Olby Shaju , PMP, PfMP, SAFe SPC, MCP – MSP and Project Server 2013

Lessons Learned on my (PfMP)® Exam

Posted on March 10, 2020 by Olby | PPM

Sharing my lessons learned on successfully obtaining Project Management Institute (PMI)’s desired Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)® credential.

My Journey towards PfMP® Credential

  1. Attended 2 days PfMP® training from Proventures Education and Consulting, Hyderabad. Training was facilitated by well experienced PfMP® certified professional Mr.  P. Seenivasan, Director of Proventures.
  2. Read the PfMP® handbook and Standard for Portfolio Management
  3. Started preparing my application for panel review.
    1. Spent one week for preparing the essays for each knowledge area. There are 5 knowledge areas in Portfolio Management.
    2. Sent the essays for review with my facilitator and he is very good in giving suggestions and challenging me to develop it better. (He showed only one example during training and didn’t give any samples. This helped in writing by thinking and not based on samples)
    3. On completion of review and approval from my facilitator started updating the PMI® application.
  4. Started filling the application (advice) in PMI® website.
    1. If you’ve prepared the knowledge area experience backwards start filling it backwards.
    2. If you’ve prepared the knowledge area experience from the early stages of your portfolio experience, then start filling from that stage.
    3. Application experience loading will freeze once it reaches the required hours and months.
    4. Based on how you’ve shown the experience you need to link the knowledge area essays.
  5. Before submitting the application, I contacted all my managers whom I’ve referenced in the application that I’m applying for PfMP® certification and if I receive any audit, would contact them for endorsement.
    1. On getting concurrence from them, I submitted the application to PMI®.
  6. Once PMI® accepted the application, I did the payment and it was taken for panel review.
  7. Panel review took little more than 30 days. In handbook it is mentioned as 30 days but it took little more than that.
  8. I got the approval without any audit.
  9. Started preparing for the exam. (Check Portfolio Management Knowledge Areas and Process). Reading all the reference materials mentioned below with full concentration is the key.
    1. Read twice the Standard for Portfolio Management 3rd edition
    2. Read the PfMP® notes from my training
    3. Read the PfMP® course material from Proventures
    4. PfMP® examination content outline
    5. PfMP® Handbook
    6. Practiced some online tests.
      1. Udemy’s Leithy Mohamed Leithy – 2 sets of 170 questions each
      2. ITToday – 2 sets of 170 questions each
      3. PfMP® Cheat Test
      4. PfMP® Exam Simulator – PMO Advisory
      5. PfMP® Certification Exam Sample – ProcessExam
      6. Other materials available in Amazon – But I didn’t buy and go through any.
    7. Scheduled the exam one month on from completing the above
    8. Glance of Standard for Program Management
    9. Quick reading of Project Management Body of Knowledge
    10. Repeated the practice tests once
    11. Repeated reading of Standard for Portfolio Management 2 more times.
  10.  Examination
    1. If you’ve read the Standard for Portfolio Management with full concentration then this exam will be easier.
    2. The exam is for 4 hours with multiple choice of 170 questions. The exam needs to be taken in Pearson Vue.
    3. Reach well ahead of time and if there is slot available then they will be able to start the exam immediately on reaching after completing formalities.
    4. Pearson Vue has locker available where in you can store wallet, watch, mobile and other small items. Suggest not to take books and bags which need to be kept outside. You’re allowed to take only the locker key and your government issued ID card inside.
    5. Suggest to take a break in-between but there is no official break in the exam.
    6. It’s important to understand all process groups, knowledge areas, processes & their respective ITTOs (Input, Tools & Techniques and Outputs). Expect some direct and some indirect questions on ITTOs. Prepare the processes and ITTO during the tutorial in the scratch pad provided if possible or after starting some questions.
    7. Expect some questions related to analyzing which Portfolio component to select based on NPV, IRR, ROI, Weighted Ranking & Scoring, etc.
    8. I got some questions from the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) especially in Earned Value Management (EVM) – CPI and SPI.
    9. Understand the key deliverables and its differences – Strategic Plan, Portfolio Charter, Portfolio Roadmap, Portfolio Management Plan, Portfolio and Portfolio Process Assets. It’s important to understand how The Standard for Portfolio Management clearly segregates their respective inputs, contents and timing of updates.
    10. The key deliverables are Strategic Plan, Portfolio Charter, Portfolio Roadmap, Portfolio Management Plan and Portfolio.
    11. Common Input and Output are Portfolio Reports, Portfolio process Assets, Organizational Process Assets and Enterprise Environmental Factors.

My overall suggestion is to read all related reference materials and standards with full concentration.

All the very best for all PfMP candidates!

#PfMP #PMI #Portfolio Management Professional #PfMP Certification