.
  • ‘Silver-bullet syndrome’. After finding initial success, project teams latch onto a single practice or new technology and expect it to solve all their problems from there on out.
  • Switching tools mid-project. Often a result of making snap decisions, the learning curve and inevitable mistakes that accompany implementation of a new tool can void any benefits when in the middle of a project.

The power of hindsight is a wonderful thing. For many project managers, they will address any problems they encountered after the project’s completion—usually by way of a project summary. The following are the most common activities and approaches Project Management organizations use to capturing project knowledge, per the Project Management Institute (PMI)® study on Capturing the Value of Project Management through Knowledge Transfer:

  • Lessons learned/post-mortem debriefings (81%)
  • Subject matter experts (77%)
  • Copying documents to a centralized repository (72%)
  • Company Intranet (68%)

Post-project debriefings are the most common form of capturing knowledge. But the reality is, by waiting until after the dust has settled to address these problems, you risk forgetting the problems themselves or how you solved them. If project knowledge is not captured or shared, you risk ‘reinventing the wheel’ and failing to learn from (and therefore repeating) your mistakes.

Capturing project knowledge through developing a culture of continuous improvement should be the ideal goal for a project manager—where your team members will proactively decide to immediately record the lessons they’ve learned or directly mention them to you. But it will take a lot of time and dedication before this becomes a reality. So how do you get started?

Capture project knowledge at all times

  • Constant improvement

In other words don’t wait until your next project to do things differently, but act immediately and plan ahead. It requires learning lessons as you encounter them. This is difficult, especially when your focus is on the project at hand. But it can be done.

  • Documenting both the positives and negatives you and your team members experience

It is the individual responsibility of every project team member to take the opportunity to learn—documenting this as soon as possible. Project Managers and team members should participate together in sessions—both during and after projects—where these experiences are reviewed to make decisions on how to improve on future and current projects.

  • Reporting and analyzing the lessons you have learned

From your failures and your successes, are the next steps you should take to implement a culture of continuous improvement. By analyzing lessons in full, you can develop practices to improve on future projects and ensure you don’t become another failed project statistic.


Greg Bailey is Vice President WorldWide Sales at ProSymmetry, the company behind the state-of-the-art resource management tool, Tempus Resource