By Nereda Haque, PMP
Rule of thumb: you don't need a title of a project manager to qualify. You can also be a project team member.
Throughout the project you do the following:
At the onset you initiate it. It must have a beginning.
Then you spend time planning your project - how you are going to do it (Management areas of Integration,Scope, Time, Cost, Quality, HR, Communication, Risk, Procurement.
Then you Execute your project (You are doing what you planned - whether it is a product, a service or a result)
Then you Monitor & Control the project - make sure it conforms to the project plan. Any changes need to be approved by a change control board.
Some of people struggle with this because in business, the military or in government we do many projects; however, they are not always labeled as a project.
Here are some examples of projects (although not all inclusive - remember you do not need a title of project manager in order to report that you have done projects. Here are some helpful guidelines of some project types:
Training planning and implementation projects. Example: class of IT development training or Parks & Recreation fitness program or HR employee training, or staff training, staff awareness education programs. Boy or Girl Scouts Training. Teacher training development.
IT has lots of projects - however, daily maintenance is not a project.
Any military planning and implementation - involves all 5 Process Groups. So you can report what you did on those projects.
There is a lot of planning for operations and HR, for example. These are all projects:
Special reports or reporting
Revamping the Retirement Plans
Writing company handbooks, policies
Revamping business processes
Process improvement, process re-design or process reengineering etc
(a) Events Planning - you are doing a project, putting this training event together involves all process groups.
(b)Most management has lots of projects - see if you can come up with some sales projects, advertising projects, marketing projects.
(c) Procurement Department is part of project management so is the PMO office as they support projects.
(d) Project support activities on a project team are also counted - could involve any aspect of any of the following - Initiating, Planning, Execution, Monitoring & Controling and Closing
Some other projects that are allowable:
Event planning for a wedding
Special purchases that require planning and implementation that you will likely never do again - such as a big sale
Volunteer work for non-profit organizations including churches that fall within the realm of a project such as special lessons, trips etc
Adding a porch onto your house.
What can you report as experience? Do you initiate it? Do you plan it?
Do you execute or implement it? Did you monitor and control what's going on? Did you close it, then properly store it?
Finally: Does it have a start date and end date? Is it unique and temporary. These are key elements of a project.
Projects that are long are divided into phases such as construction and road projects done by government that may take as long as ten years. First it is discussed in perhaps a management planning committee. Then it gets approval based on a business case, for example. Then it is designed. Then the preparatory work begins, etc. Maybe the first phase completes two new driving lanes, while the second phase adds two more, and the next phase adds the overhead railway lines for the bullet train. Maybe some phases are several months, while some take several years.
Projects aredifferent from operations. Operations are ongoing and never end. Those are the business activities you do every day to provide support and service to your customers, for example.
Example of Operations & Projects: If you develop a new car - the first time you do it, it is a project. But every car that comes off the production line after that is manufacturing operations as you are producing the same thing over and over.
PMP® Certification Requirements: With a college degree, you will need 4500 hours - best not to report more than 1960 to 1987 hours per year as you have vacation and holiday time, etc. Do not report overtime. However, you now need to have 36 months of project management experience. And you need 35 hours of formal education experience which SmartPath LLC training provides. You can go back as far as 8 years to pull in enough hours and months if need be. With some college, high school or high school equivalent you will need 7500 hours of project work and document 60 months of experience. And you need 35 hours of formal education experience which SmartPath LLC training provides. If you have had project training throughout the years then you may get pre-approved to sit for the Exam. However, you still need a good Exam Prep Program to help you pass. Ideally you should go over all the Certification Knowledge areas and have a good Exam Prep WorkUp throughout that should involve various exercises to create understanding. You will also receive Workflows for project visibility, learning tools, and Exam Practices questions throughout, followed by a Practice Exam.
If you are going for the CAPM® credential: Then it is best to take a course that will go over the Certification Knowledge areas and have a good Exam Prep WorkUp throughout that should involve various exercises to create understanding. You will also receive Workflows for project visibility, learning tools, and Exam Practices questions throughout, followed by a Practice Exam. You do not need any experience. Just the SmartPath LLC class to qualify you to take the Exam.