How he got his PMP: An interview with Jean-Luc

Apr 15, 2013 | |

Jean-Luc has been an IS/IT professional for more that 10 years. He holds a MEng in Telecommunications and a Master degree in Electrical Engineering. Since the early stages of his career, he's been delivering projects for Fortune 500 companies. He is a PMP and if not diving deep into business objectives to frame a vision or solve problem, he can be found scuba diving. He has numerous certifications from entry level to instructor in recreational and technical scuba diving

He can be found at his twitter handle @LatyrF.

Please tell us what inspired you take the PMP exam? How many months did it take you to prepare?
I found out about PMP and PMI on LinkedIn four or five years ago. This certification was nearly unknown in France (nothing on Job Ad). Two years ago, things had evolved and as I re-entered the job market I started having a closer look. Not being PMP did not stopped me to get a new job in an organisation that is promoting the PMP certification along its Project Managers. I then took the plunge and volunteer to fill an empty seat on a PMP BootCamp.

It took me a rough 7 calendar months from initiation to closing, but I really prepared during 2 to 3 months. 

Would you share your schedule for your preparation?
The BootCamp was in June or July 2012 and my original intent was to sit for the exam in September. I started studying but not on a regular base. I let myself being to polluted by my job.

I started the BootCamp without even opening the PMBOK yet after 40 contact hours, the trainer told me that I could take the exam in a month. I did not felt that confident and started really working with the PMBOK along with study materials (book and questions) from Rita and TSI.

At the end of the year, the trainer tried to convince me again that I should go for it but it was not the right time for me. When PMBOK 5th was announced I gave to myself the deadline: March it will be and March it has been :-)

What was the most difficult thing during preparation?
Getting out of work and allowing decent amount of time to concentrate and study on a regular basis. Studying fortnightly one or two process does not get you anywhere.

One must focus and study very seriously on a daily basis compressed in a short period of time after reading once the PMBOK (this can take time the 1st time to digest the content).

Any 3 tips you would give to the readers, what they should do to prepare well for PMP?

1. Read the PMBOK completely. This book has tons of information and prepares your mind to understand the concept of what PMI believes to be Project Management. Read the Appendix F summary and the Definitions in the Glossary. 
I have read it once in the way it is structured and then I have read it twice process by process in a logical order as if I was going through my project from initiating to closing.

2. You need to understand the basic concepts, knowledge areas, process groups and the Mapping to know by reading the question where you are in the project at any particular point. There is no need to memorize all of the ITTO’s but you need to know the important ones.

3. Practice, practice and practice again! Get Prep Questions and Exam simulator and test yourself. I used the questions from Rita Mulcahy. Try to score between 80 and 85% for super confidence yet below that you can still pass the exam. 

Practice also your brain dump that must include formulas, the 42 processes, the types of contracts, etc. 

How does it feel now that you are a PMP?
I can't tell why as it is a bit irrational for with my education background yet I feel proud and also more knowledgeable.

Studying the PMBOK was a unique opportunity to assess the way I was managing project with what is generally recognized as the best practices. It was also a chance to hover a bit above the dust of daily work and identity areas of improvements and/or better interest. It's also a responsibility as these 3 letters after your name set a level of expectation.

Thank you

To learn  about  how to get into project management  read my book Stepping into Project Management (Welcome to the #PMOT World). To connect with experienced Project Manager's from all over the world, get mentored or shadow for a day see the SIPM Community



Outstanding testimony! You made it and congratulations!