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How To Think Critically About PMP Training Providers

How To Think Critically About PMP Training Providers - by Slightlynorth via Flickr

PMP: Suitable For Me?

Hi Josh, I have Diploma with 6 years of experience. In all these 6 years, I was working as a Project Participant in project and not LEADING the project. My local PMP education provider said I am eligible for PMP. Is that true? Is 5 years of project leading experience not required?

And also my fellow friends says It will not be a good idea to start PMP right now as I have not lead any projects. Is it so?

Can you guide me?

Your friends are correct. If you “have not lead any projects” then you do not meet the minimum experience requirements.

There are no shortage of training providers out there who will lead you to believe you DO however… usually by omission rather than outright fraud.

So, it’s up to you to be smart about this.

Here are some important factors I recommend you consider when selecting a training provider. If you’ve already read The 4 Pillars of PMP Certification, some of this will be new but it won’t surprise you coming from me.

Research Prerequisites Yourself

PMP training providers will sometimes try to sell you their training, even if you do not qualify for the exam. Be very, very skeptical of them. Strictly speaking, it’s not their responsibility to be accountable for your application and what you’ve reported as valid experience.

If you don’t know what the experience requirements are, you are setting yourself up to get potentially hoodwinked. I’ve heard training providers say that building a shed in your backyard qualifies as experience managing projects. That’s bunk. “Leading and directing project tasks” doesn’t include your own projects around the house, and if you think it does, I’m amazed at your ability to rationalize such a loose interpretation. If you are actually “leading and directing project tasks” on behalf of an organization, volunteer or paid, it probably counts.

See the PMP Handbook for more on the experience requirements: http://pmStudent.com/pmp-handbook (redirects to PMI’s website link)

Check the Guarantee

Courses which guarantee you “pass or your money back” are ones I recommend you avoid.

A satisfaction guarantee is what I look for. But if they are providing a guarantee that you pass there is a change in the incentives and relationship between you as the student, and them as the training provider.

Let me explain.

A satisfaction guarantee means the provider wants you to be happy with the quality of the training itself. Even if you do not pass the exam, they want you to feel as if you have received a great deal of value and knowledge from their training. Sometimes it can get down to your native language or just that some people are better at taking tests than others.

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know that I feel the most important reason for pursuing certification is the knowledge you gain in the process. Providers with a satisfaction guarantee are setting themselves up to agree with me on this point, and I feel you’ll come out as a more well educated person AND have a great chance of passing the test.

A pass guarantee provides a whole different set of incentives. These providers want you to pass the test, get the piece of paper. Here, there’s no reason why rote memorization in a short boot-camp environment should be the norm.

They are not concerned about long-term retention, or how well you actually understand PMI’s standard/framework.

But Hey, That’s Just Me

A lot of people just want to pass the test. If you ask me, they are doing it for the wrong reasons. To get real value from the process, a long-term approach and focus on making yourself better as a professional needs to be there.

If you only care about the piece of paper, you shouldn’t follow what I’m up to. There are plenty of training providers willing to take your money and get you that piece of paper. No, if you hang around here you’ll just get frustrated with me. I’ll be harping about how you should pursue mastery instead of simply passing the PMP exam.

I’ll be telling you that you’re doing it wrong.

Over and over again.

Josh Nankivel Blog: http://pmStudent.com Training: http://learn.pmStudent.com
Recommended PMP Training: http://GetPrepCast.com

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