Lorinda Bridegroom, PMP – Starbucks was my motivation for PMP exam!

pmp-lessons-learned-lorinda-bridegroomI got caught in the change over from PMBOK edition 4 to edition 5. I started out my PMP journey with a local weekly evening class as 4th edition was retiring – it was an overwhelming experience (we did not do it that way at work). During my 2 1/2 year journey I changed work assignments three times – looking for a mature PMO using PMI standards.

Study materials I used

Thankful for postings by Jerome Rowley – he made redacted the entire 5th edition in manner that spoke to me – helped me climb out of deep dark hole.

Cornelius and Rita plus others helped me fail my way to success! I utilized mock exams in small chucks – question of day, up to groups of 25 on a daily basis – took apart the correct answers regardless if I got it right or wrong.
I also utilized different methods of learning – reading the PMBOK, videos and audio.

Along the way I kept track of my reoccurring knowledge gaps (things that just would not stick in my head) – “Googled” the topic to find it explained by a different “voice”. – this how I discovered Shiv as my last mile cheering squad!

I discovered a great YouTube – very straightforward on manually calculating the critical path, forward pass and backward pass (thank you J Scott Christianson). I found an ITTO spreadsheet created by DanP – I adjusted it for my use by comparing to the PMBOK process flows for each knowledge area (thank you DanP’s post on 9/27/2013).

Also found ITTOs posted by Shiv. I also discovered intense postings psyched by Edward Chung as he documented his PMP study journey.

As I gathered info, I stored the printed items in binders based on subject matter – wow did that help when I got annoyed with myself. Helped me re-group and wonderful resource material for that last mile.

During my long PMP journey, I earned my Six Sigma Black Belt – fantastic knowledge resource for my PMBOK understanding and the PMP test.

Also read: My 3-Step PMP Success Formula: Sriram Manian, PMP

Glad I followed through with a recommendation from Cornelius – go to the exam center the day before the exam. Even though the exam center was moved two yeas , not well marked within the college campus building. Restrooms in the immediate area were out of order. Luckily noticed another set down be hallway. I gained prior approval for my cough drops (day before and unwrapped them in front my test escort). Halfway through the test a different test room “spotter” created drama about the presence of cough drops.

Yes, I noted it in the post survey. After I passed the test, I addressed the issue with the test center manager – yes cough drops (if unwrapped) are approved. The test “spotter” that caused drama was nowhere to be found. I also got in trouble for moving my feet halfway off my sandals (even though I did not make a noise). When I sit for the Agile test I will make that the test center manager makes sure his employees know that unwrapped cough drops on a Kleenex supplied by the test center are ok.

Study advice

  • Take time to learn the material (embrace and enjoy the learning journey)
  • Don’t rely on total memorization.
  • The brain dump provided a great anxiety release to sit for the test. Yes I forgot a very simple formula during the last 29 minutes of the test – went to the brain dump sheet.

Also read: Mark Crowe, PMP – 3P for PMP Success: Preparation, Practice & Patience

Study area and motivation for PMP

…Starbucks! It was my carrot to commit to study time. I found the locations utilized by others for study time – consumed large amounts of peach green tea lemonade.

Good luck,

Lorinda Bridegroom, PMP

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