Getting a Return on your PMP® Investment

24 February, 2017

If you use software packages, you will have noticed that these things get updated frequently. While it’s great to see bugs getting fixed, I often despair at the way the user interface seems to change with each upgrade. Just as you get used to foibles of the current version, along comes an update and everything has moved. So you go from being an expert user to a stumbling novice overnight.

I often think that the Project Management Institute (PMI)® has software developers on its team, because it regularly updates its standards and, because we are a Registered Education Provider, Velopi has to update all its training materials and its simulated exams when this happens. It is a major undertaking.

But it is just the nature of the beast. The Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) would be completely irrelevant today if it was not for the regular updates. Similarly, the need to study the area of project management in order to earn professional development units (PDUs) makes sense. If you got your PMP® back in 2000, the world has moved on since.

So the fact that the PMI® has announced that the sixth edition of the PMBOK® Guide will be published in Q3 of this year and that the PMP® exam will be based on this from Q1 of 2018 means that Velopi faces another major overhaul of its training materials.

But we are not the only ones affected by this. If you have taken a PMP® exam preparation course and never got around to sitting the exam, time is running out for you to get a return on your training investment. Realistically, if you do not attempt the PMP® exam this year, you will have to take another course next year and, like a software package, have to become familiar with many new ideas.

Velopi is only too aware of the difficulties involved in holding down a demanding project management role and trying to study for the PMP® at the same time. The late musician, John Lennon, must have experienced something similar when he wrote that life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

But, if you still have the PMP® exam in the back of your mind, Velopi is here to help. We are running a two day refresher course in both Dublin and Cork this June. This will be just what you need to kick-start your enthusiasm for the project and get you over the line before the exam changes next year.

The Dublin course is scheduled for the 26th and 27th of June, while the Cork course is earlier on the 7th and 8th of June. Even if you are not interested in such a course, please contact us for advice on a study plan to get you over the line – maybe a window is opening up in your schedule and you can now find the time to prepare. Remember, our simulator is still available to you, if you took one of our courses in the past.

Having already gained a sound understanding of the fifth edition of the PMBOK® Guide, it would be a shame not to capitalize on this. From next year, there will be three new project management processes to cope with (although they will have retired one of the existing ones). There will also be longer lists of inputs and outputs, because the generic terms “Project Management Plan” and “Project Documents” are now expanded to show which parts of the project management plan are being used, as well as which project documents.

There are also subtle changes. For instance, do you remember the four different types of risk response for threats? Sure you do: avoid, accept, transfer, mitigate. Well, in the sixth edition there is a new one – escalate. Similarly, if it took a bit of thought to come to grips with the power/interest grid in stakeholder analysis, are you ready for the stakeholder cube, which is a three-dimensional version of the grid? I will not trouble you with the changes made to quality, but those seven basic quality tools are gone, replaced with a similar, but different list.

We also recommend that you organize this so that you schedule the exam before the end of the year. There is likely to be a rush at this time, as people start to panic with the changeover approaching.

So, please get in touch – we are here to help.

By Velopi Seamus Collins

 

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