This post is for sharing my lessons learned while successfully obtaining Project Management Institute (PMI)’s most recent and coveted Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)® credential.
Journey To Obtain PfMP® Credential
#3. Got the audit package endorsed by one of my portfolio sponsor & supervisor (COO) and Fedex'ed it to PMI on 06/19. Package reached PMI on 06/24 and same day got the mail stating that i have cleared the audit process and moved to first evaluation, the Panel review
#1. Exam is 4 1/2 hours long so make sure you are mentally preparing yourself to sit for that long and devoting with full concentration. Even though this seems very obvious but professionals who have been managing portfolios would have empathy that in our professional daily life, which is packed with meetings, presentations, submitting/reviewing proposals, training & mentoring resources, one seldom gets an opportunity to sit in front of system for that long and not to mention answering bunch (read 170) of questions while concentrating on which answer(s) to eliminate as more often than not, more than one answer can be applicable.
#2. One can answer some questions based on their practical Portfolio experience but since not all Portfolios are managed ideally the way it is described in the The Standard for Portfolio Management, its important to think from what is described in the The Standard for Portfolio Management while answering the questions in the exam
#3. Its important to understand all process groups, knowledge areas, processes & their respective ITTOs (Input, Tools & Techniques and Outputs). Expect some direct questions and some indirect questions on ITTOs.
---Will be sharing my Study Aid on ITTOs in a separate post---
#4. Expect few questions that are related to analyzing which Portfolio component to select or not to select (NPV, IRR, Weighted Ranking & Scoring, etc.)
#5. Personally I did not get many questions from A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) or The Standard for Program Management but understand from other's experiences that folks did see questions referred from the two standards.
#6. As stated in #1 there are few questions for which more than one answer could be applicable so key is to eliminate the least applicable (or select the most applicable). In my case, answering first few questions made me feel uncomfortable as I was not 100% sure of which is most applicable answer so 'marked' the questions. After marking initial questions, I got into the mode and was able to answer subsequent questions with more ease. Having said that, I did continue marking questions and would have marked ~35% (~60) of my questions.
#7. Personally I always recommend taking a break to rejuvenate, so after finishing answering 170 questions while marking ~60 of them, I took a break. It took me little less than 2 hours to finish answering 170 questions so i could afford a break. After the break, I went through all 'marked' questions and now could think more clearly. It helped me to change answers to almost ~10 questions and feeling more confident on the answers. This time I took more time to go over 'marked' questions and finally finished my exam in 3 hours time.
#8. To keep things simple for me, I always rely on notes and tend to joggle down points so that I do not need to strain myself while trying to remember. So in the first 10 minutes, while tutorial was running, used scribbling pad provided to me in prometric center to joggle down all ITTOs mapped with processes & respective KA's
#9. Its important to understand the difference between Strategic Plan, Portfolio Charter, Portfolio Roadmap, Portfolio Management Plan, Portfolio and Portfolio Process Assets. In practical we do use in our Portfolios all of them in some form but sometimes there are overlaps, so its important to understand how The Standard for Portfolio Management clearly segregates their respective inputs, contents and timing of updates.
#10. My personal experience about PfMP® exam was that I found it easier than any of my previous exam. This was maybe because I now have a sense of understanding of what PMI recommends in terms of standards and how the layout of questions would be.
1. Pfmp® Handbook
2. The Standard for Portfolio Management, Third Edition
3. The Standard for Program Management, Third Edition
4. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, Fifth Edition
5. PfMP Examination Content Outline
6. PfMP® Exam Practice Tests and Study Guide
7. Managing Change In Organizations
8. Business Driven Project Portfolio Management: Conquering the Top 10 Risks
9. Mastering Project Portfolio Management
10. Managing Change in Organizations (PMI Article)
11. Portfolio Risk Management (PMI Article)
12. Agile Processes A Unifying Approach for the Future of Projects (PMI Article)
13. Do's and Don'ts for Portfolio Managers (PMI Article)
14. The Power of Portfolio Management (PMI Article)
15. Strategic Portfolio Management Governance Financial Discipline
16. Unified Portfolio Management Model Paper
17. Use PfM to maximize IT spending
18. PfM keeps IT aligned with business strategy
19. Portfolio Kanban
20. Priority Systems Glossary
21. Efficient Frontier
22. Using project portfolio management to improve business value (IBM Article)
23. Project Selection and Portfolio Management
24. Enterprise Risk Management
25. Project Portfolio Risk Management
Sample Exam References
1. PfMP® Exam Practice Tests and Study Guide