Per PMI’s prerequisites for taking the exam, you need to have a minimum of 35 contact hours of project management education/training. How you get those hours is primarily up to you, as long as you get a solid understanding of project management practices and terminology. For example, in my case, I was enrolled in the Construction Management program at UC Berkeley. Therefore, many of the materials covered in the program satisfied the PMI requirement; and there are other options. That said, my recommendation to all PMP candidates is to obtain the training required and make sure you also learn essential project management skills. In other words, make sure those 35 hours count for more than just trying to pass an exam.
Project Management Training for PMP Certification
At PM Workshops, for example, we always incorporate case studies and exercises customized to our client’s industry. In that way, our students can effectively prepare for the exam while also learning skills that they can use in their day-to-day work. That said, whichever method you use to acquire the 35 hours, make sure that you get the full benefit of the training, which means that at a minimum, you should learn how to:
- Properly plan for the project, including how to prepare a charter and a project plan.
- Develop the baselines for your projects, which will help you monitor progress made
- Write a detailed scope of services, including acceptance criteria, which can be used as contract language to protect yourself, your organization, and the client.
- Handle conflict and nurture collaboration within your team, as well as with other key stakeholders
- Identify, analyze, and respond effectively to both negative (threats) and positive (opportunities) risks.
- Demonstrate strong leadership, which is critical not only in leading a team but is also a success factor in achieving success on your projects
- Communicate effectively and efficiently with your staff, superiors, clients, and all stakeholders involved in your project, both directly and peripherally.
- Determine whether it is best for you and your team to execute all the work yourself or outsource it, which is part of the “make-or-buy” process and a critical step in today’s economy.
Learning through case studies, real-life projects, and other practical exercises is critical in understanding the PMI approach. First, you must pass the exam since the test questions are primarily situational. Also, learning through real-life case studies will better prepare you for your work as a project manager since you will learn best practices and what pitfalls to avoid.
In conclusion, I will reemphasize the importance of getting the most you can from the 35 contact hours required to sit for the test; regardless of whether you attend a classroom-type training or attend online courses, So, when you are looking for classes, boot-camps, or other types of instruction, carefully assess what the instructors offer, their experience in the field of project management, and if they can bring that experience to the classroom coursework.