did you find the PMP useful, I was thinking of going for it? By useful I mean did you gain any knowledge from it versus just looks nice on resume?
It’s been helpful to some extent. I won’t say it changed my life completely, but it’s had some positive impact on my work. I have an undergrad business degree, so most of the concepts weren’t exactly foreign to me.
Getting PMP certification is like learning a language in high school. You’re taught a very formalized version, but you have to learn the common colloquialisms on your own. The Project Management Institute’s guide book teaches you how to do EVERYTHING EXACTLY THEIR WAY, but expects you to only use a subset of what they teach on each project. They even say in the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) guide that the ‘good practices’ they outline "does not mean the knowlege described should always be applied uniformly to all projects; the organization and/or project management team is responsible for determining what is appropriate for any given project."
The biggest items I took from my PMP training were stakeholder management and identification, scope/time/cost analysis, risk management, and working in a matrixed organization.
If you’re considering getting your PMP certification, you need to be able to document previous experience at least contributing to a project (and really, almost anything can be considered a ‘project’), take some classes, and you have to sit for an exam. A suggestion: Your study and prep time for learning exactly what PMI will test you on should be 6-8 months to allow you to have some amount of a normal life.
I did it in 3 months. 5-6 hours a day. 7 days a week. In the week before the test, it was 12 hours a day. That was really fucking miserable and stupid. If you’re going to do it, take your time.
If you’re seriously looking into it, send me a message and I’ll tell you what books I read to prepare.
Also, you get to put PMP on your business card. It’s one ‘i’ away from being awesome.