The inspiration to become a Project Management Professional started watching the best of managers who lead the teams with due diligence, balance, and integrity. One thing that was certain that a PMP Manager had a definite way of handling business, people and professional competence.
After due thinking and careful planning, I have initiated the process and within 3 months of sincere efforts backed with almost 10 years of experience and close to 7 years in Project delivery made the things possible. PMI Chennai chapter training and 4 day preparatory course added value to my preparation and gave me the strength and confidence to go ahead filling the gaps of my understanding the PMP examination and expectation.
Studying PMBOK thoroughly for first time, and then looking at corresponding reference material where you can get more of conceptual understanding with examples from live business situations is a beginning. One thing here is to understanding that we may be having different types of Project Management experiences from various projects in the past, but while preparing for PMP, the whole concentration should be on the PMBOK way of Project Management thinking. If you could identify the differences between the way projects went into your experience and what PMI suggests, it would be more beneficial to understand the difference and enrichment that PMP certification gives. It is a beginning and strength to handle projects more efficiently.
Nextly to put up a plan in place - a very practical schedule to practice and learn is very important. Most important is to follow the schedule and keep mapping the progress. PMP is not just another certification, but it is a profession that needs continuous practice. Like Medicine or any other profession that needs continuous education, so book knowledge alone will not help you,if you are aiming at PMP certification.
Strong interpretation, rightful approach, inner strength of crisis management, balancing expectations, maintaining time, understanding language (this helps to rightfully interpret the given business situation), managing resources and finally understanding the importance and strength of this certification is very very important. Unless you know the value of it, it is not going to even inspire you to take it up. It is worth every hour spent in this process.
The next would be take up practice tests to understand and realise where you stand in understanding the whole PMBOK knowledge areas. This will help you to further study on the weak areas identified and would encourage you to reassess your planning schedule and move forward.
Last but not the least, self-interest, support of both colleagues and family and above all lots of confidence will make PMP possible in the first attempt.
My word of pride and thanks is to my family, my mentor and friends who encouraged me, my managers who guided me, and my spouse who waited all four hours outside the exam hall just to be sure, that I would be ok at the end of it what ever may be the outcome, alas! it was such a relief to him than me, for he saw me dug deep in my process for a long time! Thank God, I am now a Certified Project Management Professional! I beleive it comes with lot more responsibility and expectations in my career as I progress!!!