Friday, September 24, 2010

My Lessons Learned for PgMP Exam

Following is my lessons learned documented for PgMP exam and its preparation

Referred Material
1. Standard for Program Management V2 (I studied multiple times and documented some quick notes out of it, which I referred every now and then )

2. Standard for Program Management V1 (First couple chapters and touched upon how Quality is defined in it)

3. PMBOK V4 (especially concentrated on time, cost and risk)

4. ESI - Practice Test and Study Guide
ESI Practice guide and sample questions with 120 (20 in each domain) and two 170 practice tests are very good for you to revise everything that is there in SPM V2. So if you are getting 90% above in all those questions, you are very good at SPM concepts and thats a huge win. You will not get direct questions but you will be better equipped to eliminate the noises and arrive at the right answer

5. UCertify - Bought the license for the exam
UCertify questions are more PMP specific and are more on PMBOK V4. I did not get any question even remotely close to their questions. In my opinion spending $95 bucks is not worth. You anyways get 35 sample questions if you download UCertify and if you buy license you get all together 225 (Including 35 sample)

6. I had prepared some note and formulas earlier while preparing for PMP and just referred them
(Ref &

I would suggest that you make sure to be scoring at least 85% plus in practice tests before attempting the real exam
1. As others shared in their LLs for PgMP exam, I experienced the same that nothing prepares you for the exam then what your program management experience has already taught you.

2. PgMP exam is different from PMP. For PMP we have so many sample questions that we have more probability of getting similar question but thats not the case with PgMP. But having said, practice as many questions as possible to prepare for the real one.

3. Even though some folks mentioned not to memorize ITTOs but I found that it helped. I did not really memorize the ITTOs but kind of made a memory map of processes and their ITTOs by relating with one of my programs.

4. I got at least 4 -5 questions from SPM V1 but again it was not difficult for me to figure them out (Since we do not know which answers were correct, I can only have my best guess for it)

5. There were at least 6 - 8 questions that were screen full. Read such questions well because I got at least 2 questions based on the same scenario

6. I got some empirical questions. Couple were very straight forward but few were tricky. I do not think I could figure out the tricky ones since I had never encountered them any where either when preparing for PMP or PgMP

7. It helps to understand relationship between Program Lifecycle and Benefits Management. Remember not to expect straight forward questions but its not difficult to answer if you understand the concept well

I also would like to add that I did study and referred other books too prior to starting with SPM. Books included

1. Dr. James T Brown's 'The Handbook for Program Management'
**(My Favorite and highly recommended one for those interested in Program Management)

I found Dr. James T Brown's book very helpful in not only brushing my knowledge but also getting insights on program management otherwise not taught by experience

Besides the above books I also found referring PMI standards useful including
2. Project Risk Management - Not necessary but good to refer
3. Earned Value Management - Not necessary but good to refer
4. Practice Standard Scheduling - Not necessary but good to refer
5. Project Configuration Management - Not necessary but good to refer

I wish all the very best to all the aspiring PgMPs